Neck Braces. Good or Bad. Latest Facts & info.

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Blakduk, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. Y E T I

    Y E T I Unpossible

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    If you fit it right, you won't even know it's there. I've been on rides where I checked to make sure I hadn't forgotten it.
    #61
  2. Litespeed77

    Litespeed77 Adventurer

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    I'd like to ask about brace compatibility with armor and helmets. I hope these questions further the discussion.

    Which braces would work off road and also dual sport/street? I read that some braces would not work with a longer chin bar used with dirt bike helmets.

    What would fit a Fox Titan pressure suit? Any chance of one fitting a Klim jacket and a compression suit?

    Do y'all have a brace for dirt and one for dual sport/street?
    #62
  3. henrymartin

    henrymartin Mr. Tourguide no more.

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    see my comment on page two.
    #63
  4. Y E T I

    Y E T I Unpossible

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    I just got a Leatt 5.5 and it works both over my jacket and with my pressure suit. 1 brace for all rides.

    It's more helpful to direct people to a specific post number as some of us have our setting with differing numbers of posts per page, 20, 30, 40, etc.
    #64
  5. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer Supporter

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    This is a great thread, thanks.
    Approaching this with a safety nut + healthy skeptic's point of view, I wish we had more generalizable data than anecdotes (useful though they are), armchair opinions, "either-or" false dichotomies such as "ride with a neck brace or break your neck, it's your choice", and reduction of the whole issue to a matter of personal choice.

    Hopefully the Euros will lead the way as they have on other moto safety issues.
    #65
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  6. Y E T I

    Y E T I Unpossible

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    It looks to me like every physician who has chimed in on this subject has said they help. Every human factors engineer I've heard discuss neck braces says they're a good thing.

    On the other hand, the people who are opposed to them and/or just don't want to wear them are people with no background in medicine or human factors.

    Is anyone aware of any physicians or human factors, etc. who does not encourage or support the use of neck braces? :ear
    #66
  7. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Leatt videos, if you watch them, actually give the full story. They don't pretend to be able to stop all injury, they acknowledge that there are thousands of possible ways to hit. But they give the bio-mechanical engineering to explain the approach. If one has a bit of grasp of mechanical engineering it makes a lot of sense. Much like the idea of some flex in the shell of motorcycle helmets versus cars for the Snell testing, along with different standard specifications for different size heads (weight).

    When you get the likes of BMW involved and can create repeatable testing to verify changes due to design changes, that isn't hearsay. That is mechanical fact. The videos explain the distribution of forces from the helmet to the brace to the body - pure mechanical actions related to biological functions.

    Did you ever consider if you popped your knee, what was possible without the brace? If you twisted an ankle in boots would you quit wearing them or realize without them your foot might be dangling at a weird angle with broken leg bones?

    It's kind of amazing you know precisely how you would feel about a piece of equipment before you tried it. I guess that's part of the reason for this thread. To separate conjecture from fact.

    I thought a neck brace would be obtrusive, but I actually believe with fused vertebra low in my neck, one was a necessity. If another fracture occurs it will be higher and far more damaging. Plus considering I lost probably about 1/2" from my neck from the fusion process that I believe eliminated the discs between C5/6/7, I thought the brace would be most likely an issue, but it was not.

    When I put on the brace it kind of felt funny, but in riding I found it wasn't obtrusive, If I tilt my head enough I can touch it, but that tilt isn't natural to my riding style. Kind of odd, I would occasionally tip my head down and tap it, no idea why, but I did.

    Now, a lot of doctors who worked on diseases make livings off of treatments and devices that they helped develop. I don't have a problem with that. I believe Bell helmets started from the death of the man who designed them. I know the Snell standards came from that background. Many people profit from some safety product they make. Often it gives them the freedom to pursue other safety products. Seems Dr. Chris Leatt is doing that.

    Some are profiteers, others did the work for a cause. Leatt did it after a friend died from neck injuries he thought could be prevented. Now it is his living, allowing more bio-mechanical research in the line of injury prevention. That is a plus for us. Now Tommy Copper... not so sure about that, but again he started due to injuries and the possibility that compression and copper could help. Does it? I know the compression stuff does to an extent, but not all so sure with copper.

    At this point I'd have to give as much credibility to the Leatt product (and others like it) as I would to any other armor - boots, helmets, chest protectors, etc. The research is a scientific process with demonstrable results and repeatability. It is using the bio-mechanics of the strikes that cause injury, the direction and position of impacts. It isn't guess work. Whether one agrees with it or not, wears the product or not, the facts are there. I would venture to guess peer review has occurred too, especially considering others have entered the field, like AlpineStar. They aren't flying blind or on hearsay.


    By the way, new contribution... a shoot out, probably on comfort and fit, on six braces/neck rolls. Found it while doing a search for doctors against neck braces. Not much out there I could find. Lots of inuendo, but no doctors with any valid information.

    One last comment - there are no government standards at this point. Probably won't be unless the wearing of the equipment becomes a legal requirement. There are no standards for Snell either. They make their own standards, in fact they changed to have a separate motorcycle standard. Their standards are published since they are a testing agency. Leatt very likely has standards as a manufacturer but they are unpublished at this point, as are Atlas and AlpineStar among others. Until there is an organization like Snell for neck brace testing or governments require the equipment be worn there won't be any published standards for testing.
    #67
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  8. dragos

    dragos Master of disaster.

