What is the role of a soft cervical collar in the treatment of cervical disc disease?

Updated: Apr 16, 2020
  • Author: Michael B Furman, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Dean H Hommer, MD  more...
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A soft cervical collar is recommended only for acute soft-tissue neck injuries and for short periods of time (ie, not to exceed 3-4 days' continuous use). Risks include limiting cervical ROM and losing neck strength if the collar is worn continuously for longer periods.

  • When worn for radiculopathy caused by foraminal stenosis, the wide part of the collar is placed posteriorly and the thin part is placed anteriorly to promote neck flexion, discourage extension, and open the intervertebral foramina.

  • Collars can be worn during certain activities, such as sleeping or driving, for longer periods.

  • Although not commonly used, a Philadelphia collar can be worn at night to position the neck rigidly in flexion, thereby maintaining open foramina.

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