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Spinal Bracing: A Treatment Option for Whiplash

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Whiplash is very treatable, and very often, the first treatment tried is a cervical brace, also known as a cervical collar. The brace will provide support to your neck as the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, etc.) heal from the whiplash injury. Those soft tissues are supposed to help support your neck, but of course, when they're injured, they can't do their job very well. That's where the brace is very useful.

Cervical braces or collars limit movement and support your head, taking the load off your neck. This gives your muscles a chance to rest while healing. (Lying down has a similar effect.)

Your doctor will let you know how long you have to wear the brace. Generally, whiplash patients need to wear a brace for at least two to three weeks. Your doctor or a nurse will also explain how to wear the collar: how many hours every day, how to care for the collar, how to handle daily activities such as showering, etc.

Your symptoms should subside in two to three weeks, but if you still have pain, muscle soreness, or other whiplash symptoms, your doctor may have you try other treatment options.

 

neck brace

 

Updated on: 02/01/10
Jason M. Highsmith, MD
This article was reviewed by Jason M. Highsmith, MD.
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