Term of Award

Spring 2003

Degree Name

Master of Science

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Public Health

Committee Chair

Bryan L. Riemann

Committee Member 1

A. Barry Joyner

Committee Member 2

Barry Munkasy


Objective: The purpose of this study was to quantify the amount of cervical range of motion (ROM) that occurred during application of a rigid cervical immobilization collar and the amount of cervical active range of motion (AROM) available after application.

Design and Setting: We evaluated the amount of cervical ROM that occurs during application of four commonly used rigid cervical collars. Following application, we assessed the quantity of allowable AROM in supine and seated positions.

Subjects: Seventeen clinicians applied each of the four properly sized collars, three times, to both a small and medium sized model. The four collars used were the StifNeck Select (SNS), Necloc (NL), Vacuum Immobilizer (VI), and StifNeck (SN).

Measurements: During application, peak angular displacement (PAD), total linear distance (TLD), total angular distance (TAD), and application time were recorded. PAD was also recorded during the supine and seated ROM testing.

Results: Significant differences (p < .01) between collars were noted during collar application for application time, TLD, and TAD. SN and SNS were applied significantly faster and with significantly less TLD and TAD than the VI and the NL cervical collar. The NL was applied significantly faster and with significantly less TLD and TAD than the VI. During supine and seated ROM tests, there was a significant difference between collars for cervical flexion/extension, lateral rotation, and lateral flexion.

Conclusion: Proper collar selection and application is of critical importance to prevent secondary injury to the cervical spine. The ideal collar can be applied rapidly with no cervical movement and adequately minimizes cervical motion once applied. Based on our results, the SN and SNS are the optimal collars for use by athletic trainers. They were applied with the least motion, provided superior restriction during ROM testing, and were applied in the fastest time. They also are the least expensive and were rated the easiest to apply by the clinicians.

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