Halo Neck Brace History and Facts

*A halo neck brace…….encouraged to be as mobile as possible*

History of the Halo Neck Brace

Halo Neck Brace

Image via Flickr with no known copyright restrictions

Bed-based spinal traction for the treatment of cervical spinal injuries has been around since the 1930s, with the halo concept first introduced in the 1950s. Perry and Nickel introduced the first halo neck brace in 1959. The halo technique provides you with the needed force to immobilize your head and neck while also letting you be mobile and more comfortable. Previously, patients who used bed-based traction suffered from muscle-wasting and pressure sores. The modern-day halo is lightweight and offers minimal patient discomfort with a low complication rate.

Common Causes of Cervical Spine Injuries

Cervical spine injuries can be caused by the following:

  • Violence or trauma.
  • Motor-vehicle accidents.
  • Trip-and-fall accidents.
  • Sports or athletic accidents.
  • Tumors.
  • Infections.

A neck injury may result in subluxations, dislocations, fractures, or any combination of the three. You can also injure the joints and ligaments in your neck, causing the cervical spine to be unstable, increasing the risk of damage. Typically, the higher the point of injury on the spine, the higher the amount of lost function, which can sometimes be permanent. Any neck injury needs to be assessed and diagnosed by a medical professional. They will perform a thorough exam, including your medical history, physical examination of your injury, and imaging, such as X-rays and MRIs.

Halo Neck Brace Usage Guidelines

A halo neck brace is used to support the muscles around the neck while keeping your head in the proper alignment while your spinal cord injury in the cervical area heals. Once a halo brace has been placed, you will often return home and resume regular activities with a few adaptations.

You’ll need to avoid any strenuous activities, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise at all. In fact, most health care professionals recommend that you try to walk a little each day to stay active. You will need to move carefully to avoid tripping or falling and further injuring yourself. If you fall, return to your health care professional immediately to ensure that the halo has not been damaged or bumped out of place.

Eating and drinking can be difficult when using a halo neck brace. You may want to consider using a straw for beverages to make drinking easier. You will also want to cut your food into smaller pieces to aid in chewing and swallowing. Soft foods are also a good choice when using a halo. You can expect to wear the halo neck brace for six to 12 weeks, depending on the severity of your injuries or the extent of your surgery.

*Sleeping with a Halo Neck Brace……strenuous activities until doctor approves.*

If you or someone you love has suffered a cervical neck injury and is being considered for a halo neck brace, reach out to the knowledgeable team at Scheck & Siress. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have, go over the care of your halo neck brace, or set you up for a fitting. You can reach us at 866-299-6205 or request an appointment online via our secure messaging system.