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Hear How The Kerr Collar Is Keeping Football Players Safe

Dr. Patrick Kerr, a chiropractor who specializes in neck injuries, explains how he developed the Kerr collar to reduce football-related injuries after carrying out crash tests on football helmets.

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"So as I became a chiropractor specializing in the neck I started to study exactly what was going on during collision with crash tests."

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Photo Credits : (GettyImages)
Streeter Lecka Patrick Bolger Rich Schultz Bob Levey Kevin C. Cox Jamie Sabau
TRANSCRIPT This transcript was generated by AudioBurst technologies

Doctor Patrick Kerr our guest, New York's neck specialist as we talk some of the head and neck injuries in football, tell us about what you have developed and I know it has been used by a couple of NFL teams, correct me if I am wrong but the Jets and the Giants in the New York area how does that work? What inspired you to get moving on this and what was the process like once you came up with the idea to actually get it on the field? - So when I was playing high school football, actually Pop Warner football I used to use a towel and rap it around my neck before I put my shoulder pads on cuz I always felt very vulnerable in the neck area for some reason, I used to play linebacker in Pop Warner, continued in high school and into college. When I got to high school I used one of those white Adams rolls and the white Adams roll are a pretty soft material and a lot of people used them for cosmetic purposes to kinda look cool or mean, or whatever. Howie Long had it halfway down his back Jack Lambert all of these players, you know, a number of players were using it in the 70's and 80's, so when I got my Adams roll I used some tape some medical tape and just kept tightening down making it harder and harder and harder and I placed it strategically up underneath the bottom of my helmet so that when I was going to hit somebody or block somebody I would engage my device into the helmet so I could transfer some of these forces away from my head and neck area. So as I became a chiropractor specializing in the neck I started to study exactly what was going on during collision with crash tests on these, at Virginia Tech, so we did some of the first dynamic neck testing ever done in football was done in 2006 which is hard to believe. - Wow, it doesn't seem like that long ago does it?- Right, and that's one of the things I think we are missing is that we never really studied what happens, yeah, we are creating great helmets, but what happens when the force goes after the helmet absorbs some of the force, then it goes to the skull and where else does it go? So what I am trying to do with the Kerr collar is to make a system that engages the helmet during collision to absorb and disperse the forces similar to crash tests, you know when you are crash testing a car. Understand crumple zones, understand how do you absorb some of these forces that are generated during collision.