If you play or follow sports, you know that some athletes are more likely than others to suffer injuries. These injuries can sometimes be avoided by strengthening neck muscles with equipment like the NECK X®. Neck injuries in soccer are one of the most common and are often overlooked.
Think about it! When you play soccer, your head and body are largely unprotected. You won’t wear a helmet or, frankly, much other protective gear. And what’s more is that sometimes you’re using your head to set the ball in motion! It’s estimated that a soccer kick travels around 80 miles per hour – it’s obvious that this has the potential to do some real damage to your neck!
Soccer-related hospital trips are no joke! A tally of American emergency room visits from 1990 to 1999 showed that patients who played soccer visited the emergency room 19,341 times for neck injuries. These visits included contusions, sprains, strains, and neck fractures and dislocations. Ouch!
So how do you help prevent neck injuries in soccer? Whether you play for fun or on a league, you can take steps to help protect yourself from injury in the sport.
First, and most obviously, play smart! Don’t overuse your muscles or joints, and avoid falls where possible. Don’t play if you’re overly fatigued, and ensure the field conditions are safe for gameplay.
Secondly, prepare yourself! For instance, a “weekend warrior” may be more susceptible to injury due to a lack of training. An overall low level of fitness will also make you more likely to experience injury.
Finally, to specifically prevent neck injuries in soccer, don’t neglect your neck. Many times, athletes will train to strengthen the core, extremities and back, but will forget to “work out” the 26 muscles in the neck. This can be detrimental to your safety; weak neck muscles may contribute to a higher likelihood for neck injury.
If you have any questions about the muscles in your neck, or how to properly exercise them, schedule an appointment with your sports medicine practitioner or your athletic trainer. Exercising the right way is key to your safety, and when done improperly or with the wrong equipment you can actually do more harm than good.
Preliminary data from ongoing studies suggests that NECK X® helps athletes gain both an increased range of motion and increased strength in the muscles of the neck. This improved fitness may help prevent or mitigate neck injury when NECK X® is used correctly.
When using the NECK X®, you’ll use concentric, eccentric or isometric exercise methods to improve the health of your neck. Exercising targeted muscle groups in your neck can give you the protective edge you need to play safely and prevent neck injuries in soccer.
Ready to step up your game and exercise all your muscles? Order your NECK X® today to get started. Review our Success Stories and as always, be sure to check with your physician or athletic trainer if you have any questions about how to properly exercise your neck and whether isolated neck exercises are right for you!