Posture Collar.The Posture collar can be an overused item in my opinion and is often worn unnecessarily - often doing more harm than good. So, please read on before you decide to wear one for back and neck pain management and relief.
A posture collar is a band of foam-like tissue which is shaped to wrap around your neck and support your chin and head weight. It is commonly used post road traffic accidents, when a person with whiplash complains of intense neck pain and a feeling of their head being too heavy for their neck.
Used correctly a posture collar can be of assistance in the management of whiplash-associated injuries. However, if overused, or used inappropriately it may cause further damage to your neck. Seek advice before you wear a collar for longer than 2 hours a day. Furthermore question the therapist before you conform to their advice. Neck collars are frequently over-prescribed and worn, in my opinion.
The role of a posture collar is to take the weight of your head off your shoulders. This is exactly what it does!!
However in taking the weight of your neck off your shoulders, it is also partially taking over the role of your neck muscles. Although your neck muscles will continue to work, they will be working at a lower demand than is their usual requirement. This, over time, leads to weakening of the neck muscles, and potentially further pressure on your neck often resulting in more pain.
There are times when resting your neck is appropriate. For example, if you have an unstable segment of bone in your neck, a cervical collar is a necessity in the early stages. If you have a fracture in your neck, it is also a necessity.
If you have a neck strain, and there is no unstable segment you may have a lot of pain. A collar may ease your pain, but it should only be used for a maximum of 2 hours a day in my opinion, while you re-strengthen your neck muscles and resolve your neck problem.
To summarise - posture collars have a beneficial role when prescribed by a professional with good knowledge of your injury. Poorly-prescribed collars may do more harm than good, and should be worn with care and attention over time.
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The information on this web site does not replace specific medical advice. It should only be used to complement advice from your doctor. Always seek in-person advice from a doctor or other qualified health provider for your particular condition.