Check Up from the Neck Up
Insights and perspectives on injury prevention, rehabilitation, health and fitness
What are the most common myths and misconceptions regarding concussions according to Dr. Robert Cantu, the world’s foremost authority on concussions and brain trauma in sports? Unfortunately coaches, parents and kids have not fully grasped these important facts as of yet. The number one most serious misconception is that you have to be rendered unconscious to have suffered a concussion. More than 90 percent of athletic concussions occur without any loss of consciousness. The loss of consciousness is only one of the 26 symptoms associated with concussions. Another very common myth is...
that your first concussion will be milder than your second, and your third will be worse than your second. Dr. Cantu reported that he has seen many individuals whose first concussion was much more severe than subsequent ones. Youngsters have big heads and weak necks, which puts them at a much greater risk for concussion. This means that kids cannot brace their necks like adults can in a collision, not to mention that youth recover a bit slower than adults. That is why anyone playing a contact sport—at any age—should be strengthening his or her neck muscles. Strengthening your neck is the only way to help prevent and minimize concussions. Simply put, if your neck is strong, there will be less brain rattle and jarring of the brain. Although my sixteen year old son does not listen to much that I have to say these days, and finds me one of the most “annoying” people on the planet (I am his mother) he managed to hear one simple request—if you are going to continue to play sports, strengthen your neck! Please don’t beat your children, however please beat this important information into their brains.
Jenni Jolly, M.A. Clinical Psychology, Vice President of Mission Competition Fitness Equipment and more importantly, Mother On A Mission