Volume 51 Number 2, 2014
Pages 297 — 304
Abstract — This article describes an inexpensive elastic head support for persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and neck muscle weakness and also presents a case series to examine its effectiveness. The device offers support to the head while the user is seated, standing, and walking, providing support for persons in various stages of ALS. The head support system was tested in seven male patients with ALS. Before and after the 2 wk trial, the subjects answered questions related to their communication efficacy, difficulty swallowing, level of neck discomfort, number of hours being upright before neck discomfort, comfort in social settings, and rating of perceived dyspnea. Subjects also answered specific questions related to the elastic head support after the 2 wk trial. The results suggested that the elastic head support is useful for some, but not all, patients.
Key words: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, braces, cervical orthosis, elastic head support, head, neck, neck muscle weakness, orthotic devices, range of motion, rehabilitation.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Wednesday, May 7, 2014 10:16 AM