Sunday, May 19, 2013

Virginia Tech Concussion Researcher Takes Proactive Approach To Concussions,0,6667876.story

Virginia Tech Researcher is making Noise in the Sports Industry

 He has developed a very specific program that he says strengthens rarely used muscles in the neck and back of the head. Muscles that can be developed and keep the brain from being tossed around while playing nearly any sport.

 Dr. Cornwell has developed a very specific program that he says strengthens rarely used muscles in the neck and back of the head. Muscles that can be developed and keep the brain from being tossed around while playing nearly any sport.

Dr. Cornwell's Protocol is the only researched and evidence based contingency available to prepare athletes for the rigors of their sport. 


Tuesday, December 11, 2012



DO YOU KNOW THE Numbers???????


Coaches and trainers record all types of data about all sorts of things.  Treatment given to particular athlete or in the case of a coach, maybe he has measurement of all the athletes vertical jumps.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears are common, but a major injury in athletics.  There are timelines for recovery, how strong the musculature around your knee should be as you progress through therapy administered by the ATC.

No competent athletic trainer would release an athlete to return to competition unless he was sure the athlete was ready.  The trainer, team physician, and the strength coach collaborate on how to best get an athlete back to playing their sport, but not until the athlete has regained full range of movement, propericetion, baseline strength levels etc.

The trainer needs best effort numbers from the strength coach to judge how far the athlete has progressed. There is a need to know how close to 100 percent  the  strength level of the muscular of the injured area, in this case being the knee, before the returns to play.  The strength coach has numbers on squats, knee extension, for quadriceps strength, leg curl and RDLs for hamstring strength. Now they know how close the athlete is to regaining full strength in the musculature of the injured area. This way you have baseline measurements, solid number of where the athlete was strength wise before the injury and now after the rehab.
Lets examine another common but serious injury, Concussions.

Concussion Management is a Good thing.  The Concussion Management Protocol  allows the athlete to rest, sometimes sleeping in a dark  room for hours a day until symptoms subside.  What happens to the athletes strength level as their muscles atrophy while they rest? More importantly, what happens to the muscles of the head and neck. Those same muscles that were not strong enough to ward off the initial Concussion, are now even weaker because of the inactivity.

Now, we need numbers. Solid Numbers about previous Head and Neck Muscular Strength. What was the circumference of the athlete’s neck prior to the Concussion? How much have those muscles atrophied? Do strength coaches have numbers on baseline strength of the muscles of the Head and Neck? If they have baseline numbers on the quadriceps surely they will have numbers on the muscles that protect the Athlete’s Brain.
Sadly, I know of  only one Division I University that documents all those vital numbers and has a data base of information at their disposal. Colgate University does an outstanding job of knowing those Numbers.
How can a team physician, strength coach and athletic trainers make an informed decision about Return to Play without All the pertinent information?

Do parents want their sons and daughters to Return to Play with a weaker body and a much weaker neck?  We know muscles atrophy very fast, and if athletes are restricted from activity for longer and longer periods of time, then the muscles are even weaker when they return to competition.

Before an athlete can Return to Play, there are several tests. There are No tests given by professionals for head and neck musculature strength.
Would the Team Doctor give approval to an athlete to return to play from ACL surgery  with weak quadriceps or hamstring muscles? Why would we put a helmet on the head of an athlete with a weak neck? Should an athlete be allowed to “head” a soccer ball with a weak neck?

What can be done to ensure that our athletes are Properly Protected?
1. Implement a comprehensive Head and Neck Training Program.
2. Strength  coaches need to keep accurate and up- to- date records of head and neck musculature. Have current circumference measurements of male athlete’s necks.
3. Athletic Trainers and Strength Coaches need to share information of athlete’s  strength levels, including the muscles of the head and neck.
4. Make this information available to Physicians so that an informed decision can be made about when an athlete can safely return to play.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Small Beginnings Lead to Large Results

The best of ideas started  as a simple notion of how to do something better or more efficiently.

When two individuals join their ideas collectively, sometimes it can  result in something Big.

If those ideas come to fruition it can be paradigm shifting.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Project Neck II The Follow-up Study

 Project Neck II   The Follow-up Study

Why do researcher spend their time doing researching?

