Using a Cervical Collar and Managing Daily Tasks

Simple, daily activities can be difficult but there are some easy tips you can use. Wearing a cervical collar can make simple things like eating and grooming yourself very challenging.

  • Your orthopedist or someone at the hospital will need to demonstrate how to put the neck brace cervical collar on and take it off.  Get to know your neck brace, like where the fasteners are.  Know how to adjust it to fit you perfectly.
  • The clothes you wear should be chosen appropriately.  If you need to wear a neck collar, you won’t be able to get a pull over shirt or top over your head.  It is best to wear a shirt that has buttons or a zipper down the front.  You also may not be able to see what you are doing, so it is best to stand in front of a mirror to button your pants or shirt.
  • When you first start using your collar, moving around may be difficult.  Practice movement while wearing it so you can move more comfortably. Just like with shoes, you need to get used to wearing it or “break it in”.
  • Eating while wearing a cervical collar is difficult since you may not be able to see your plate properly because the neck brace may hinder your view when looking downwards.  There are two easy fixes for this.  The first one is to move your plate away from you and the second is to move your chair away from the table. The choice is yours.
  • Do not eat things that are big like a multilevel sandwich.  Opening your mouth to eat with a collar on may make a mess. Flat things like a small sandwich are better.
  • Your skin care regimen may need to change.  If you use a face pack, you won’t be able to put it on your chin unless you take the collar off.  Do not take the collar off unless your physician has approved this because you, like some people, may need to use a neck brace around the clock.
  • Long hair with a collar is not recommended because it can become an annoyance.  Shorter hair may be a better choice if you wear a cervical collar.
  • You also will not be able to wash your face properly with a cervical collar on.  You can wipe it down using wipes or a washcloth with soap.
  • You will need to move carefully because when you look up or down you won’t be able to see what is at your sides. Peripheral vision is hindered with the use of a cervical neck support, even though they are beneficial in many ways.
  • When you go shopping, you will not be able to reach the top shelf but there are people who are willing to help you get things down.
  • Rather than taking the steps, take an elevator only because looking down is difficult when you’re wearing a neck support brace for neck pain relief.

You can still win the battle even with the many difficulties you may have while wearing a neck brace.  It’s the little things that make a big difference so you can have the best of both worlds. Get the health benefits of a neck brace and win against the hindrances of wearing one. It’s a balance of the positive and the negative.  They both win.