Head Supports Provide A Range Of Stability For Control & Comfort
Certain conditions require the use of head supports which offer better support than typical neck braces. These supports often use a cervical orthosis that provides support around the neck, incorporating the stability of the shoulders, chest, or a body support called a TLSO – thoraco lumbar support orthosis.
Damage to neck muscles from injuries find support from a wide selection of neck collars ranging from soft to rigid. These can help support the neck muscles, provide warmth and help healing by restricting motion to one degree or another.
Certain conditions represent a loss of control of the neck muscles from neuromuscular disease, resulting in head drop syndrome or spasm of muscles pulling the head in a poor posture.
ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease that is progressive in nature. Individuals with ALS may have weakness of the extensor muscles of the neck and can not hold their head up. Other conditions like Parkinson’s, Brain Injuries, Cervical Dystonia and Muscular Dystrophy cause conditions that result in drop head syndrome or spastic pulling of the head into different directions. Some conditions like congenital muscular torticollis can be corrected with the use of specifically designed head supports.
Head supports can be strictly supportive, like the Headmaster Collar and Savant Headrest for wheelchair users, while other supports provide an aspect of restoration or correction like the Tot Collar, Torticollis Brace, Canadian Collar and the Head Support System and are called neuro-regenerative supports. These allow a measure of progressive adjustment or resistance, offering a rehabilitative aspect.
Types Of Head Supports
The Tot Collar can be used for children and adults. While it is a restorative collar for children, the adults support is milder. It offers a wide range of adjustability to accommodate different ranges of support through the use of soft tubing and firm struts for support and correction.
The Canadian Collar also employs struts that come in different sizes, however, the support also includes a chin piece and a chest brace to disperse the head support. These tube based head supports are affordable and very adjustable. The tubing can be made more comfortable by using moleskin on the areas that contact the skin.
The Headmaster Collar is a popular head support used by many with ALS. It employs a tube type collar covered in comfortable fabric. Like the Canadian Collar, it uses a chin piece, however, it is padded. The collar is adjustable by bending by hand for a custom fit and comes with accessories the are added to the collar to modify the function for comfort and better control. Unlike the Canadian Collar, The Headmaster Collar does not use struts for height adjustments, opting for direct manual manipulations. It has a spring to it making it comfortable for speaking as well as eating.
Another head support is the Savant Support for wheelchair users. It offers 3 padded contact points and a headband for secure control and comfort. Using the Axion Rotary hardware assembly, the entire headrest can be rotated freely by the user, or fixed to compensate for head turning problems. It can be used with fixed hardware systems or with removable handle bar or cane mount systems.
The Head Support system uses a padded body support around the chest and back which incorporates a flexible rod in the back that connects to a variety of head support systems for specific control. The flexible rod is adjustable for level of support and resistance offering support while sitting as well as standing.
The Torticollis Brace supports the head in a specific posture by use of a shoulder pad and chest strap. This, like the Head Support System offers flexible and adjustable support that is restorative as well as supportive.
Another option in head supports is the Drop Head Support, which incorporates a flexible band system allowing freedom of motion and minimal contact for comfort and stability. The system also uses a cap, like a baseball cap as an option to the band.
Head supports offer a wide range of options for support, control and rehabilitation for those conditions requiring mild, moderate or firm support. They have a range of affordability, with most being very affordable and covered by health care insurance.
ALS Head Supports
At NeckSolutions, we are pleased to offer a nice range of support for head control. Many users have ALS, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease. While we do not know the cause or have a cure for this condition, research, innovation and a lot of caring will hopefully provide solutions and make these head supports obsolete. In the meantime, we support and work with the ALS Society.
ALS affects individuals between 40 and 70 years of age, although younger ages can be affected. Much attention has been brought to this condition by the Bucket Challenge. On average, 30,000 individuals in the United Stated will have ALS, with 5000 new cases each year. It affects all socioeconomic, ethnic and race groups alike.
ALS poses many challenges for both health care professionals and patients in attempts to slow progression of the disease. It greatly affects the quality of life for both patients and caregivers. We have seen that offering a variety of head supports can make a big difference in quality of life for many sufferers and caregivers and are very pleased to be working with caring and innovative companies that design, produce the head supports as well as work with Physical and Occupational therapists that help these individuals.