“Trauma, injury or pain take time and attention in recovery.” If you have ever experienced any kind of trauma, injury or if you have any chronic pain in your neck, you may require wearing a neck collar. There are many different types of neck collars which serve a varied number of purposes. In this present article we will talk about some of the most known neck collars for recovering from neck pain.
An Overview on Neck Collars:
Neck collars or cervical collars are also known as the neck braces or cervical braces which are in fact the most common of all the spinal braces. You may require a neck collar if you require having a cervical spine surgery or if you met with any kind of trauma or injury that lead to neck pain.
The primary aim of a neck collar is to prevent or reduce the motion in the cervical spine and reduce neck pain. Apart from this, it also keeps the head in a comfortable and appropriate gravity-aligned position, i.e. the head is held high on the shoulders and the ears are directly over each shoulder.
Various Types of Neck Collars to Recover from Neck Pain:
In this current section, we will talk about various types of neck collars which come in a variety of support styles and varied functions.
Soft and Rigid Neck Collars for Neck Pain:
Based on the flexibility and materials used, the neck collars can be either the Soft collars or the Rigid collars. The soft collars are flexible enough and are made of Polyurethane foam rubber. These neck collars are cut to mould around the user’s neck and the jaw. The soft neck collars are usually used after wearing the rigid neck collars for certain period of time. It must be noted that the soft collars do not immobilize the neck completely, but they restrict motion and usually reminds the patient using it, of excessive motion.
However, the rigid neck collars are hard and made of plexiglass, a harder substance. These neck collars come in different sizes and can fit to a patient in an appropriate manner. They provide support and help in recovering from various kinds of neck pain in a wonderful manner. Cervical spondylosis, acute neck pain and various other spinal conditions can be relieved by using the rigid neck collars.
Philadelphia Neck Collars:
A stiff foam collar made of two pieces that are attached on the sides with Velcro, is known as a Philadelphia collar. Here, the upper portion of the neck collar supports the lower jaw and the collar has an extension downwards to cover the upper thoracic spine. A Philadelphia neck collar greatly helps in putting greater restrictions on your motion.
Sterno-Occipital- Mandibular immobilization device (SMOI) or SMOI Neck Collar:
SOMI or a Sterno-Occipital-Mandibular Immobilization device is a type of a rigid neck collar that positions the patient’s neck in straight alignment with his or her spine. It helps your neck by protecting your head and your neck from moving, which would help the damaged structures in the neck to heal at a faster rate. This neck collar has a chest plate at its front along with bars going over the shoulder. The collar is secured with straps on the bars that are attached to opposite sides of the front chest plate of the neck collar. Apart from the chest plate, there is also a rigid chin piece, and an optional headpiece for better support. Patients with neck pain caused due to chronic conditions like Rheumatoid arthritis are usually benefited from such type of neck collars after their cervical spinal surgery.
Halo Device or Halo Neck Collar:
A form of spinal traction is known as Halo bracing. Here the traction pulls your spine in two different directions which creates the tension which in turn helps in reducing the abnormal curvature associated with certain spinal conditions like Scoliosis. A Halo device or a Halo neck collar is a hard collar featuring a metal ring that is secured to the patient’s head with the help of metal pins. This ring is connected to four bars attached to a heavy vest. A halo device or a halo neck collar is the most rigid type of neck collars for neck pain.
Things to know about Proper Wear and Care of the Neck Collar:
Now, coming to the ways on how to wear and take care of your neck collar, below we have mentioned some of the important things to note down.
- The neck collar you are using must be snug enough so that you cannot move your head and also that your chin should not slide inside or should not stick out over the collar.
- If you have long hairs or have a beard, then it must be noted that your hair should be outside the brace of the neck collar.
- Your neck collar must be cleaned, especially the pads of the collar that touch your skin. Use only mild soap and avoid using harsh detergents or any abrasive products for cleaning the neck collar
- It must be kept in mind that you should keep your skin clean and pretty dry, under the neck collar. Avoid using powder or lotions which can damage the pads of your neck collar.
- Always check for if any skin irritation present due to the neck collar. Go for appropriate treatments in case of any skin irritation caused due to the use of neck collar.
Remember, a neck collar is a temporary neck device which can help you recover from neck pain caused due to trauma, injury or after a cervical spine surgery and can provide better support, comfort and appropriate healing from the neck pain. So, it must be strictly noted that using and caring of the neck collar in a proper manner is highly essential. Kindly consult your doctor for finding out the best type of neck collar if you have any kind of neck pain and be aware of the strict instructions for wearing and caring of your collar.