The incidence of painful conditions of the cervical spine is considerable. Various diagnoses are assigned on the basis of the history, physical findings, and roentgenographic findings. These include cervical osteoarthritis, whiplash injury to the cervical spine, fractures of the cervical spine or spinous processes, cervical syndrome, scapulocostal syndrome, discogenic disease or damage, brachialgia stiff-neck syndrome, herniated cervical disk, trapezius myositis, torticollis, and cervical radiculitis. Various types of treatment have been in use for some time. These include medication with aspirin and its derivatives and with the newer muscle relaxant drugs; physical therapy (diathermy, microthermy, galvanism, and other methods); cervical traction; paravertebral blocks; various braces for immobilizing the neck (Thomas Collar, Hittenberger Cervical Brace, Forrester Collar, Lewin Cotton Collar, Victoria Collar); and molded cervical supports of varying types. How helpful these methods are depends on the severity of the condition.
Use of a specially constructed cervical support with a heating pad