Shermer's neck

Last edited 10/2022 and last reviewed 10/2022

Shermer's neck was first described in 1983 in an ultra-distance cyclist and it is often associated with neck pain and exhaustion and impaired neck motor function with inability to extend the neck against gravity (1)

  • the diplopiahas been described in connection with Shermer's neck
    • was accentuated when elevating the eyes and looking at distance, most likely reflecting exhaustion in the elevator muscles of the eye (1)
  • Shermer's neck usually appears after 800 km of non-stop bike racing (1)
  • risk factors include
    • former neck injuries
    • staying low in aerobars for a long time
    • wearing helmet light/cameras
  • prevention includes
    • neck strength training,
    • muscle stretching,
    • raising of handle bars and
    • different kinds of chin support
  • treatment
    • the most important treatment is rest and not riding a bike
    • can take 2-14 days to regain full neck motor function

The possibility of developing Shermer's neck and diplopia (»Berglund's diplopia«) must be taken into account when many untrained individuals participate in popular shorter races over about 300 km.