Does A Cervical Collar Ease Neck Pain?

Dr. Robert G. Kaniecki answers the question: 'Cervical Collar For Neck Pain?'

ByABC News
November 12, 2008, 1:33 PM

— -- Question: Does A Cervical Collar Ease Neck Pain?

Answer: It usually doesn't. The cervical collar only rarely seems to help individuals. And I believe, for the majority of those patients, it provides this reminder of 'not to move my neck.' And those are people that say, 'When I move around, perhaps when I'm driving in a car, but when I'm moving, walking, or seem to turn my neck, that seems to make my pain worse.' The collar acts merely as a reminder, "don't turn your neck."

But I think for the most part, it's counterproductive, because that allows stiffness to set it, decrease range of motion, and then the joints become even more problematic over time. So, I think, as a short-term measure to kind of give you a reminder, 'You know what, take it easy with the neck, maybe for a few days,' -- I don't think it's a bad idea. But obviously, as most of you would obviously be aware of, you don't see a lot of people walking around with them. And the reason for that is, they don't provide any long-term benefit, whatsoever. Short-term reminder -- take it easy -- but in the long run, you're not going to see much benefit from those cervical collars.

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