Your First Head and Neck Specialist Visit
Our team wants to help you get your life back! Let’s discuss how we can do that for you!
This page will give additional details about your visit to our offices for your head/neck condition. To read more general information about the what to expect at your first visit, please see our pages on Your First Prolotherapy Visit and Frequently Asked Questions.
At the bottom of this page, there is an intake form. If you would like our team to review your case to see if you sound like a good H3 Prolotherapy candidate, please feel free to use that form or send us an email directly to email@example.com.
Preparing for your visit
During your first visit, you may be in our office for as short as 3-4 hours, or as long as 6-7 hours, depending on the severity of your case.
Eat prior to your appointment. You must eat before your appointment, especially if you are planning on receiving Prolotherapy treatment! Please eat a good breakfast before coming in, ideally one that contains protein. You can bring snacks/food to the visit as well.
Test Results: If you have MRI, X-ray, CT, EMG, DMX, or other pertinent lab reports, please bring them with you to the appointment. If you have sent us your reports ahead of time, our team will ensure those reports are put into your chart. If there is an accompanying file with images (such as a CD/DVD), please bring a copy of that for your chart as well.
Exam and Treatment
Introduction and vitals: A nurse or clinical assistant will take you back to the clinical area and your assigned exam/treatment room. They will obtain vital signs, including temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and weight. They will also review your initial phone history and confirm any changes or updates you wish to discuss. Your clinical assistant will be an important part of your day today and will be with you throughout the visit! They will take notes for you, and review all of the information and instructions from the practitioner throughout your time in the clinic, and summarize everything at the end of your visit. If you have questions between today and your next visit concerning your treatment or recommendations made by the provider, your clinical assistant will be your primary point of contact.
Exam and consultation: Your physician and/or PA will talk with you in more detail about your condition and symptoms in order to make an assessment and recommendation for a testing and treatment plan. He/she will review your medical history, do a physical exam to assess your neck and other painful areas, and perform specific functional and autonomic tests based on your individual case.
Imaging/testing during the visit: Most often a Digital Motion X-ray (DMX) will be recommended as a baseline for visualizing the cervical instability. This is essentially a video of your spine in motion and provides excellent information for your provider as to what is truly happening with your neck to cause your debilitating symptoms and degenerative condition. Prior to this test, your provider may perform some numbing injections around the neck to prevent muscle guarding and, therefore, obtain a more accurate picture of the underlying cervical instability. Your provider will review the DMX results and, combined with the information obtained by the history and exam, will recommend a treatment plan.
A repeat DMX is typically performed at a subsequent visit to look for objective improvement and assess any need for a change in the course of treatment. For example, your provider may recommend rechecking a couple of specific DMX views at your third Prolotherapy visit to confirm your cervical curve or stability in your C1-C2 area is improving with the current treatment regimen and your activities between treatments.
Musculoskeletal Ultrasound may also be used to visualize tissue during the initial exam and/or to help with injection guidance during Prolotherapy. While ultrasound is not needed to guide injections for the majority of anatomical landmarks treated during H3 Prolotherapy, rest assured that our providers always have it available to use, if needed, and will use either ultrasound or DMX guidance for guiding the upper-cervical injections.
Prolotherapy treatment: Patients come to us because they want to start on a Regenerative Medicine treatment program as soon as possible. Based on your overall health and medical history, along with the physical exam, DMX, and other test results, a treatment plan will be created specifically for you. If the practitioner feels you are a good candidate for Prolotherapy, treatment is generally started at this first visit.
Post-Prolotherapy treatment: After treatment, you will rest with some moist heat on the treated area(s). This helps soothe the treated area and increase circulation. While you rest with heat, the assistant/nurse will review our Post-Prolotherapy Instruction sheet with you and any other recommendations that the provider has made.
Therapeutic devices: If your practitioner recommends a therapeutic device for your condition (such as a cervical collar, heart rate variability monitor, head/chest weights, or rehabilitation exercise equipment), your nurse/assistant can advise you on where to obtain them. Some devices may be advised to start right away, and others may come into your treatment plan after a couple of visits, as the ligaments show signs of stabilizing.
Additional recommendations: If there are any other outside laboratory tests, nutritional suggestions, or exercise instructions, these will be discussed during the visit with the provider, and again with your clinical assistant/nurse upon wrapping up the visit.
Follow-up appointment: You can schedule your next Prolotherapy visit with your clinical assistant in the treatment room, or at the checkout desk prior to leaving the office. Due to the limited availability of appointments, we suggest patients making an appointment as soon as you know your schedule, to ensure you get your preferred appointment day/time.
Traveling after treatment
Transportation home or to a hotel: You should not drive after receiving Prolotherapy to the neck. You must be accompanied by a driver and/or arrange for pre-approved transportation. It is ideal that the person accompanying you is a family member or friend, but we understand that some patients must travel here by themselves. When scheduling your first appointment, our team can discuss some options with you, depending on where you are going afterward. For instance, some local hotels in Fort Myers offer free shuttles to our patients. Other patients prefer getting to their accommodations via taxi or rideshare service.
Stay local: We encourage anyone who has to fly to our office for an appointment to stay locally overnight after the first appointment. Your first appointment is typically a pretty long and involved day. You will find that flying in the day before and staying in a hotel the night before and after your first treatment will make for a more relaxing and less overwhelming process, especially if you regularly experience many debilitating symptoms or episodes from your neck condition (anxiety, dizziness, migraines, drop attacks, tremors, etc.). Our hope is that as you improve during the treatment series, and symptoms subside, travel will become much easier for you and you may not feel it necessary to do an extended stay for subsequent visits. These things will all be discussed based on your individual case.
This is a journey – hang in there!
Remember, your condition did not start overnight, and you have likely been on this journey for some time, experiencing numerous ups and downs. Prolotherapy triggers the body to repair, and our bodies are designed to heal over time. This means that even weeks and months after the last treatment of the series, the body is still healing the treated tissue. It generally requires a series of treatments, which build upon each other. Just like you cannot rush the healing of a broken bone, you cannot rush the healing of soft tissues, like ligaments. You can, however, do everything you can to support their strengthening. We will give you the best information and guidance we have gained in our 26+ years on how to accomplish this. The rest is up to you! Happy healing! We are so excited to walk alongside you on this journey, with our sincere hope that it will lead to your restored function and renewed life!
How do I know if I’m a good candidate?
Just like you, we want to make sure you are a good fit for our clinics ahead of your appointment. We value your time and we also schedule a lot of time with our providers and team to accommodate your visit. Many of the patients who require our specialists’ care are traveling from out of the state and internationally, but even if you are located within a few hours of our clinic, we want to make sure you are a good fit for us first! Give as much detail as you wish to share to help our team determine if you are potentially a good H3 Prolotherapy candidate. You can upload MRI reports or other imaging reports if they are relevant to your current case.