Prolotherapy for Neck Pain and Cervical Instability

Very few clinics in the world specialize in regenerative treatments for painful neck conditions and cervical spine instability: Caring Medical is one of them! These cases are among those that we are the most passionate about, in part, because the transformations we see in our patients are often nothing short of awesome! Conditions such as post-whiplash, post-concussion, and radiculopathy can devastate a person’s ability to work and function normally. However, they typically respond beautifully to just a few Prolotherapy treatments. Our providers work with patients to carefully detail the extent of the instability through motion imaging, and determine which Prolotherapy solutions, as well as other cervical stabilizing and realignment techniques, will offer the best chance at permanently alleviating pain and other symptoms. Whether you have recently been in an auto accident and experiencing symptoms or have struggled with neck pain for years and want to find a more curative treatment and avoid cervical fusion surgery, our specialists can help! Navigate through the sections below for lots of neck pain information or get help from our medical staff now.

Types of Neck Ligament Injuries

types of neck injuries treated with Prolotherapy




Symptoms caused by Cervical Instability

  • Anxiety
  • Balance difficulty
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Crepitation
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dizziness
  • Drop attacks
  • Dysphagia
  • Ear pain
  • Fatigue
  • Feel the need to crack the neck
  • Headaches
  • Inability to “hold” an adjustment
  • Irritability
  • Lightheadedness
  • Memory problems
  • Migraines
  • Muscle tightness/spasms
  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Neck pain / stiffness / soreness
  • Paresthesias
  • Radiating pain into arms and/or shoulders
  • Speech disturbances
  • Temporary relief with neck brace
  • Tinnitus
  • Vertigo
  • Visual disturbances


These symptoms can be signs of the cervical neck pain conditions caused by cervical instability which also respond very well to comprehensive Prolotherapy treatments.




Chronic Conditions caused by Cervical Neck Instability

Cervical
Instability
Radiculopathy
Whiplash-
associated
disorder
Neck
pain
Post-
concussion
syndrome
Cervicocranial
syndrome
Spondylosis
Headaches
Stenosis
Vertebrobasilar
insufficiency




The Horrific Progression of Neck Degeneration
with Unresolved Cervical Instability

cervical instability progession

Cervical instability is a progressive disorder causing a normal lordotic curve to end up as an “S” or “Snake” curve with crippling degeneration.






Whole Body Effects of Cervical Instability

Cervical instability can influence the nervous system of the whole body and thus every tissue.

cervical instability effects




Prolotherapy Treatment for Cervical Neck Pain

The ligaments that hold the cervical vertebrae in alignment can be damaged via a sudden trauma, such as a whiplash or concussion, or through the slow stretching of ligaments, known as creep. This can be attributed to extended hours of poor posture in front of a computer or smartphone, or other position that slowly stretches the ligaments.


cervical ligament creep


Cervical instability causes the facet joints to move too much and this can cause pinched nerves, headaches, vertigo, and drop attacks, among other symptoms. This movement can clearly be seen by using Digital Motion X-ray (DMX) technology. It allows the practitioner and the patient to observe the vertebrae movement as the patient moves his or her neck through the full range of motion. DMX is an excellent tool for assistance to diagnose the problem and is often recommended for patients instead of a static x-ray or MRI. Motion studies and physical exam indicates to the Prolotherapist which areas are causing the patient’s symptoms and direct the course of treatment.





Digital Motion X-ray of Neck Showing Pinched Nerve from Cervical Instability

Notice the neural foramina obstruction during lateral extension on this patient which resolves with neck flexion. When this peatient extended his neck, gapping of the facet joints from capsular ligament laxity causes cervical nerves to get pinched, causing severe pain down his arm. Prolotherapy resolved his cervical instability and the associated symptoms.


dmx neck pinched nerve





Prolotherapy is an extremely safe and effective treatment for chronic neck pain and instability because it strengthens the ligaments that are weak and causing the pain. The injections restart the body’s natural healing cascade to the weakened structures that otherwise have a poor blood supply and have ceased being able to repair on their own. It is like supplying construction workers who are waiting at the site with the right tools to complete the job. Each treatment builds upon itself, and as the tissue strengthens the patient notices fewer symptoms and increased stability. Typically, a few treatments are needed to permanently restore the integrity of the ligaments so the symptoms are fully resolved and the patient is back to full activities.





Prolotherapy to the Cervical Facet Joints

Prolotherapy is the treatment of choice when cervical instability is the cause of a patient’s chronic neck pain, headaches, migraines, vertigo, ringing in the ears, and other symptoms of cervicocranial syndrome. By stabilizing the vertebral motion, Prolotherapy resolves the impingement of the cervical sympathetic ganglion and the resultant symptoms.


prolotherapy facet joints





Why “Comprhehensive” Prolotherapy makes the most sense

Our specialists utilize the comprehensive technique called Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapy, which means the entire neck area is treated, not just one or two injections. Just as a loose hinge on a door begins to affect the adjacent hinges, injured ligaments mean the surrounding ligament structures of the neck have been under added stress. In the long term, this not only results in worsening symptoms, but also increasing damage to the discs.





