Neck muscle activation is believed to generally protect against whiplash and head injury in automotive impacts and sports activities. When the torso is struck, active tensing of the neck muscles may prevent the neck from rotating excessively due to the inertia of the head. In this scenario, neck muscle tension may also reduce the severity of a secondary head impact occurring after the primary impact with the body. In a direct impact to the head, it has been hypothesized that active neck muscle tension may reduce the acceleration experienced by the head by increasing its effective mass.

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