Ogden Family Chiropractic

Natural Family Health Care

Do Cervical Collars Really Help?

You see them on people all the time – those big stiff collars that keep someone’s head from moving. Usually people wear them after a car accident, a sports injury or a fall, for ‘whiplash” or a soft tissue injury to the neck. They look uncomfortable. More and more of us are questioning whether they should be used at all!

Cervical Collar‘I’ve been in an accident’ but if they’re used for too long they can impede proper healing.

Many believe that short-term use of a soft cervical collar can be beneficial in the initial acute phase of an injury. However, continued usage causes the muscles in the neck to weaken because the collar is actually taking the place of those muscles. Some studies have even shown that the use of a cervical collar may actually prolong the recovery process.

So how should you treat a neck injury?
  • Get in to see us! The sooner proper spinal, muscle and joint function are restored, the better. Waiting lengthens recovery time.
  • Try to keep you neck moving in as normal a fashion as possible; this helps keep the muscles from stiffening.
  • If you’re inclined to use a cervical collar, limit its use to less than a week.
  • Perform stretching exercises that help support the neck muscles/joints.
  • Continue with your normal daily routine and activities; don’t “baby” the injury.

Whiplash injuries can also affect the normal curve in the neck. A chiropractic exam can determine the amount of damage. While pain relievers and muscle relaxers may make you feel better, they won’t heal damaged ligaments, muscles and tendons. And a cervical collar can’t return the natural forward curve to the neck.

If you know someone wearing one of these fashion accessories, encourage them to call our office for a consultation. We promise to give them the same high quality care you’ve come to know us for.

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This entry was posted on February 6, 2013 by and tagged , , , .

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