Larger than football, women's soccer and women' s hockey has one of the greatest incidents of concussion. This may surprise most of you but a recent study explains why. Dawn Comstock, associate professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health, has confirmed what many have suspected—that neck strength could be a predictor of concussions. Since concussions are caused by the brain banging around inside the skull, the weaker the neck, the more movement the head experiences upon an impact. Check out the size of the neck of the player in the photo.
That advice is based on Comstock’s research findings. During two academic years, athletic trainers took a series of measurements of the heads and four measurements of neck
strength of 6,704 student athletes— boys and girls who played lacrosse, soccer and basketball. Then they recorded all incidents of injuries—including concussions—that occurred with every subject.
When they examined their data, Athletes who experienced concussions had smaller neck circumferences
than did their fellow players and frequently had a small neck paired with a large head. Those injured also had less neck strength than did athletes who did not suffer a concussion. According to Gregory, overall neck strength remained a significant predictor of concussion. For every one pound increase in neck strength, odds of concussion fell by 5%. This is a dramatic prevention tool. The one problem that one may run into, is how to strengthen properly.
First, the Athlete must have proper joint motion, flexibility in the ligaments and muscles, and a proper curvature to the spine. You do not want to strengthen around improper function which can lead to degenerative problems later. What you do want to do is to be checked and corrected by your
Doctor of Chiropractic, and then given a series of age appropriate strengthening exercises. The neck circumference should be measured for increase and function should be
tested and corrected if necessary.
Yours in health,
Dr. Kimberly G. Maziarz-Carlucci
86 Valley Rd, Montclair, NJ
Dr. Kim Maziarz- Carlucci, DC
I have been a chiropractor for since 1996 but an athlete since I played baseball with the boys in the early pee wee leagues. I continued with sports throughout my high school career: softball, basketball, skiing and competitive horseback riding. In chiropractic school I was introduced to functional exercise and structural rehabilitation and continue to do this type of exercise to this day with great success.