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328 The role of neck strength in mitigating sport related concussion: a systematic review and meta-analysis
  1. Theo Versteegh1,
  2. Elliott Jonny2,
  3. Ian Gilchrist7,
  4. Neil Heron3,8,
  5. Pooler Archbold4,
  6. Michael Webb5,
  7. Kerry Peek6
  1. 1Western University, London, Canada
  2. 2Ulster Hospital, Belfast, Ireland
  3. 3Centre for Public Health, Belfast, Ireland
  4. 4Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, Ireland
  5. 5Ulster Rugby, Belfast, Ireland
  6. 6University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  7. 7Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada
  8. 8Keele University, Staffordshire, UK


Background In recent years there has been an increase in focus on the potential role neck muscle strength and strengthening may play in helping to mitigate the risk of sports related concussion (SRC). However, to date there has not been any systematic reviews or analysis to help quantify this role and provide guidance.

Objective To systematically review the literature surrounding the neck strength and strengthening in recusing the risk of SRC.

Design Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Data sources SportsDISCUS, Ovid Medline, Web of Science, CINAHL and EMBASE

Patients (or Participants) Athletic population regardless of age or sex.

Study selection The above databases were searched using a combination of keywords and medical subject headings to identify studies that examined the association between SRC and neck strength and or neck strengthening programs.

Results The initial search produced 593 studies, of which 6 were included for review and meta-analysis. Intervention programs that included neck strengthening were shown to be effective at decreasing the incidence of SRC RR 0.54 (95% CI 0.50–0.95)

Conclusions Neck strengthening intervention programs can reduce the incidence of SRC in an athletic population. Athletes who participate in high-risk sports or are from high-risk populations (i.e. adolescents and females) should incorporate neck strengthening into their respective training programs.

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