[originally published in KCN, December 2009]
Ever so often I will spot someone wearing a brace around their neck. To be clear, I’m not talking about the rigid neck braces that EMT’s and paramedics employ to stabilize a suspected neck injury when they arrive on an accident scene. I’m talking about the soft, usually white, neck-supporting collars that are worn by people who are suffering from neck pain. These devices are often prescribed by well-meaning doctors, or are purchased by patients themselves at local pharmacies as a form of self-care for neckache. And while they look official, the irony is that they don’t do a bit of good. In fact, according to most research, they actually do more harm than good!