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    The field moves very fast, I don't think any of those are still available in that form. At least Atlas and A* have very different models now, I think Leatt as well.
    #68
  9. dragos

    dragos Master of disaster.

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    I think the whole debate around neck braces happens because of the current "internet culture", where everything can be debated without any proof of competence being required.
    Other pieces of equipment like helmet and boots were established as being effective long before, and they are coming from historically accepted authorities.
    Neck braces date from 2006 (?). I think the death of Meoni in 2005 was the moment where a strong movement to prevent neck injuries started.
    They arrived in a world where anyone has an opinion on everything and competent research is the last thing people care about.
    #69
  10. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer Supporter

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    Not every. Still trying to figure this one out.
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  11. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT bring the rape whistle

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    ive been thinking about a neck brace lately,, but not the full blown type referenced in this thread so far,,, i'm thinking more along the lines of the simple foam roll type, think they call them a collar instead of a brace like the EVS R3 race collar in particular.

    it lacks a hard plastic helmet "catch" but just having something there to limit over extension of the head and neck should be worth something, what do ya'll think?
    #71
  12. henrymartin

    henrymartin Mr. Tourguide no more.

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    The issue is, from what I understand, that the collars are more comfortable but lack the rigidity. That is, in an impact, the collar would compress and be essentially rendered useless as an injury prevention device.
    #72
  13. Rikki Rockett

    Rikki Rockett MOTORCYCLE EVANGELIST

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    OK, great! Thank you!


    #73
  14. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    I would agree there are or will be new ones. That comparison was more about fit, so it may help someone who is perusing the used market. After all these don't really deteriorate and if all you can afford is $125, it is possible to find one on the used market. Kind of like boots, better to have used ones than none.

    I checked out a new Leatt, then found a virtually new used one. That pink bike link had an AlpineStar for $150 if I remember right. There's always the guy that doesn't like the fit or decides they don't want to wear one.

    The functional basics remain close to the same, some possible improvements, like the spread thorasic portions on the street Leatt. Even if nothing new comes up they have to make "BNG" version to sell. If they don't they won't get people to buy new every year or so.
    #74
  15. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Like work boots versus no boots versus motocross boots...

    Better than nothing, but not as good should it be needed.

    I made the same consideration, did the research, and came to those conclusions, realizing I wanted the max due to my neck condition.
    #75
  16. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT bring the rape whistle

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    compromise. is it enough protection? i'd like to say that my fast and hard riding days are behind me and i prolly dont need max protection but we all know an injury can happen at any speed.

    i'm still considering but reading and watching these threads with interest, and i need to find out more about the collar vs brace.

    thanks for the replies
    #76
  17. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Collar is soft and compressable, so it will allow more movement, movement may likely be too far. Brace limits travel, stops movement before "vertebra lock" (to paraphrase a suspension term). One example would be from actual neck surgery, the soft collar versus the rigid hard collar or halo brace. I had a soft collar since there was solid bone inserted and pinned. The collar didn't really support my head, where the other two do.

    As for your fast days behind you, I stuffed a double doing maybe 25 mph, if that... it was the sudden stop that got me.

    Again, see if you can find a brace to try on, with a helmet. I did and found no problem, in spite of expecting some. Couldn't be any worse than football shoulder pads with a helmet.
    #77
  18. tclhb

    tclhb Been here awhile

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    I use the Leatt STX Jason Britton brace. I wear it every time I ride. The first couple days I wore it, I was at least feel it on my shoulders. I quickly got used to the one head movement that required me to do something different. Looking over my shoulder requires raising my head about an inch to clear the brace. After a week that became automatic. I don't even think about it now. As far as comfort, after wearing it for the first week I will sometimes reach up to my chest just to see if I forgot it at home.
    #78
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  19. XRman

    XRman Long timer

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    Sorry i didn't mean to quote this posting. I am still navigating the new look forum!

    I started the neck brace discussion on the Australian Region forum after my friend highsided his 990 KTM and injured his neck as a result. He developed central cord syndrome which occurs in older people >40 y.o. An injury that could best be described as bruising which interferes with nerve transmission and leads to lack of muscle power. He spent several months in hospital learning how to walk again and still struggles with upper limb pain and his hand power is poor.
    I also have a small residual CCS issee after a face plant in the desert. I just wanted to let older riders know that they are at greater risk of this injury.
    I have been wearing a neck brace since my injury and I suspect it saved me from neck damage after a wallaby put me on my head again. I had 5 broken ribs and a collapsed lung, but I was happy that it did not make my injury worse. I just get annoying sensation at my wrists that I can ignore and does not need medication to control.

    Like helmets it just makes sense to reduce your risk of injury by wearign one, but it does not guarantee you will survive a nasty accident.
    #79
  20. Y E T I

    Y E T I Unpossible

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    CCS is no laughing matter. It's basically what I had, although mine was due to chronic issues rather than trauma, thankfully. I'm now starting my rehab and will be riding in the dirt again within a few more weeks!
    #80