In Episode 16, we discussed whether or not neck strengthening exercises can help to prevent concussions, supplements that may support recovery, and visual motion sensitivity following injury.
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Neck Strengthening Exercises & Concussion Prevention
The idea behind neck strengthening exercises for concussion prevention is because concussion is due to acceleration or deceleration. The theory is that, if the neck is stronger – or stiffer – then it wouldn’t cause as much of a whipping motion, and may prevent the brain moving back and forth within the skull.
There are some problems with this theory. Firstly, the mechanism of injury for concussion is the stretching and shearing of neurons or axons within the brain, and not the coup-contrecoup theory. Check out the below post from @Concussion_Doc about mechanism of injury theories.
During the episode, Dr. Marshall explains that neck strength does not equal neck stiffness. In order to reduce the risk for concussion, an athlete needs to be able to prepare and anticipate that an impact is coming. In-game awareness and being able to contract the neck quickly can help this. Listen to the full episode below or check out this blog post: Can neck strength reduce concussion risk?
Supplements & Concussion Recovery
Creatine has intrigued a lot of researchers in the concussion space. It is proven to increase ATP production in the muscles, but can it increase ATP levels in the brain following injury? Dr. Marshall discusses some of the research as well as theories about the role of creatine in concussion management.
Other supplements to consider are those that reduce inflammation, which may include omega-3 fatty acids. Find a clinic near you and speak to a trained healthcare provider prior to taking any supplements.
Visual Motion Sensitivity
Visual motion sensitivity and symptoms of dizziness in large crowds, cars, grocery stores or shopping malls are extremely common for people suffering from a concussion or persistent symptoms. Dr. Marshall discusses some of the approaches to concussion care that may help to alleviate some of these symptoms.
Speak to your healthcare provider for more information, or find a recognized Complete Concussion Management clinic near you.