Finding the Best Neck Braces for Injuries and Post Surgery

Photo: Universal Pictures

Having a neck and upper spinal injury can happen literally at any given moment. The older you become, the more easily it can be to injure yourself. Sometimes, degenerative nature of aging is enough to cause neck pains. The plethora of injuries can range from something simple as a sneeze, a slip and fall, sleeping in an odd position, carrying something too heavy, or a car accident that may have resulted in a whiplash and caused your neck to be severely injured.

Regardless of whether it is a result of an injury or recovery from neck surgery, wearing a neck brace to help immobilizing your neck is necessary. However, before purchasing a neck brace, consult with your health care provider to make sure the correct neck brace is recommended for your particular ailment. Often times, your insurance will help pay for the neck brace but keep in mind that some neck braces are also available for direct consumer purchase at a fraction of what you would co-pay through your insurance, specifically those that are designed for post-surgery recovery.

There are many different neck braces available. The three main types are soft cervical collars, rigid neck brace to help limit your movement and cervical-thoracic neck braces.

Soft Cervical collars

Soft cervical collars are typically constructed with a simple soft foam collar, often times covered with a thin mesh-like fabric. The collar is then wrapped around the neck and has a Velcro closure that is secures in the back of the neck. The soft cervical collar has a slight dip in the front of the collar where your chin is and is slightly higher in the back of the neck. It is often used in minor injuries to limit mobility but of the three different types of collars, it has the most flexibility of them all. Some cervical soft collars are designed are air-pumped to adjust the firmness, tightness and height adjustment.

Rolyan-66280 Universal Contour Cervical Collar Brace

Rolyan-66280 Universal Contour Cervical Collar Brace, Cream Color, 2″

This soft cervical collar comes in 2 different heights, 2 inches and 3 inches. It is made with a non-latex material, soft foam with a spinet fabric to reduce friction of the skin.

Rigid Neck Brace

A rigid neck brace comes in two panels; the front and back and is made from molded plastic with Velcro straps that can be adjusted for tightness and fit. Both of the panels have removable cotton padded linings. The rigid neck brace is intended to provide restricted movement of the cervical spine. The two most common designs are the Philadelphia collar and Miami-J neck brace.

Apsen Vista Cervical Collar

Aspen Vista Cervical Collar, 2-Piece Rigid Neck Brace for Restricting Cervical Motion, 984000

The best one in the market in terms of structure, comfort and pricing is by far the Aspen Vista cervical collar. Considered to be a Philadelphia collar in terms of structure. Unlike many rigid neck brace, the Aspen Vista cervical collar has 6 level height adjustment that can be easily adjusted to your level of comfort. Injuries arranging from herniated discs of the vertebrae to recovering from more sever neck injuries, the Aspen Vista is incredibly comfortable. Comfort is important because often times, the recovery period can last between 4 weeks to 6 months and in some case, indefinitely. It is not only light in weight but its sturdy while helping to alleviate the neck pains.

Ossur Miami J Cervical Neck Collar

Ossur Miami J Cervical Neck Collar – Relieves Pain & Pressure on Spine | C-Spine Vertebrae Immobilizer | Semi-Rigid Pads for Patient Comfort | MJ-500 Tall

The Ossure Miami J cervical neck brace is equally as impressive. It is the go-to rigid cervical collar that the Neurosurgery department at John Hopkins’ uses on their patients after spinal cervical surgery. So if it is good enough for one of the best hospital in the country, than we have no choice but to recommend this neck brace. The design is slightly different with the same functionality of a rigid neck brace. It also is a 2 panel feature, is sturdy, comfortably, the height adjustment knobs are on the sides.

Cervical-thoracic neck and back braces

Cervical thoracic neck and back braces are designed for injuries or fusion surgeries of the neck and upper back. A cervical-thoracic brace is intended to restrict the neck and upper back movement.

Minerva Orthosis Cervical Thoracic Halo Brace

Minerva Orthosis Cervical Thoracic Halo Brace-S/M

This is one of the most restrictive yet most comfortable neck and back brace in the market. The halo design is one of the best constructed cervical-thoracic braces but it is also one of the heaviest weighing around two pounds. This neck-back brace will definitely restrict any neck movement what so ever. It is a two-panel design with foam liners for comfort.