Whitman Concussion Forum
Recently, it had been reported that concussions were on the rise among High Schools in Montgomery, Co. This prompted Principal Alan Goodwin to team up with Dr. Michael Singer of Brain Scope and bring together the areas' top authorities on concussions and traumatic brain injuries. The evening was designed to educate and inform the public of the most current clinical findings and issues surrounding concussions today.
Definitions of even what a concussion truly is were discussed as well as the loss of consciousness (LOC) and a good graphic was shown to differentiate the ratings.
A few quotes from the Whitman Concussion Forum:
“We Don’t Know”: With mandatory helmet rules only being passed in the NFL in ’78 and required in HS and college in ’80, there are no longitudinal studies to show whether so called advancements in helmet technology have had an impact on the actual number of concussions or not. We do not know the answer to most questions surrounding concussions.
“You don’t need symptoms to have a concussion”: The brain can be altered at a sub-concussion level. The level of tolerance is individual for vibrations to the brain. There is no way to test for a players’ ability to withstand repetitive concussion forces.
“There is no correlation between loss of consciousness and severity of concussion”: Take a look at the recent concussions among professional players. Kobe Bryant did not lose consciousness and yet he was out for weeks while many NFL players routinely return to play after only 7 Days following a concussion.
“If a child has had a concussion and recovered fully, they are considered not at risk to play. But even though there are no long-term studies currently, it is accepted that multiple concussions are bad!
Heading a soccerball is not a risk if done with appropriate form and technique. The whipping of the head and collisions with other players are where the risks lie. And again, we do not know about the effect of repetitive sub-concussion forces on the human brain.
The Word Concussion
It was noted during the Whitman Concussion Forum that typically, the Colorado Med Society Scale that included LOC in grades 3 and 4 only was a featured tool in many practices across the country. But there are as many definitions of "concussion" as there are dictionaries. My personal definition of the word concussion expands the role of injury to include mental as well as physical alterations to the brain. And, because traumatic vibrations inside the skull can be imparted from blows to any part of the body or without any contact whatsoever, I believe the very word concussion (however it is currently defined) is misleading as the images conjured by the general populous predominantly are exclusive to head trauma alone involving an outside force or impact. The word is Teebie: "A Traumatic Brain Episode that occurs whole or in-part due to excessive forces acted upon or initiated by a living body altering brain function" This definition allows for excessive force to occur at any area of the body and is inclusive of both physical and mental changes. It was agreed by the committee that it indeed is possible to have a concussion and not show any signs or symptoms or that an impact is necessarily required to produce those symptoms.
The genesis of my word stems from the Pellman, Viano, 2006 summary of the findings of the NFL Committee On Mild Traumatic Brain Injury which recommends the use of the phrase "Traumatic Brain Event" to describe the moment of injury. But an "Episode" is more appropriate as it alludes to further sequencing of events involved in the progression of a concussion. So start using "Teebie" to describe the occurrence of disruption of brain function through excessive force. The more it is acknowledged in paper, print, literature, and society, the greater likelihood it will be adopted by the lexicographers and become a word.
What about "Feel"?
A friend of mine told me of a man he knows who plays golf. He lives, eats, sleeps, and breathes the game. He is a family man devoted to helping people find excellence within themselves through personal growth and global awareness. As an instructor of golf, this approach of cultivating your character can manifest in inner peace, an outward positive image, and yes, an improved golf game. A portion of his instruction includes being barefoot during swing drills and relying on the tactile and proprioceptive feedback to execute shots. The question was posed to me, "If the Graceyfeet insole blocks shock, does it mean I feel the ground less?"
Through the innovative use of extremely strong aramid fibers and non-newtonian materials, the Graceyfeet Cush material reduces both peak and mean vertical shock, so the highest forces are reduced and you do not feel the vibrations that are detrimental to your game. However, there are vibrational frequencies that do make it through the insole and give you the exact tactile feedback you need to determine what part and how forcefully your foot is contacting the ground.
First, some ground-work...Vibration forces input help us to perceive up from down and position in space. But excessive and repetitive vibrational forces cause pre-synaptic, reflexive, extraneous motions about the joints(1,4,6). A 2002 study using EMG, strain gauge, and plantar pressure mapping found that muscles may lose up to 10% of their strength after 35 minutes of weight-bearing exercise due to reflexive proprioceptive adjustments caused by excessive peak vibration signals at the ankle(6). Also, high peak and mean vibration forces cause reposition sense error and direction error in the low back and trunk(2,3). This means that after roughly a half-hour of sport-related vibrations, there is a 10% loss of functional strength in certain muscles, and a decrease in body positioning and directional accuracy.
Graceyfeet Cush insoles reduce peak and mean vertical forces by 30%-60%. Yes, some of the GRF is not felt, but only excessive ground reaction shock is affected. all other vibration related to temporal and spatial input is preserved. Subjective reports from clients are that kinesthetic control improves using Graceyfeet over shoes alone because they feel like they have more grip and better control of their body position at various moments during their swing. Also their ankles, knees, and back feel better.
The Graceyfeet Cush insole simply allows the vibrations necessary for a specific task to pass through so the sense of "Feel" (perceptive sensory feedback loop) and your "response" (body placement, task execution, muscle strength) actually improves. The plantar pressures are reduced, but your proprioception remains unchanged. Consider the conditions of being barefoot on soft grass; large contact surface area, improved grip, and reduced vertical forces with nothing to impede the skeleton's preferred path of progression. But put a shoe on, and vertical forces rise dramatically over smaller surface areas, muscle activity is very different, and tactile sensation is changed.
Current insole materials have a very small effect on high vibration pressures (5-10% tops). So replace the existing sock-liner with a Graceyfeet Cush insole and the environment within the shoe changes to respond more like barefoot on grass! Contact surface area is increased, vertical forces are dramatically reduced, grip is improved, and the preferred path of progression is retained. All the proprioceptive neuromuscular re-education you gained training barefoot is retained because of the similar "Feel" of Graceyfeet to barefoot on grass.Drop only the vibrations that cause fatigue and inaccuracy, quiet reflexive motions, and your performance will be enhanced through improved accuracy and timing over long duration sport activities.
The Graceyfeet insole smooths out the ride by blocking shock from below and lightly decelerating movement from above. Kevlar attenuates the shock while the medical-grade SRP (the green stuff) minimizes the effects of abstract reflex muscle activities that cause fatigue and disrupt performance.
In essence, it improves performance by normalizing plantar pressures across varying terrain and providing excellent energy return. But as with any new shoe or insert/orthotic, you do have to get used to it first.
Remember, the ability to sense where your foot is in space correlates very poorly with the ability to place your foot in a desired position. The magnitude of your muscular reaction to changes in angular velocity about a joint due to sensory input may be fine tuned when the foot is in a familiar environment and feedback is experienced in a known, controlled range.
Take a look at my blog entry on volleyball court surfaces. Peak performers will practice on the terrain they play on in the conditions they will expect to encounter. Using Graceyfeet in both your daily and your sport-shoes will maintain a symmetry of feel between activities.
Quieting the vibrations through the body allows for purposeful and focused cognitive and physical release.
Learn and adjust skills barefoot.Practice and Play in Graceyfeet.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3940(99)00302-X, Vibration alters proprioception and dynamic low back stability
Proprioception, gait kinematics, and rate of loading during walking: Are they related?
Proprioception of the Ankle Joint
Chris Gracey MPT, Cped