Accidents are quite common – even the most minor accidents can lead to a person developing irritating injuries like a whiplash. Whiplash can be a daunting injury, especially if you leave it untreated thinking “What bad can it do?”
The to and fro motion can lead to a lifelong journey of trauma and pain from your cervical region. Did you know that many people have reported that their general whiplash injury which they took too lightly continued to torment them for more than 3 years? Yes, it’s that serious.
Cervical Collars for Injuries
Not many of you know this but, cervical collars that are also known as neck braces are used for the purpose of supporting the spine and keeping it aligned with the head. It definitely does much more than just helping you treat neck pain.
These collars are used as a common treatment method for many people suffering from minor injuries like a whiplash.
Cervical Collar for Injuries
Cervical collars provide a common method to treat upper body problems like:
- Neck surgeries
- Neck and spine injuries
- Muscular pain in the neck
- Soft tissue damage for the neck
Uses of Cervical Collars
The main purpose of a cervical collar is to provide your neck and spine the extra support that it needs. It will limit the motion of the neck to barely minimal causing a speedy recovery from the trauma. Although, it is recommended that you use cervical collars for a short time period and during that, make sure that your neck is getting enough air.
Here are certain health conditions that might require the use of a neck brace:
Whiplash and Accident
If you have been in a car accident, it is quite common for you to sustain an injury in your neck. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that people suffer from an accident. Soft tissues are torn which can lead to a reduced range of motion, upper body pain, and other issues in your cervix.
After neck surgery, you need to limit your motions to a minimum. Having a neck brace will prevent you from harming the injuries and wounds after the surgery.
Sometimes people can suffer from nerve compression by lifting weights, heavy objects, and even age factors.
Over the years, your neck and spine can suffer from health issues like cervical spondylosis. As people age, the cartilage in their bones is prone to rupture.
Neck pain and stiffness is quite common. You can also get neck pain if you sleep at the wrong angle. A neck brace will help your muscles get in their original position.
Cervical Collars for Whiplash
Now, are cervical collars really effective? In this article, we will discuss the different types of cervical collars and what is the impact of adding a cervical collar in your whiplash injury treatment – with the advice of your doctor!
Types of Cervical Collars for Whiplash
There are different types of cervical collars. You can actually categorize them into two categories:
- Soft collar
- Hard collar
Soft collars are usually made from softer materials like foam and rubber. Soft collars provide you with a comfortable covering sound in the neck and reach the jaw. Your doctor will prescribe you a soft collar if you are suffering from injuries like whiplash. Soft collars are not that restrictive in nature therefore they do not yield good benefits after clinical surgeries.
Hard collars are made from materials like plastic and Plexiglas. These collars can restrict the motion of the neck in any direction a lot more than soft collars. Hard collars usually provide chin support so that your muscles are able to relax and recover. For fractures, surgeries, and neck trauma, your hard cervical collars can be used.
Tips While Wearing a Cervical Collar in Case of a Whiplash?
So your doctor has advised you to wear a cervical collar? Here are a few tips that will allow you to effectively wear a cervical collar. You will be recommended a soft collar in case of whiplash. You will need to keep in mind the following tips while wearing a brace:
Obviously, your neck is at a constant rest position but you don’t want it to be in the same position all the time. Instead of sitting all the time or lying there, it is important that you make gentle movements like walking. This will help you prevent the muscles from stiffening. Having stiff muscles will prolong the recovery period and effective treatment.
With disturbed muscles in the neck, you can hunch over to comfort your spine. Make sure that you are maintaining a good posture. Apart from this, sitting on extremely soft and low sofas can have a bad impact on posture and put immense amounts of pressure on the neck.
Just make sure that the collar fits you tightly and thoroughly. If you have trouble adjusting the fitting, it will not be as effective or supportive as you are thinking. In fact, it might lead to the worsening of your injuries. Having a loose collar can not only worsen the injuries, but it can also rub against the skin and cause injuries and rashes. Make sure to wear your collar all the time and only remove it if you require cleaning it or as prescribed by the doctor. For injuries like whiplash, many doctors recommend on and off use.
Your activity level should be very mild and it is important to notice that doctors prescribe that a patient should not run or go intense levels of movement.
Surprisingly, taking a bath with a neck collar can be quite easy. You can actually take a bath while wearing your cervical collar. While you get in the tub, make sure to keep your collar dry, many patients tend to wrap their collar with cling film (plastic wrap) so that there is no contact with water/fluids. While you are taking a shower, having a handheld shower with a nozzle to bathe your body will reduce the risk of you moving vigorously or bending the neck.
Sleeping with a neck collar can require precision and care. Just make sure that the mattress is offering good support. Having a too soft or too hard mattress will not provide your neck with enough support that you need. Just make sure that you sleep in one straight position instead of keeping on the side or in any other twisted position. Keep your pillow thin and not use any extra pillows as they can put significant pressure on the neck.
Time Duration to Wear a Collar for Whiplash
For a whiplash injury treatment, the time duration of wearing it entirely depends on the particular situation the duration you will need to wear your neck brace.
It is also advised if you should not wear a cervical collar for longer than one week for minor neck pain that is not aggravated by a sudden injury. Prolonged use will lead to squeezing and weakness of the neck muscles. Speak to the doctor about how long you need to wear a neck brace with excessive neck pain or a sudden fracture.
Wearing a cervical collar can be quite helpful for whiplash injury treatment. You need to make sure that you are practicing all the safety measures to wear a neck brace properly. Just follow your doctor’s advice because neck injuries like whiplash can worsen – if not treated properly.