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Health & Medical UnderGround >> Need Medical advice/references


12/31/08 8:08 PM
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JasonKeaton
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I am writing an article about military combatives. I had a friend that went to chiropractic school and informed me that breaking the neck of a cadaver is pretty tough to do. I would like to gather info for the article relating to this topic. can someone help me out?

Jason
1/3/09 6:01 PM
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Bolo
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As far as the difficulty in breaking the neck, it all depends. First, it depends on what angle/direction you are making the neck move. For example, if I wanted to twist the neck to break it, I wouldn't just turn the neck directly to the left or right. Second, it depends on what technique you are using. Yes, it would may take more effort if you want to break the neck by using just the movement of your arms, however, in BJJ and other forms of submission grappling, there are techniques in which you put your entire body into the neck breaking. It's not very difficult if you have your entire body into it.

If you want to drop me an e-mail (mjen@pacbell.net), I can tell you what angle would be better if you wanted to twist the neck.
1/7/09 3:16 AM
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JasonE
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Jason -

Consider also that a cadaver is not like a living person. A cadaver's complete lack of resistance, plus the various preservative chemicals, give the tissue a different feel from living flesh. All of the cadavers I've worked with tend to be somewhat stiffer than a live person, and most are older folks with necks that are altered from years of living, plus the intervertebral discs tend to be somewhat dried out and compressed, closing the gap that enables vertebral articulation.

I would definitely expect to have a harder time breaking a cadaver's neck than that of a living person. Saws work better anyway.

Hope that helps!
Jason Erickson
www.CSTMinnesota.com
1/7/09 2:01 PM
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JasonKeaton
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Thanks.


So how easy is it to break a living persons neck in a way that causes paralysis or death?


Jason
4/3/09 2:11 AM
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Technician
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"So how easy is it to break a living persons neck in a way that causes paralysis or death?"

Paralysis and/or death is a result of lacerations to the spinal cord, which may result from severe fractures to the cervical spine.

It is not easy to measure the standard force required to fracture a person's neck, as Bolo highlighted that the angle of the movement and efficient use of one's body can make this a relatively easy task. Furthermore, JasonE is correct that cadavers are way more stiff than live humans (you're friend must be in his/her first year of chiropractic college as he/she is currently studying gross anatomy).

Our bodies are very resilient, but different forces at different angles against different people with varying past medical conditions/pre-existing conditions will result in different outcomes.

So unfortunately, there is no standard black & white answer for you regarding this topic.
4/20/09 7:05 PM
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WidespreadPanic
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You might be able to find something if you research executions performed by standard hangings. Houdini did some stunts and tricks involving hanging with bodyweight, IIRC.

One of the ways that's dangerous targets the axis and atlas bone, and you just separate them, so there's no 'breaking' the neck in the sense of breaking a bone.

I'm at a bit of a loss why a book on military combatives needs to have information on breaking necks. In a sense, it's a bit of a myth. In addition, since people vary greatly in size and resistance to breaks, I don't see the utility.





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