Saving Your Neck

Neck Injury and prevention

Since the beginning of our sport, there have always been manufactures making protective gear.  Boots, gloves, helmets and eventually chest protectors become the staple for riding gear.  In the last few years, Leatt has come onto the scene and the neck brace is almost as common as chest protectors.  In a recent video with Ryan Hughes, he disagrees with the effectiveness of the Leatt brace.  Personally, I would not like to take a chance and not wear one, but he is right that the neck is point of weakness for many riders.

Everyone who has ridden motocross has fallen and you will fall again.  That’s how our sport is.  If you have taken a nastier spill, you know how it feels the next day.  Most of the time, the back of my neck is stiff, back is sore and I feel like I just got hit by a Semi truck.  Because of its unique construction, the neck is extremely vulnerable.

The spine is divided into four sections: Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar and Sacral.  So, when you hear some injured their C7 that is the 7th cervical vertebra.  Starting from the bottom, the spine gradually gets thinner and smaller in size.  All 7 of the cervical vertebra make up the neck.  Although it has many vertical muscles, the neck is still susceptible to injury from excessive forces moving it pass its normal range of motion.  When this happens, some of the muscles and/or ligaments may be stretched too far and this creates a strain.  A sprain is an injury to a joint where it is forced past its capacity.

Any time you have a high speed crash, momentum and velocity is going to wreak havoc on your extremities.  Having increased flexibility in the cervical area of the spine can reduce any type of strain, but compression still plays a part in injury.  This is when the vertebra is subjected to enough pressure that cracks the bone.

Here is a great video that goes over a few stretching exercises that you can do before workouts and motos.  Take the extra time and prepare yourself just in case.  Better to be safe than sorry.

Posted on Apr 22 2011, under Training | No Comments »

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