Neck Weakness

Headmaster Collar for ALS Patients
Headmaster Collar for ALS Patients

Some clients with ALS will experience neck weakness, and as a result, head drop, which can affect their balance, vision, and comfort, and increase their risk of falls. Discuss neck positioning strategies with clients. If clients are looking for support, especially when they are in an upright position during transfers or ambulating, they may consider cervical collars.

Clients may experience difficulty with swallowing due to neck weakness. It is not recommended for clients to wear a cervical collar while eating, as it may affect jaw movement. Clients can try supporting their head with their other hand. It would also be important to speak to the SLP for other swallowing strategies.

See the Head and Neck Positioning Recommendations handout below for more information.

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This is specialized equipment requiring experience to prescribe. You are encouraged to consult the neuromuscular clinic OT or PT treating your patient  before ordering if you do not have significant experience in these specialized areas.

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