New research, which is supported by several University of Calgary experts, says that helmets aren’t that much help in preventing concussions in sports.

The findings come from a conference held in Switzerland last fall that involved the world’s leading concussion experts.

Dr. Willem Meeuwisse, with the University of Calgary says that wearing helmets protects the skull but doesn’t necessarily protect the brain from damage.

“You’ve got a soft brain inside a hard skull. If you pad the skull, you prevent skull fractures, but you don’t necessarily stop the brain from moving inside the skull when you have collisions.”

Meeuwisse says that the research also shows that extended rest following a concussion might not be the best course of action for all sufferers.

He says the new information marks a pretty big shift.

“Deciding why and how and when to institute therapy, the idea of rehabilitation from a concussion, was a pretty big shift from the last meeting four years ago, when it was rest and then more rest.”

Meeuwisse says that sports need to stop relying on equipment to save them from serious trauma and focus on rule changes, including reducing or eliminating body checking in hockey to reduce the possibility of concussions.

With files from Reg Hampton