Does neck strength help prevent concussions?
Concussions are very prevalent among children and adolescents, especially those who play sports. A common question we are asked is what can be done to help prevent concussions. One thing an athlete can do to help decrease concussion chances are to strengthen neck muscles.
We think that females have increased likelihood of concussion over males partially due to neck strength. When those with weaker neck muscles are injured, more of a whiplash motion can occur. The moving of the head back and forth, causing the brain to move in the skull, is the injury that causes a concussion. Male and female athletes can work to strengthen neck muscles fairly easily at home by doing manual resistance exercises (see video below). In addition, if your child or teen is at a school with an athletic trainer (AT), the AT may be able to help guide your athlete in neck strengthening exercises as well.