It is baffling to find riders wearing all sorts of protectives apparel like helmets, gloves, pants body armour, knee guards, and many others but leave their neck unprotected. The worst thing is that in motocross, crashes that cause neck injuries are common.
Yet, many motocross riders still undermine the importance of wearing a neck brace to enhance their safety. The fact is that neck injury is life-threating, and any measure that can be taken to avoid them should be undatable applied.
Unfortunately, since the innovation of neck brace, there have been horrific fallacies in their use. These fallacies come as a result of a lack of knowledge on body mechanics, also how to choose and wear them.
The question every rider should ask whenever he or she goes for a motocross ride is, ‘is my neck safe? What protects it in case a crash occurs? The sensitivity of injuries surrounding the neck cannot be undermined. This article seeks to educate any motocross rider enthusiasts about the importance of neck brace for motocross youths.
Importance of neck brace for motocross youth riders
Neck brace for motocross is mainly made for youth riders to enhance their safety, particularly neck injuries, during the ride. Designs are made to meet this purpose majorly in two ways,
By protecting the collar around one’s neck by physically preventing the rider from bending his or her neck beyond a specific limit in any direction. In this way, it can avoid hyperextension (this is bending of the neck too far backward) and hyperflexion (twisting of the neck too far forward).
By preventing harsh forces directed to the neck from getting to the neck and safely dispersing them across the body. In case of an accident, its design makes the helmet come in contact first with the padded helmet rim, which transfers the force to the dispersion area, located at both the rear and front area of the neck race.
The full load found in the front part of the neck brace helps to disperse the force to the rider’s pectoral muscles while the one located at the rear part disperse it to the top shoulder muscles on both sides of the spine and it reduces the impact to the head of the rider during an accident. In this way, it helps to regulate the impact transferred to the brain hence reducing significantly the severity of an injury that would have happened to the brain.
It provides a comfortable and exciting experience when riding on a bike. One will hardly have an enjoyable experience if his or her safety is not guaranteed. Knowing that every part of your body is covered with reliable protective clothes, it enables you to ride without worry. It makes one’s riding experience more thrilling and comfortable.
It helps to reduce injuries that come from axial loading. In situations of a crash where the head to land first, it may lead to the spine getting compressed and pushed forward. This is one of the hardest movements to offer protection. But some neck braces are capable of providing up to 20% reduction of forces exacted on the spine. In this situation, it also provides support for both the neck and the head post-crash in case a sustained injury.
Risks of a neck brace
In spite of the above-stated benefits of using a neck brace for youths who like doing motocross, those who have used it have some reservations on the effectiveness of this protective gear. Some of the claims they have to include:
- It restricts one’s movements when riding
- They can easily cause upper back injuries and paralysis
- It prevents one from looking up a hill or jumping
- It may cause collarbone to break
- It makes one feel uncomfortable when doing motocross riding
- It is not easy to find one that fits you perfectly.
- Is neck brace essential for motocross youth?
Despite the reservation raised by the sceptics of these neck braces, it should be noted that most of the modern neck braces come with improved design, which outdoes the reservation raised above. Firstly, current neck braces have a design that enables them to break themselves before they break the neck. Since the material that makes them is strong, hence challenging to break, it minimizes the chances of breaking the neck. Thus, acting as an effective protector of collarbone in the event of a crash.
The other primary concern is the effect of neck brace in spinal injury. The neck brace is intended to offer maximum protection to one’s spine, and it is essential to note that it might not provide absolute security. The fact is that neck brace helps to reduce the force exacted on the spine in case of an accident. In this way, it helps minimize the level of injury that could have happened on the spine. It is true that even when one has worn a neck brace, a spinal injury can occur just the same way brain injuries can occur even when a rider has the most expensive helmet in the market.
Though it is preferable to wear protective apparel that offers total protection, it is much better to have some protection than have none at all. It can be said with no doubt that neck brace for motocross youth provides excellent protection to the neck and keeps it safe from severe neck-related injuries. Therefore, when next time you go shopping for proactive clothes for motocross youth, ensure that the neck brace is on your shopping list.