Some instances of neck pain, especially discomfort resulting from an injury, are treated by temporarily wearing a neck brace or collar, which may also be worn to minimize pain from structural issues with bones or joints. As with any immobility device, proper use and placement is important. Beverly Hills spine surgery specialists explain how to properly use a neck brace.
Make Sure It Fits Snugly
Whether a neck brace is one piece, two pieces, or worn with an accompanying vest, the fit needs to be snug enough to offer the necessary support. A common Miami J collar with Velcro straps and rigid plastic on the outside should be worn so:
- Your neck isn’t able to move
- The soft padding is against your skin
- Your chin does not slip inside the brace
Follow the Wearing Instructions
Your doctor will provide specific wearing instructions. A neck brace is normally worn night and day to minimize movement and prevent further injury or reinjury. If you’re able to temporarily remove the brace while showering, dry your neck completely before placing it on again. Avoid using powders or lotions because they may damage the pads.
Periodically Clean the Brace
A removable cervical collar should be cleaned at least once a day. While the brace is off, check your skin for signs of irritation. The brace itself should be cleaned with mild soap and water. Make sure the brace is dry before placing it back on in the same position.
Though a neck brace is meant to be snug, it should never be uncomfortable. Braces recommended by a doctor are custom fitted to increase comfort when worn. If you experience discomfort or pain, let your board-certified physician know.
Neck braces can be either soft or rigid. Softer braces are used to control movement after injuries such as whiplash, and rigid bracing is used to create traction by pulling the spine in opposing directions to correct abnormal curvature.
If you are experiencing pain in your neck or back, get in touch with the professional spine surgeons at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. We specialize in a wide variety of procedures, including the spinal decompression, cervical artificial disc replacement, and transforaminal interbody fusion Beverly Hills patients have received over the years. Call 310-828-7757 today for more information.