An Introduction To Spine and Neck Injuries
Everyday experience informs us that the neck is an important part of the body, with functions which range from movement, to support, to assisting in the swallowing of food. It therefore comes as no surprise that the neck is also an extremely complex part of the anatomy, with many muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels, as well as the esophagus and other structures. Many types of injuries, which can damage (fracture) the bones or stretch the muscles and connective tissues of the neck can be complex and painful to treat. As one of the primary functions of the neck is to support the head in its mobility, neck braces can be required to relieve some of the pressure and forces on the neck in order to promote its healing when injured.
One commonly used type of neck brace (also known as cervical collars, cervix being another word for "neck" ) is a halo brace. A halo neck brace enhances a person's mobility by reducing the amount of time that they need to spend in bed, and helps to support the neck and head. Although products vary, in general "halo" braces are ring-shaped, and secures the head to the rest of the body. It is attached to a separate vest worn on the body, which is suitable to bear the weight of the brace. In general, three to four metal wires hold up the "halo" to provide stabilization and support. The types of halo brace products available vary, and can generally be categorized as either soft or rigid braces. Soft halo braces have a cotton coating and rubber support, while a rigid neck brace is typically constructed from harder plastic in order to restrict the movement of the neck to ensure prompt healing.
Patients should receive information on the proper use of a halo brace from their physician, typically an orthopedic surgeon. With appropriate usage of a halo brace or other back support products and neck support products, patients can minimize the pain of neck injuries and accelerate healing.