Effect of hair and clothing on neck immobilization using a cervical collar

Chih Hsien Chi, Fong Gong Wu, Shu Hui Tsai, Chun Hsiang Wang, Susan A. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


An important step during spine immobilization is application of a cervical collar. Clothing or hair covering the neck may impinge on this process. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of clothing and hair covering the neck on immobilization using a cervical collar. Study participants were 18 female volunteers with long hair aged 20 to 28 years. Cervical range of motion (ROM) was tested in 6 directions (flexion, extension, right and left lateral bending, right and left axial rotation) using a cervical ROM (CROM) device. After measuring unrestricted ROM (no cervical collar), a 1-piece rigid cervical collar was placed the neck (1) covered by hair and clothing; (2) covered by clothing; (3) covered by hair; or (4) uncovered. Range of motion was retested under all 4 conditions. Data were compared using crossover-design analysis of variance (P < .05 statistically significant). Range of motion in all directions was significantly restricted by cervical collar placement under all conditions. Unrestricted ROM in all directions ranged from 41.50° (7.25°) to 70.76° (15.4°). In contrast, ROM with a cervical collar under the 4 conditions in all directions ranged from 10.80° (5.10°) to 18.81° (7.37°). We were unable to detect any significant differences in ROM between the 4 conditions. Our data suggest that long hair and clothing, which cover the neck, do not alter the effectiveness of cervical collar immobilization as measured by the cervical ROM device.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-390
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine


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