Neck Braces and Collars
What are neck braces and collars?
They provide the following functions:
- To support the head and limit motion of the joints, ligaments and muscles in your neck.
- To support weak muscles.
- To support vertebrae which have structural weakness or instability.
- To provide pain relief.
Reasons why a collar may be provided:
- To reduce movement and support your neck to allow healing.
- To reduce severe pain and support your neck in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. You may need to use the collar long term if you are unable to have surgery.
Putting on your collar:
You may have to put on your collar before standing up. If this is the case ensure the brace is close to your bed and put it on lying down. Otherwise you can put on the collar whilst standing or sitting.
Ensure the collar is central before fastening the straps. The straps should be pulled snug to ensure the device doesn’t move around. Seek help in putting on and taking off your collar if necessary.
When should a collar be worn?
- The person prescribing the collar will tell you when to wear it and for how long.
- If you are allowed to remove the collar to perform neck movements/exercises your physiotherapist will advise you what to do. They will also advise if you are allowed to adjust the front depth yourself.
- If the collar has been prescribed following a fracture you may be instructed to wear it all the time until your neck has healed. You need to check with the referrer about cleaning your skin.
- If you have a condition like rheumatoid arthritis you may only need to wear the collar at certain times to protect your neck, such as when traveling in a car.
- If you are wearing your collar at night it will be necessary to adjust your pillows to keep your neck straight and comfortable so that you do not develop pressure sores.
Do not wear your collar when driving as the limitation to your neck movements may rule your car insurance invalid.
Care of your neck brace or collar:
Please keep your collar or brace in good repair. If you are a long term user, you may return your collar to the orthotic department for repairs done if required. i.e. new fastenings or linings.
Most devices can be washed you should follow specific guidelines issued when the device was fitted.
The orthosis supplied is considered the most appropriate for you and your condition. You may discuss alternative orthoses with the Orthotist.