Basic Collar Kinds for Cervical Orthotics

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Cervical collars, better known as neck braces, are oftentimes associated with debilitating injuries. Generally found strapped on people who have nearly had their necks broken due to a fall, or upon individuals who suffer from chronic pain brought about by injury to the neck or shoulder areas, it is also uncommonly employed to ensure some measure of safety for people who engage in extreme sports.

Types of cervical orthotics

Because of this, there is a number of cervical orthotics made available today, each made from specific types of materials and in differing grades of toughness and / or flexibility. The most common types of neck braces available on the market today are the rigid varieties made of hard lightweight plastic that is padded and soft on the inside. This primary form of cervical orthotics is most commonly employed for individuals who require overall neck and spinal support, usually in cases where there is severe injury to the neck; these are even employed as a recovery measure after neck and / or spinal injury.

Stiff or rigid neck braces often come in three distinct varieties: the run of the mill padded rigid collars, Halo neck support collars – which can only be removed and put on by professionals, CTO or Cervical Thoracic Orthosis neck support braces which support the neck and spine, Philadephia neck collars, which are extremely stiff and are attached using Velcro tapes (unlike Halos, these can be worn and removed with ease, although in most cases, these tend to stay on until otherwise removed by a physician), and lastly, SOMI neck braces which are extremely rigid and that prevents any degree of relative movement (even so much as twisting or bending the neck is prohibited by the device).

Each of these different types of rigid neck braces all fulfill a specific function, usually to correct spinal and thoracic injuries, or to provide support and stability needed to facilitate healing.

The second type of neck braces is a semi-rigid collar, which, like the rigid varieties, is made of extremely lightweight thermoplastic. Unlike the rigid types however, semi-rigid variants allow for some measure of movement (twists, slight bending upwards or downwards), and can be worn and removed even without the need for professional assistance. These are often employed for minor injuries or to otherwise provide support, which helps to correct posture or relieve pain from the neck and shoulders.

Lastly, there are soft collars made from a variety of different materials. These types allow for maximum movement and minimal support, and are typically made of foam or some other innovative ‘spongy’ composite material, which cushions the neck and provides just the right kind of support without being too much of a hassle for the wearer. Like semi-rigid collars, these too can be worn and removed with relative ease.

The need for cervical orthotics varies from person to person, depending on their specific needs and which often require professional assessment prior to any attempt at wearing (with the rare exception perhaps of sports collars and soft collars, which can easily be bought even without a doctor’s recommendation).

Where to get cervical orthotics?

If you’re looking for a cervical collar for a specific injury or have been recommended that you procure one by your doctor, then North Orthotics offers a wide range of soft and hard collars for you to choose from. They also supply custom Somi and Aspen collars that suit your specific needs. For more information, please visit their online product catalogue at:

Northern Orthotics Pty Ltd
MAIN CLINIC (Shop - by appointment)
394 Bell Street. Pascoe Vale South VIC 3044
Phone:  (03) 9354 5687

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