Research is just that, re- searching a problem or gaining a better understanding of what we are studying.
                                           Project Neck II  Laboratory

Starting January 2, 2013 Project Neck II gets bigger and better.  Project Neck II once again will be a NIH and Institutional Review Board Approved. Without these checks and balances a study is No research study. An Opinion or Idea is Not a Research Study.

The Experimental Group will Number in the 300s.  The Equipment will be Prototypical. The Results will Change the way we TRAIN Musculature the Head and Neck .

All research will be sanctioned and reviewed by The Head Neck and Spine Institute.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Looking Back.

 Looking Back.

Clinical Research Takes Time to Complete.   This Blog was Written Three Years Ago. The research process is complicated and must be approved by several organizations, The National Institute of Health and may need to be approved by at least One Institutional Review Board. 
If this type of rigor and validity is not incorporated into a True Research Study. It is not a study at all. It is opinion, conjecture or just a good guess. There is only One Evidence Based Head and Neck Training Protocol. 

Ralph Cornwell
Undergrad From University of Maryland/Radford University Va
Masters of Science from Virginia Tech
Doctor of Philosophy -Science Virginia Tech Completion Date 12/10

Former Strength Coach
Radford University
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
United States Military Academy at West Point
North Carolina Agriculture and Technology State University
West Montgomery High School, NC

Served as Sport Performance Director and Owner of 2 Sports Performance Facilities 1 in Blacksburg, Va, the other in Greensboro, NC.

I have been training on Pendulum 5-way neck for about a month and have had remarkable results. The weight has steadily gone up on the exercises, but the amazing thing is my neck circumference has increased by an inch and a half.

Never gotten those types of results from any neck machine and I have tryed them all. I am currently preparing for my Ph.D. case study which involves the question: If you increase the circumference of the neck through resistance training and increase the stiffness ratio,as soft tissue becomes stronger, along with trapezius strength increases thus reducing the deformation rate during contact(impact) would you not decrease impact forces to the head, neck area and transfer or dissipate the forces throughout the trapezius,upper back muscles and ultimately have those forces absorbed through the stronger back muscles, hip/glute area transferring those forces finally to the much stronger lower body muscles.
Also, would this not help to reduce or lessen the rate of concussion or more importantly would it not lower the subconcussive forces of small impacts that seem to cause as much or more long term damage to the athlete. Would a bigger stronger neck not raise the tipping point in which we start to see real long-term brain damage, Well, that's what I intend to find out. I will be setting up my lab at the Virginia Tech campus where I am completing my Ph.D..
The pendulum neck machine will be an intricate part of the case study and I want to share the data with all the coaches out their so we can better protect our athletes from harm. We cant' forget it all starts with the neck. The vulnerable part of the human anatomy with respect to contact sports or life in general is our cervical spine which supports the skull which incases our most important component with regards to life -our brain.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Let's Spring Into Action And Protect Athletes

The Ralph Cornwell Files

Let's Spring Into Action And Protect Athletes                                              
describe the imageRalph Cornwell is a Ph.D. candidate in health promotion/human performance at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Prior to pursuing his Doctoral Degree he was a collegiate strength coach.
Research from the best minds in the automotive safety industry  all agree, the circumference of the neck changes the way it reacts to forces applied to that area.
The former Congressional appointed Chairman of the Head  and Neck Committee put together a study on concussions and found: " Stronger necks reduce head acceleration, deltaV, and displacement. Even relatively small reductions in deltaV have a large effect on head injury criterion that may reduce concussion risks because changes in deltaV change head injury criterion through the 4th power."
Test dummies are used to simulate a human in a collision whether it is by automobile or playing sports.

How do they simulate neck strength in humans?

They change the size of the spring on the test dummies. Small to replicate a child’s neck circumference.  Medium size for female adults and large for adult males.
To simulate an athlete’s neck you have to go one step further.  The athlete’s neck is simulated by the largest and most stiff spring on a crash dummy in order to replicate the kinematics of a collision accurately.

The replicated athletic neck is more resistant to change than the mock-up normal population neck.  It  deforms less then all the simulated necks.

This is true for crash test dummies; is it not true for athletes playing sports that include collisions?
By increasing the circumference of our athlete’s necks the same result should occur. Less deformation of the cervical spine.
If this is good for test dummies, it should be good for America’s athletes risking concussion during sports. It will certainly lowers the subconcussive forces.
Congress calls concussions an 'American Epidemic'. Let’s start inoculating our athletes with larger stronger