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Collar for osteochondrosis of the cervical spine
Collar for osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Cervical osteochondrosis is a real scourge of the 21st century: the overwhelming majority of the world's population aged 40 and older, in one way or another, notices the symptoms of this chronic disease, which causes considerable discomfort in everyday life.

Unfortunately, every year it is becoming more and more "younger", choosing young people and adolescents as victims.

The first manifestations of the disease can make themselves felt already in middle or senior school age, especially if the child spends a lot of time at a desk or computer.

There are many reasons for this - a sedentary lifestyle, improper diet with a significant static load on the spine, constant stress and inability to relax.

Since it is impossible to completely cure osteochondrosis, doctors recommend that patients pay as much attention to prevention as possible - regularly do therapeutic exercises and massage, do not neglect swimming and yoga, choose comfortable furniture for the workplace and orthopedic accessories for sleeping.

Cervical collar for osteochondrosis: indications and contraindications

Therapy for cervical osteochondrosis is always complex, aimed at eliminating pain and preventing further exacerbations of the disease. During the period of remission, physiotherapy exercises provide a good effect. During an exacerbation, collars are used along with pharmaceuticals.

A properly selected orthopedic collar for osteochondrosis of the cervical spine helps to relieve some of the load from the spine, reduce discomfort and prevent further aggravation of the patient's condition.

There are several different types of collars used for problems in the cervical spine:

  • orthosis with rigid fixation;
  • cervical collar with soft fixation;
  • inflatable;
  • Shants collar.

How to determine which type of orthopedic collar is needed for a particular patient? The selection of the product is carried out exclusively by the vertebrologist: he objectively assesses the severity of the patient's condition and prescribes the appropriate treatment.

For example, with exacerbation of spondylosis and osteochondrosis, accompanied by severe pain, or after operations on the neck, a rigid orthosis is worn that is in contact only with the chin and chest: it relieves the cervical spine as much as possible. For minor injuries or manifestations of osteochondrosis without serious neurological pathologies, gentle soft collars are used.

Inflatable models are good because, due to the injection of air, they can significantly change the volume and stiffness, so they are easier to select than other types of collars that are strictly in size. But the most common option, often recommended by vertebrologists, is the Shants collar, which not only has a relaxing and supportive effect, but also gently massages, warms and stretches the cervical muscles.

How to wear a Shants collar with cervical osteochondrosis?

The Shants collar is never used as the main or only means of influencing problem areas of the cervical spine.

The indications for its use are as follows:

  • exacerbation of chronic diseases of the CS that are not accompanied by severe instability of the vertebrae (osteochondrosis, uncovertebroarthrosis, spondylosis);
  • torticollis in newborns;
  • pain in the muscles of the neck caused by strain or injury;
  • radiculitis SHOP;
  • myositis (inflammatory muscle disease accompanied by intense and prolonged pain in the affected area);
  • intervertebral hernia;
  • vertebral artery syndrome (a common pathology in which blood vessels are compressed by tense neck muscles and osteophytes - growths on the vertebrae);
  • the rehabilitation period after injuries or operations.

In addition, wearing a Shants collar for prophylactic purposes is indicated for people who daily expose their neck to unnatural stress. For example, the banal need to sit for 6-8 hours at a computer (and today many specialists work in this way) is associated with a non-physiological load on the musculoskeletal system, including the cervical spine.

To minimize the risk of developing osteochondrosis and other diseases, wear a collar while working - it will automatically give your neck an anatomically correct position. But for this you need to choose a product exactly in size, otherwise the harm from its use will be much greater than the benefit. Its height should correspond to the length of the neck between the lower jaw and the collarbone. When putting on the collar, make sure that it is snug enough to the neck, but does not squeeze soft tissue.

The frequency and duration of wearing is determined by the doctor, but in any case it should not be constant (otherwise there is a risk of gradual atrophy of the neck muscles). Usually, a standard scheme is used in which the patient puts on a collar every day for a short time, literally for 15-20 minutes, gradually increasing the wearing time to several hours, and then gradually decreasing it. During bathing, massage and other procedures, the product is removed.

Uncontrolled use of any orthopedic products can lead to the most dire consequences. Do you wear the Shants collar for too long, overtighten it or oversize when buying?

Do not be surprised if, instead of the expected improvement in well-being, you get characteristic dizziness, weakness, persistent headache, light-headedness, nausea, or vomiting. If this happens, immediately remove the collar and do not self-medicate: it is better to ask your doctor to choose a product in your size and show you how to use it safely. Before putting on, take a comfortable position (for example, sitting on an armchair or sofa), relax, make sure that the position of your head is straight.

Is a cervical collar effective for osteochondrosis?

With the correct selection and thoughtful wearing, orthopedic products, used simultaneously with analgesics, antispasmodics, chondroprotectors and anti-inflammatory drugs, can significantly improve the condition of a patient with osteochondrosis within a few days. They relieve tension from the upper spine and provide immobility when necessary (during treatment, the neck needs complete rest, any sudden movements can worsen the patient's condition), and also serve as reliable support for the chin and lower jaw.

But neither treatment nor prevention should be abused: the muscles should not only rest, but also exercise regularly.

As soon as the acute phase of the disease passes, you need to move on to strengthening the muscle corset - in this difficult and requiring a scrupulous approach, a rehabilitation program drawn up by a vertebrologist or neuropathologist will help, including special gymnastics with dosed loads and a special, sparing regimen of work and rest.

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