Check Up from the Neck Up
Insights and perspectives on injury prevention, rehabilitation, health and fitness
SI.com reported it all started after Syracuse University’s Orangemen suffered 11 concussions in 2011. Doug Marrone read an article that tied concussions to neck strength, making the latter a bigger priority. In terms of increasing neck diameter, Syracuse’s program has been tremendously successful. Each player’s neck was measured before the start of spring practice and again in the summer before fall camp. William Hicks, AD for athletic performance, said that the average growth rate across the board was roughly eight-tenths of an inch, with some players gaining as much as an inch-and-a-half in diameter. As a result, the Orange did not have a reported concussion during spring practice. Read the SI.com article here:
85% of all concussions and sub-concussive blows happen from violent rotary acceleration to the head. An athlete must decelerate these violent rotary blows before the limit of range of motion is reached and dead stop occurs. When this dead stop happens the brain is rattled around in skull causing damage. Dr. Allen Hovda, Director of the Brain Injury Research Center at UCLA simplifies what is happening in the brain during violent impact. Basically nerve cells are stretched or twisted letting potassium escape which intern depolarizes the cell allowing energy inhibiting calcium to invade shutting it down. The cells surrounding the damaged cells begin to shut down and amnesia, confusion and a loss of consciousness can result.
What if you could prevent a concussion by strengthening your neck? According to an article posted on NFLEVOLUTION.com, concussion experts believe that one important way to reduce the risk of sports-related concussion is by strengthening the neck, the theory being that stronger neck muscles will help cushion against and lessen the linear and rotational forces that cause concussion. Now, there is research to back up the theory, reports Moms Team senior editor, Lindsay Barton.