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Could a stronger neck reduce the risk of concussion?

The brain injury referred to as concussion is in the news a lot these days and it is becoming clear just how dangerous the injury can be. Individuals of all ages can suffer this type of injury through a variety of activities including sports, falls and motor vehicle accidents. Because of the prevalence of these injuries it is likely not surprising that research into how to best diagnose, treat and prevent brain injuries is a high priority. 

A speaker at a the recent National Strength and Conditioning Association Coaches Conference offered one approach that might help to reduce the number of concussions that occur in the world of athletics. He suggested that a stronger neck could be beneficial.

Among other things the speaker points to research that indicates female athletes suffer concussions at a higher rate than males and that it is due to the fact that compared to men and boys, women and girls generally have weaker necks. This means that when females experience the whiplash-like movement that can cause a concussion, their brains are reverberating inside of their skulls at a stronger rate. If this is true, the speaker— a clinical assistant professor of neurology—believes that manual resistance exercises done a couple of times a week could help to lower the risk of a concussion occurring.

A concussion is a potentially serious injury that could result in long-term changes to the life of the person who suffers from it. Those changes can be difficult to live with and may even result in extra expenses. When a concussion is the result of negligence on the part of another person it is possible that a successful personal injury lawsuit against that person could result in compensation to help cover some of the expenses related to the injury.

Source: USA Today, “Is neck strengthening the key to concussion prevention?” Michael Grant, Jan. 9, 2015

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