Over the last twenty years, parents have been dealing with the stress and anxiety of seeing their children getting potentially hurt in impact sports that can cause long-term damage, such as brain injuries. Engineers have been doing studies of how they can create a device that will not allow damage to the skull even if they receive a hard hit or take a hard fall.

The possible solution

Introducing the Q-Collar. Commonly referred to as the woodpecker, this crescent-shaped item wraps over the sides and back of the neck and puts gentle pressure on the jugular vein to circulate blood to the skull. This device helps dampen brain movement during the trauma of a fall or hard blows to the head.

Branded Q-Collar

Image credit: Sport Techie


The anticipation for this product is that the collar will decrease the number of incidents of brain injuries for not only kids who are participating in high-impact sports, but for members of the military as well.

What was the idea behind the Q-Collar?

The idea of the Q-Collar originated with jugular-vein theory. David Smith, the doctor who theorized the concept found that animals such as rams, bats, woodpeckers, and diving’s birds, have a pronounced muscle called omohyoid. This muscle puts pressure on the jugular, circulating blood into the skull with each hard blow and decreasing the brain’s ability to scramble around.

Smith theorized that if he could replicate a device that acts as a muscle that’s in these animals, it will help prevent brain injuries. Tests on humans resulted in evidence supporting Smith’s theory. The collar led to more blood in the brain cavity and looked to have no consequences on brain growth.

Although the device is showing prominent growth in helping prevent brain injuries, there still needs to be studies conducted to understand if the device can cut down concussions and can protect the people using this product.

What’s next for the Q-Collar?

Some worry that the product might increase intracranial pressure that could be detrimental to someone’s health if an athlete receives a severe injury, such as a skull fracture.

Despite worries, this product is promising to help decrease the number of concussions. Athletes in impact sports, such as football and hockey, and members of our military need to have the right protection when dealing with dangerous potential blows to the skull.

Some question the concept of adding additional weight around the neck to prevent brain injury. That extra weight might be a weight lifted from a mother or father’s worry when their son or daughter takes the field. Although the Q-Collar needs approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration before being sold in the United States, this is a tool that should be viewed as revolutionary for the future of health.