What are World Cup players wearing around their necks?

What are World Cup players wearing around their necks?

(NEXSTAR) — If you’ve been watching the FIFA Women’s World Cup, you may have noticed a player or two wearing horseshoe-shaped collars around their necks. Since necklaces and jewelry are prohibited in soccer, what could they possibly be?

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen athletes sporting the collars — multiple NFL players began wearing them this year, while others have been wearing them as far back as 2016.

Known as a Q-Collar, the device is intended to protect athletes’ brains during head impacts. The Food and Drug Administration authorized the marketing of Q30 Innovations’ Q-Collars in 2021, saying they “may reduce the occurrence of specific changes in the brain that are associated with brain injury.”

If you are hit in the head or body, you may suffer a traumatic brain injury, known as a TBI. A leading cause of TBI is blunt trauma accidents, which are among the most common in sports, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.These areas of California could be underwater by 2050

During one of these incidents, your brain will typically move in the skull unrestrained, the FDA explains. This is known as a “slosh.”

According to the FDA, the Q-Collar compresses against the jugular veins in the athlete’s neck, increasing the volume of blood in their skull’s blood vessels. The increased blood then creates “a tighter fit of the brain inside the skull,” which could reduce the “slosh.”

It isn’t just NFL players that have opted for the device. Canada’s Quinn was seen wearing a Q-Collar during the team’s match against Nigeria last week.

Don’t be surprised if you see more players in the Women’s World Cup wearing the collars. Research has found that female soccer players are twice as likely to suffer concussions as their male counterparts. A study published in 2019 that tracked concussions reported among high school athletes found girls’ soccer had the second-highest rate of concussions, coming in slightly behind boys’ football. The U.S. Soccer Federation even implemented a policy in 2015 that banned heading the ball for players 10 years old and younger.

The Q-Collar trend doesn’t end with athletes. Last fall, the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command awarded Q30 Innovations a $2.8 million contract to fund research and development of the Q-Collar to determine if it can reduce blast-induced TBIs among soldiers.

The FDA did, however, warn in its 2021 authorization that Q-Collars shouldn’t be used by athletes with certain conditions and can’t prevent concussions or serious head injuries. Even former Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly suffered a concussion in the weeks after he began wearing the Q-Collar.

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