A new, non-helmet based device which aims to mitigate the threat of concussions and head trauma is spreading its investigatory studies into a second sport.
In 2015, the Connecticut company Q30 Sports Science funded a study executed by Cincinnati Children’s Sports Medicine Research, which tracked football players at Cincinnati powers St. Xavier and Archbishop Moeller. Specifically, the 32-player St. Xavier roster spent the season wearing Q30’s Q-Collar. Archbishop Moeller players did not. The results were statistically significant, finding that St. Xavier showed far less “brain slosh,” according to Cincinnati ABC affiliate WCPO and published in a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
How does the Q-Collar work? Essentially, it is worn around the back of the neck, stimulating the jugular vein to imitate yawning and limit the risk of direct impact in contact sports.
With one set of positive results, the Q30 Sports Science team is now funding a similar study that will focus on another sport, girls soccer. This time, Cincinnati-area programs Seton, which will wear the collars, and Madeira, which will not wear the collars in serving as a control group.
There are a number of reasons why the girls soccer study could prove at least as important as its original football counterpart, as put forth by Dr. Gregory Myer, the director of research for the Division of Sports Medicine and the director of the Human Performance Lab at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
“We know that the female athlete tends to respond to lower-level head impacts with concussive symptoms and they tend to have longer symptoms,” Dr. Myer told WCPO. “In general they tend to be more susceptible to head impact so we want to really help protect their population as well.”
It goes without saying that demonstrating the Q Collar decreases the risk of concussive head trauma in a second sport would provide powerful proof that the devices should be tested in a much more widespread way. That could pave the way to broader adoption, and one would imagine a significant commercial success for Q30 Sports Science.
Of course, that’s just the benefit for Q30 Sports Science. If the Q-Collar actually works, the benefit for young athletes nationwide could be much, much greater than that.