Strong neck may not help against concussion

concussion research
Strength training paired with improved flex-
ibility may reduce concussions in young
athletes. (Photo Rick Gomez/Blend Images)

PULLMAN, Wash. – Popular thought says that neck strength helps prevent concussions. But that’s not what recent research at Washington State University reveals.

“It appears from the youth research and the football player research that I have done, that impacts tend to be of a higher magnitude in kids with stronger necks and that athletes with a previous history of concussions tend to have stronger necks,” said Kasee Hildenbrand, associate professor in the College of Education.

So she and Derek Nevins, research project manager in WSU’s Sports Science Laboratory, teamed up to examine more closely the role the neck plays.

Read more about this research in the fall 2013 issue of Washington State Magazine online at