Q: My father is having a problem with the blood flow to his head due to spondylosis. The doctor has asked to put a cervical collar on the neck, but the problem has got intensified after that. He also feel giddiness sometimes because of this, so should he continue to wear it. I also want to know that how long will this problem persist and what precautions should be taken?
A:If the problem is intensified by wearing a cervical brace, then the brace should be discontinued. A cervical brace is often useful in active patients with cervical spondylosis in order to limit excessive motion. But it cannot be helpful in all the cases. Same is the case with all the other conservative modalities of treatment. Each treatment is tailored according to the patient. I would just list the common treatment modalities used for cervical spondylosis. 1) Massage, ice, aspirin (other pain killers) and periods of rest. 2) Physical therapy - isometric exercises of shoulder and neck- ideally under supervision of a physical therapist. 3) Traction - the pain and symptoms of cervical spondylosis are usually due to compression and hence traction would certainly help most of the patients. 4) Minimize or relieve tension. 5) Postural aspects of neck pain can be treated with frequent changes in neck position and changes in work area to prevent fatigue and encourage good posture. 6) If the pain and neurological symtoms don't improve by conservative treatment, surgery can be helpful. In order to mantain good circulation of blood, avoid smoking, tobacco, fatty food, check cholesterol and do regular exercises.