Recently, Dawn Comstock, associate professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health, presented some important findings in a pilot study of the strength of athletics and injury. The data collection took place during the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 academic years. Athletic trainers collected measurements of head circumference, neck circumference, neck length, and four measurements of neck strength. The strength measurements were extension, flexion, and right and left lateral flexion of 6,704 athletes nationwide. The three sports chosen to examine were boys’ and girls’ soccer, lacrosse and basketball. Measurements were taken before the start of the season and during the season. The athletic trainers reported injury data which included the incidence of concussion for each athlete.

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After adjusting for gender and sport, overall neck strength remained a statistically significant predictor of concussion. For every one pound increase in neck strength, odds of concussion fell by 5%.

 “We focus so much on how to properly diagnose concussions,” Comstock says. “That’s obviously important, but preventing concussions is a much better outcome. We’re not saying that you won’t get a concussion if your neck is stronger. But the data shows that neck strengthening has strong potential as a key concussion prevention tool.” 

It is important to Get Strong.

 

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