Authors: Danielle N. Broman, Alana N. Seaman
University of North Carolina Wilmington
Alana N. Seaman, Ph.D.
601 S. College Road
Wilmington, NC 28403-5956
Danielle Broman graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a Master of Science in Athletic Training in May 2022. Licensed as both a Certified Athletic Trainer and a Certified Surgical Technologist, she now works at Emerge Ortho in Wilmington, NC.
Dr. Alana Seaman is an Associate Professor of Tourism, Recreation, & Sport at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her research centers on popular culture, cultural trends, and heritage particularly as related to sport, food, place, and/or tourism.
A Phenomenological Exploration of Neck Brace Use in Motocross
Purpose: Despite the evidence indicating a decreased risk of cervical injury with the use of neck bracing in motocross, the frequency of usage appears limited. Given that little academic attention has been focused on the perception and prevention of these injuries, it is unclear why athletes have not more widely adopted the practice of wearing this safety device. This study sought to understand why.
Methods: A phenomenological approach was employed, and semi-structured interviews conducted with riders during three random weekend motocross practices at one track in the southeastern U.S.
Results: Themes surrounding physical discomfort and mental distraction; personal experiences; skepticism about the efficacy of neck braces; and an exceedingly few external influences emerged from the data set.
Conclusions: Regardless of which camp riders subscribed to, most indicated a strong opinion on and adherence to their choice to use or not use a neck brace during motocross. Flow was central to this decision.
Applications in Sport: A clear understanding of why athletes decide to wear or not wear neck braces in motocross would help various stakeholders identify barriers to device use, develop better methods for encouraging its adoption, and improve the overall safety of athletes participating in the popular but understudied sport.