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Understand head trauma and how we can minimize the effects of concussive forces
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Alexander R. Vaccaro, M.D., Ph.D. is in his eighth season as the Spine physician for the Philadelphia Eagles. Dr. Vacarro holds Vice Chairman status in the Department of Orthopedics at the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia, and is a Professor and Attending Surgeon of Orthopedics and Neurosurgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, also located in Philadelphia. Dr. Vaccaro will tell those in attendance the serious effects of concussions due to head trauma, as well as how and why more steps must be taken to deal with this serious issue.
Mark Asanovich, recently completed his fifteenth season as a strength and conditioning coach in the NFL. The Jacksonville Jaguars hired Asanovich in 2003 after spending six seasons as the strength and conditioning coach for Head Coach Tony Dungy with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the 2002 season as the Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Baltimore Ravens. Prior to that he served as the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Minnesota Vikings in 1995.
Asanovich was one of the first fifteen Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialists and former Minnesota State Director for the National Strength & Conditioning Association. Recognized in Who’s Who Among American Teachers, Asanovich was a contributing author in Death in the Locker Room II: Drugs and Sports (Elite Sports Medicine Publishers, 1993), and High Intensity Strength Training (Perigue Books: Putnam Publishing, 1993). He has also published articles in The High Intensity Training Newsletter and The Conditioning Quarterly.
Ralph Cornwell is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Health Promotion & Human Performance at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He has more than 20 years experience as a strength and conditioning coach, consultant and lecturer. Cornwell has worked with high-school, collegiate and professional athletes from around the world, including those in the NFL, MLB and MLS. He was also the Strength and Conditioning Coach at Radford University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Prior to that he served as an assistant coach at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Why is strengthening the neck important?
The Centers of Disease Control estimates that there are 1.6 – 3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions occurring in the United States each year. Yet in actuality, no one really knows what the exact numbers are…since many concussions go unrecognized and undetected. Suffice it to say, it’s an epidemic. Yet, whether a concussion is sports-related, recreational related and or trauma-related the severity of the injury and resulting cognitive impairment would in fact be reduced if the head, neck and surrounding cervical structures were stronger. If the morphological structure is thicker and/or stiffer, the research is conclusive…that is, and potentially harmful and concussive forces can be better dissipated more effectively if the individual’s cervical spine musculature is stronger- this is simple physics.
Strengthening the musculature of the cervical spine has profound effects:
• Increased passive stiffness of the head and neck
• Increased resistance to deformation forces
• Lowering of concussive and sub concussive forces
• Enhanced ability to move the head quickly
• Increased maximum oxygen uptake by strengthening the musculature that elevates the rib cage
• Increased blood flow to and from the brain to become more effective at cooling
• Reduction of headaches due to weakened head muscles
• Increased balance and athleticism by training the “hot bed” of proprioception
• Have a baseline strength measurement that can be used in conjunction with symptomology and cognitive measurements to determine when an individual can safely resume normal daily activity after head and/or neck trauma.
Tickets at the Door
Mark Asanovich and Ralph Cornwell, Jr., PhD.
Interviewed about their Head & Neck Strength Training and Concussion Prevention Protocol
Listen to the Interview Rob Taylor from Smarter Team Training conducted with both Mark Asanovich and Ralph Cornwell Jr. PhD. on strengthening the musculature of the head and neck to help reduce the concussive forces on the brain and body. Click HERE