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How to Sleep With a Cervical Collar

author image Jacques Courseault
As a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician I have extensive experience in musculoskeletal/neurological medicine that will benefit the network.

A cervical collar is to be worn after neck injury or surgery to prevent excessive movement of the neck and to allow it to heal, according to the Ohio State University Medical Center. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) further states that soft collars allow the muscles of the neck to rest and heal by limiting their motion. Although cervical collars can help your neck injury, long-term immobilization may decrease the strength of your neck muscles and cause neck stiffness. In addition, you must use caution when sleeping with a cervical collar to avoid excessive movement and potential injury. Therefore, follow these guidelines to safely sleep with a cervical collar.

Step 1

Sleep with a pillow under your shoulders to make sure your neck is in alignment with your upper back. Allow slight extension of the neck. Avoid sleeping on your side or on your stomach.

Step 2

Ask your nurse or home attendant for assistance when getting out of bed. Keep your shoulders in alignment with your neck and “logroll” to get out of bed.

Step 3

Sleep in a recliner chair if sleeping in a bed is too uncomfortable. Allow your chair to recline to 45 degrees to reduce the weight of your head on your neck. Slowly get up and out of the chair when you need to.

Step 4

Ask for help from your nurse or home attendant when removing or cleaning your cervical collar. Never remove to go to sleep, unless advised by your doctor.

Step 5

Alert your doctor if you are having difficulty sleeping. He may change the type of collar you are wearing or prescribe a medication that will improve your sleep.

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