Most people who wear neck braces or cervical collars have been in automobile accidents or have injured themselves playing sports, and need to protect their necks and lower backs. The sport of motocross would lend itself to the wearing of braces in order to prevent injuries.
Sometimes a brace must be worn after surgery. A much less common reason to wear a neck brace is if you have a chronic condition that requires you to wear one when you walk in order to prevent migraine headaches. By keeping the head from moving and by supporting the shoulders and letting them rest on the brace instead of the neck, a brace will help the neck to heal better from an injury.
A brace will also keep your bones aligned which will help them heal properly in case your injury is a broken cervical vertebra. If you have a sprained neck, which is the result of stretched or torn ligaments, a neck brace will also help you to heal by keeping it still. There are many different types of neck braces. Each of them works best for a specific type of problem related to the spine.
The two major types of neck braces are rigid, soft, and the cervical collar. The rigid braces are not as uncomfortable as they look, because they are padded on the inside. As a general rule, the rigid brace is necessary for more severe injuries and needs to be worn for longer periods of time. The soft brace is usually used for strained or sprained muscles or ligaments. The rigid brace is usually used for broken bones.
If you are going to need to wear a brace on your neck, you will need to put it on properly. Your doctor will tell you how to do this. Two things that you will want to do, in addition to following your doctor's directions, are to wash your neck with antibacterial soap, and wash your foam pads daily. By keeping your neck and the pads scrupulously clean, you will keep your brace clean also. A correctly worn brace will give you a feeling of support while you are wearing without making you feel that you are suffocating.