Dr. Michael Lovich
It’s a common misconception that football helmets prevent concussion. The protective shell prevents cranial injuries, like skull fracture.
Concussion happens when there is stretching and shear stress in the axons of nerves, typically in central structures like the midbrain, coupled with an inflammatory response from the brain’s microglial cells.
There is a significant correlation between a lack of neck strength and incidence of concussion, therefore it is commonly recommended that those who are involved in athletics should perform neck strengthening exercises.
If someone unexpectedly threw a football at your head the chances of sustaining a concussion would be much greater than in a scenario where you knew the hit was coming and could brace for it. Either way it could happen.