What is a Neck Brace?
The neck brace is an essential safety tool that protects the neck and spinal cord from serious injury. A neck brace is designed to sit atop the shoulders of the individual wearing it. The idea behind the brace is for it to create a base for the helmet that the rider is wearing to sit right on top of it for increased support. This helps eliminate extra space between the head and shoulders for the neck to move freely, so in the case of an accident there is more controlled area that the neck can move. This helps reduce the chances of the neck moving too far in any direction which can cause serious injury to the neck, spinal cord, or clavicle (in certain circumstances). Below is an example of a neck brace (click the image to purchase):
Why Wearing a Neck Brace is Beneficial
To be direct, neck braces can save your life and protect your livelihood. Some might argue that neck braces are restrictive to comfort as it does restrict some of the range of motion (ROM). This can take away from overall comfort, but adds to the overall protectiveness the brace provides as covered above. There was a study conducted that supports the notion that wearing a neck brace is favored over not wearing one. The study goes over data of 8,000+ crashes that resulted in injuries in some cases, but because of the presence of neck braces in other instances injury was avoided. The study was conducted by Action Sports EMS. Take a look at the graphic below:
Spinal Cord Injuries
For a study that spanned over 10 years of data this is the most compelling piece. This graphic shows the effectiveness of neck braces and how they affect injuries to the spinal cord. It is obvious after analyzing this data chart that the neck brace is beneficial to keeping the spinal cord healthy and uninjured. Out of 265 cases of spinal cord injuries, 239 injuries occurred with absence of a neck brace, while only 26 injuries occurred while wearing a neck brace. So, only 9.8% of injuries occurred to the spinal cord happened to those with a brace on. Although, the margin of error would preferably be smaller, the other 90.2% of injuries occurred to those that chose against wearing the brace is a massive piece of the pie. This concludes that a neck brace definitely helps fight against spinal cord injuries.
Other Neck/Upper Body Injuries
Other injuries have a more common occurrence than the critical spinal cord injuries discussed previously. Such injuries include “non-critical” spinal cord injuries, clavicle, and neck related incidents. There is a notion that neck braces actually can increase the opportunity for injury. That opinion is combatted by the study that Action Sports EMS conducted. By showing through the data they obtained that while there may be more clavicle injuries while wearing a neck brace compared to the spinal injuries covered before, there are still less injuries while wearing a neck brace than there are without one.
Clavicle injuries total to 734 people observed in this study and data shows that those without a brace (443) total to more broken clavicles than those who wore a brace (291) during the accident that caused the injury. So to conclude, wearing a neck brace does indeed decrease the chance of injury whether critical or non-critical. This data provided by Action Sports EMS destroys the notion of it being safer to not wear a neck brace. Neck braces clearly have an impact on the chance of the rider being injured. Here are the benefits of wearing a neck brace and what exactly neck braces provide in terms of protection to the upper body of the rider:
BTO Sports is Committed to Safety
Lastly, BTO Sports wants to give its customers and readers the option to explore neck braces that will keep them safe on both track and trail. BTO offers a number of neck braces from trusted manufacturers such as Leatt, which is one of the top manufacturers for neck braces in the moto market. Leatt has been producing neck braces since the technology was released into the market in the early 2000’s. We here at the BTO Sports Garage believe this piece of equipment is a necessity when it comes to safety on a dirt bike, motorcycle, or side by side. Check out some of the options BTO offers below: