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Old 05-11-2008, 09:57 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: tx
Posts: 233
ember919 HB User
Re: Driving after ACDF

Originally Posted by Wymom94 View Post
Can I ask how you managed driving w/o your collar on? While riding as a passenger, the neck brace gives me great comfort. I get nervous about being rear ended or getting 'clipped', whatever might jolt my neck in the car, and wearing the collar makes me feel safe should something like that occur.
My surgeon was of the "no brace" belief, so I had only a soft foam collar to wear for times when I felt it would make me more comfortable. He said it was more for my own mental anxiety, though, than it was for any real physical support. I was encouraged to wear it as little as possible, but you can believe I definitely wore it while driving!

Since it was just a soft collar, I was still able to turn my much as the neck pain would allow. At first, I'd start to turn my head just out of habit and hurt myself so badly I'd be driving through tears. I very quickly learned to turn my whole body, but that, of course, was just plain dangerous while driving.

When my friend suggested the mirrors thing, I was very dubious and it was tricky getting used to. However, if you can manage a little "practice" somewhere with parked cars and learn to TRUST what you see in the mirrors, it really, honestly, will keep you from 99% of all that painful/awkward movement. I still drive with my mirrors like that now and my husband, who suffers from back pain, has adopted the same style.

I was nervous about driving and riding for a probably about two months. (maybe longer? time fades those fears.....) Same as you, worried all the time about having some sort of impact. I think it's perfectly natural, under the circumstances.

If you think it will help your peace of mind at all, you can probably find a foam collar at a drugstore or pharmacy and maybe wear that while driving.

Good luck. Hope the driving gets easier for you.