Degenerative Door Cascade compared to the Cervical Disc Deterioration Process

The process of disc deterioration begins with a single capsular ligament injury and ends with multi-level Degenerative Disc Disease. Prolotherapy is successful because it addresses the root cause of the arthritic cascade which is cervical instability.


disc deterioration process





When you understand spinal instability, it only makes sense to address all of these areas versus only targeting a couple structures. In our experience, this technique provides superior patient results. When it comes to patients who have already begun to lose their lordotic curve, we may utilize additional protocols, including cervical weights to help restore a proper curve. Our treatment protocols are tailored to each patient’s specific needs.

Our team is accustomed to very complicated cases, so please do not assume all hope is lost for you, even if you have seen 10 other specialists. You are probably a more “normal” case for us than you think. Reach out and tell us more about what you are dealing with, and we will review your case to see if you sound like a good fit for our centers. Remember, our motto is “Hope practiced here.” And we stand by that!






Our Research on the use of Prolotherapy for Cervical Neck Pain

In our observational study of patients with unresolved neck pain who were treated with dextrose prolotherapy at an outpatient charity clinic in rural Illinois patients showed substantial improvement in numerous outcome measures. The complete study and results can be read here: Hauser R, et al. Dextrose Prolotherapy for unresolved neck pain. Practical Pain Management. 2007;October:56-69.

NECK PAIN LEVELS
5.6
Average pain level BEFORE Prolotherapy
2.3
Average pain level AFTER Prolotherapy

Pain scale is 1-10 where 1 = no pain & 10 = unrelenting pain.


We get patient satisfaction results. 97% of patients in this study felt that Prolotherapy changed their life for the better and 99% have since recommended Prolotherapy to someone else.




Our other studies on regenerative treatment outcomes for cervical neck pain





Patient Success Stories using Prolotherapy for Cervical Neck Pain


Cervical Fusion

MR received a cervical fusion after falling from a ladder, but symptoms worsened despite fusion and rehabilitation. Three years later he undertook Prolotherapy, and after his initial treatment, MR had relief from headaches, dizziness, insomnia and neck pain for the first time in years, with friends noting he even looked like a different person.

LEARNING POINTS:

Cervical fusion generally does not resolve all pain complaints, because instability involves the vertebral segments besides those fused. These segments then deteriorate at a faster rate, producing even more years of suffering and pain. Prolotherapy stabilizes all of the involved vertebral segments non-surgically.





Upper Cervical Instability of Traumatic Origin Treated with Dextrose Prolotherapy

A 47-year-old female with a history of trauma presented to our clinic in 2013 with headaches, chronic pain in the neck and upper limbs, and intermittent tingling in one arm. Pain was exacerbated by head movement. The patient was treated with dextrose prolotherapy at each of four visits over five months. At visit 2, tingling and crepitation had abated, while pain intensity was unchanged. At visit 3, headaches had resolved, and pain had become more localized. At visit 4, pain intensity had decreased significantly, crepitation had resolved completely, and she had begun bicycle exercise.

LEARNING POINTS:

Dextrose prolotherapy was associated with progressive symptomatic relief and functional gain, beginning one month after initiation of treatment, and also with improvement of upper cervical stability. The findings support an approach to chronic neck pain based on the facilitation of ligamentous repair. Read the entire case report here.





Prolotherapy for Whiplash Injury

JK suffered a whiplash injury at age 44 which rapidly progressed from a headache to difficulty walking and talking. She saw multiple specialists in her search for answers and received differing opinions on her condition. For almost 10 years prior to being seen at Caring Medical, JK experienced headaches, dizziness, elevated heart rate, and drop attacks. After analysis by Dr. Hauser, including a digital motion x-ray (DMX), she was diagnosed with cervical instability. JK underwent 3 treatments of Prolotherapy, one of those included Platelet Rich Plasma. Not only were her symptoms alleviated, but she has not experienced a drop attack since her last treatment!

LEARNING POINTS:

Proper blood flow in the vertebral arteries is crucial to provide circulation to the posterior half of the brain. When this blood supply is insufficient, vertebrobasilar insufficiency (VBI) can develop and cause symptoms, such as neck pain, headaches/migraines, dizziness, drop attacks, vertigo, difficulty swallowing and/or speaking, and auditory and visual disturbances. This can be induced by extreme rotation or extension of the head. A comprehensive Prolotherapy treatment series can help strengthen the ligaments that stabilize the upper cervical spine, preventing excess motion.





Cervicocranial Syndrome, Sternoclavicular Sprain, Cervical Instability

After catching a falling 30lb box, RB experienced right-sided neck and sternoclavicular pain. Cervical instability symptoms like tinnitus, difficulty swallowing, heel/toe numbness and migraines developed. She received physical therapy & chiropractic with minimal relief. Two orthopedic surgeons relayed that surgery would be too dangerous. Discouraged, RB sought Regenerative Injection Therapy, but her initial Prolotherapist did not perform a comprehensive treatment. Although symptoms decreased for a time, they later returned. Doing more research into more comprehensive Prolotherapy techniques, RB decided to try Caring Medical. She received comprehensive Prolotherapy and PRP treatment under ultrasound guidance. After 3 Comprehensive Prolotherapy treatments with added Platelet Rich Plasma, RB saw a 95% improvement and returned to the activities she enjoyed.

