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Whiplash » Neck collars for whiplash

For soft tissue sprains to the neck following a whiplash injury, occasionally a neck collar is used or recommended by a doctor or hospital. This immobilises the neck which theoretically allows it time to heal and recover without being put under additional strain through movement which could further tear the neck muscles.

Immobilise the neck with a collar or keep it moving without?

In the past, whiplash injuries were treated with an immobilising collar and restricting movement was the most popular approach to treating a neck injury amongst the medical establishment. More recently, however, practitioners have moved to the view that movement should be encouraged to keep the neck supple and flexible.

Soft collars (cervical orthosis), as opposed to hard collars, are still recommended for short-term or intermittent use in particularly bad cases where the neck muscles have been badly damaged due to whiplash. The approach is passive compared to early exercise and mobilisation, but provides support and prevents muscle fatigue.

Heated soft neck collars

A heated physio neck collar can be extremely helpful for whiplash or a stiff neck, and many versions can be heated up in a microwave. A lot of neck pain can be completely relieved with heat without the need for any kind of sturdy neck collar at all.

Exercises to keep the neck supple with and without a collar

Generally, practitioners will not advise against a return to work for those suffering from whiplash or those wearing a neck collar for neck pain. Gentle exercises such as walking with a collar can actually help to keep the spine and neck mobile and responsive while returning to its former health. For those not wearing a collar, daily neck exercises like moving the head as if to say yes, no and maybe, can help to retrain the muscles.

Personal injury whiplash and neck injury compensation

Most whiplash injuries heal relatively quickly, but if left untreated, they can have huge physical and emotional repercussions. Cervical vertebrae compaction, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and damage to the nervous system resulting in mobility and functionality issues can also be a result of a whiplash injury.

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