When should a cervical collar be used to treat neck pain?
Neck pain is one of the most prevalent and costly health problems in the United States . Among US residents, 50–70% will experience neck pain at least once in their lives, as many as one-third are affected each year, and about 10% suffer from neck pain at any given time
Although, cervical collars are a seemingly benign intervention, they can have adverse effects, especially when used for longer periods of time. It is feared that a long period of immobilization, can result in atrophy-related secondary damage. Atrophy-related secondary damage after immobilization in closed plaster casts has been described in muscle, bone, capsular, and tendinous tissue. Animal experiments have shown that structural changes can be detected in healthy muscle tissue after an immobilization period of only 1 week .
As far as possible try not to use a cervical collar to manage neck pain. When it is prescribed by your doctor, don’t wear it for longer than 10 days.
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