LEARNING POINTS:

Not all Prolotherapists are the same. Hackett Hemwall Prolotherapy is considered a more comprehensive technique that addresses more than just a couple facet injections. Safe and effective, this technique also treats all of the posterior ligament and tendon attachments along the neck and base of the skull, as well as the upper cervical C1-C2 vertebrae when performed by cervical specialist Prolotherapists.





Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Misdiagnosis

CB was a 52 year old woman who came to Caring Medical after suffering for more than a year with neck pain, nausea, blurred vision, muscle spasms, and other symptoms associated with cervical instability. She had attempted many routes of care including; chiropractic, acupuncture, epidurals, and physical therapy. All with no relief! CB had been mistakenly diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome by another physician who was unfamiliar with spinal instability. She had a standard MRI which showed spondylosis. Before treatment with Caring Medical she was taking between 10 and 12 tablets of Advil a day for her pain. She was no longer able to continue her active lifestyle and felt her quality of life had greatly diminished. Christine received 6 rounds of Prolotherapy with Platelet Rich Plasma to her cervical and thoracic spine after being diagnosed with disc displacement and radiculopathy. She noticed improvement with each treatment, but after her last treatment she reported 100% pain relief!

LEARNING POINTS:

Diagnoses involving the discs, such as disc displacement, bulging discs, herniated discs, radiculopathy, and others are rooted in cervical instability. When the vertebrae are allowed to move too much due to the ligament being too lax to allow for safe movement, discs can become displaced and other supportive structures break down. MRI findings are generally the result of cervical instability.





Mast Cell Activation Syndrome

SS came to Caring Medical describing symptoms of “maddening body itching,” which began a year prior, after taking prednisone. Zyrtec relieved the itch temporarily. Other symptoms included worsening migraines, intense sinus symptoms and neck “crunching noises” with head movement. Vagus nerve entrapment was suspected, and Prolotherapy to the neck was given to stabilize the loose vertebrae. Symptoms resolved, including migraines and itching, after only two treatments.

LEARNING POINTS:

Cervical instability can cause vagus nerve entrapment and a variety of symptoms. Patients see practitioners due to the symptoms that arise but are never properly traced back to the vagus nerve. It often takes patients several practitioners and years of chasing the symptoms to finally get to the root cause. Many of these symptoms can be successfully resolved once the root cause is treated with regenerative injection therapy for the ligaments as well as the nerves.





Prolotherapy for a Herniated Disc

DE visited Caring Medical at the recommendation of her chiropractor after she was diagnosed with a herniated disc in her neck at the age of 48. She had been suffering for 6 weeks with neck pain and numbness in her left arm. DE received 5 rounds of Comprehensive Dextrose Prolotherapy to her cervical spine. She is now able to exercise and play golf pain-free!

LEARNING POINTS:

To strengthen the ligaments, restore normal vertebral movement, and stop excessive spinal instability, a few Prolotherapy treatments are typically all that is necessary. Prolotherapy may be combined with chiropractic, physical therapy, bracing or other adjunctive therapies on an individual basis.





Cervicocranial Syndrome (Barré-Liéou)

Although unaware of any precipitating factor, LL experienced tinnitus, sternoclavicular swelling, dizziness, neck stiffness/pain, muscle pain and feeling off-balance from vertigo twice weekly. After 18 months of suffering, LL pursued relief with Prolotherapy. Examination and radiographs revealed cervical instability with severe atlas subluxation. Repeat x-rays post-Prolotherapy treatment demonstrated correction of the subluxation, but more importantly all of the symptomatology and pain had completely subsided after 8 treatments.

LEARNING POINTS:

Cervical instability is a common cause of a plethora of disabling symptoms, which can be cured by stabilizing the injured cervical ligaments with Prolotherapy.






More Information About Prolotherapy for Cervical Neck Pain


How well do you understand the cause of your neck pain?

Take the Joint Instability Quiz! This quiz covers how musculoskeletal pain develops and which important diagnosis is often missing when people are suffering from chronic pain.




Articles about Prolotherapy for Cervical Neck Pain




Videos about Prolotherapy for Cervical Neck Pain

More Cervical Neck Prolotherapy Videos




Books about Prolotherapy for Cervical Neck Pain

Prolo Your Pain Away!Read about treating cervical neck pain with Prolotherapy in our free E-book, Prolo Your Pain Away! Curing Chronic Pain with Prolotherapy, 4th Edition. This edition explains all about Prolotherapy and how it is used to permanently alleviate pain from arthritis, sports injuries, and all types of chronic pain conditions! Plus, it takes an expanded look at the medical literature and patient studies on Regenerative Medicine: Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma, Stem Cell Therapy, and more!




Caring Medical: Utilizing the world’s most scientifically curative regenerative injection method, H3 Prolotherapy, for chronic pain, sports injuries, and arthritis

You deserve the best possible results from your neck pain treatment. Let’s make this happen! Talk to our team about your case to find out if you are a good candidate.

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