It is a treatment that helps to provide relief by fixing the root cause of many neck conditions. The information in this article has been put together to help you understand how. It will include:
- Anatomy of the neck
- How do symptoms present in the neck?
- Cervical instability – the root cause of your chronic neck pain
- What type of neck conditions are there?
- Causes of neck injuries and how prolotherapy and prolozone therapy can help
- Research on prolotherapy for neck pain
But first, meet Andrew. Watch his story about how the injections helped his neck pain:
To watch more video reviews, head over to the review section of our website.
Anatomy of the neck
The neck is comprised of 7 vertebrae which all connect together via facet joints. In between each vertebra are shock absorbing spinal discs.
There are 26 muscles and 7 different types of ligaments, which all play a role in helping to move and stabilise the neck during movement.
How do symptoms present in the neck?
- Dull or sharp pain. This can be limited to the neck or can also shoot down the arm. Some individuals may experience tingling and numbness in the shoulder, arm or hand alongside their neck pain.
- Stiffness in the muscles around the neck that can extend down to the shoulder or the upper back.
- Headaches – the majority of these start in a set of muscles at the base of the skull called the sub-occipital muscles.
- Weakness – this can present as a feeling of fatigue in stiff muscles around the neck. Stiff muscles don’t have the same amount of strength as muscles with a normal tone.
Cervical instability – the root cause of your chronic neck pain
The head is a heavy structure and weighs on average between 4.5kg to 5kg. It requires a strong and stable foundation to hold it upright and level.
The primary structures involved in holding it up are joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Physical therapy treatment can have an influence on most condition suffered by these structures, but there is one key condition that they can’t help with. That condition is weakness of the deep ligaments.
You can have healthy muscles and tendons in the neck, but if the ligaments adjacent to them are weak, then they aren’t able to perform the role of holding the head up properly. It eventually leads to some of the symptoms listed above.
The specific ligaments that are normally the problem are called the ‘capsular ligaments.’ They wrap around each facet joint in the spine. Just to remind you, facet joints are what join each vertabrea to each other.
Capsular ligaments can have a genetic weakness or a weakness caused by trauma. An example of trauma to the neck is a whiplash injury during a car accident. Prolotherapy and Prolozone Therapy aim to strengthen these ligaments, helping to provide a more stable foundation for the neck to support the head during movement.
What type of neck conditions are there?
- Ligament or tendon tear – this occurs when the fibres are over-stretched.
- Tendonitis – repetitive strain in a tendon.
- Headaches and migraines
- Cervical instability
- Radiculopathy – this occurs when a nerve in the neck is being pinched. It can present as sharp shooting pain or tingling into the arm and hand.
Common causes of neck injuries and how prolotherapy can help
The most common traumatic cause of neck pain is whiplash. The definition of whiplash is a ‘sudden jerk of the head.’ It can occur during a road traffic accident or contact sport such as rugby or American football.
Depending on which angle the neck is jerked, will determine which structures become injured. Commonly injured structures during this type of movement are the ‘capsular ligaments.’ Due to their poor blood supply, ligaments have a tough time trying to repair themselves after an injury. Our treatment at the clinic helps to provide the oxygen and nutrients required to both stimulate and speed up the healing process.
Poor posture –
The 21st century postures we all adopt in this technological age can put additional strain through the structures of our neck. Our heavy heads were designed to balance at the top of our spines, not protract forward as much as they do.
The structures most effected by poor posture are muscles, tendons and ligaments. When the muscles are under strain, they can tug at some of their tendon attachments at the base of the skull. This is one of the most common causes of headaches. Our treatment can help to reduce the inflammation and repair any damaged fibres at these tendon attachments.
If the head is kept in a forward head posture for a prolonged amount of time, then this can lead to a sprain in the capsular ligaments. When sprained, they can become loose and cause the muscles in the neck to over-work when attempting to hold the head up-right. Our treatment can help to repair and strengthen them.
It is when the one or more of the joints in the neck aren’t aligned properly and can result from trauma, poor posture or repetitive strain. When the neck joints aren’t in line then this can put pressure on different structures in the neck. For example, if you work in a job that requires your neck to move repetitively at a certain angle, then over time the joints in the neck misalign. This can both put strain on your muscles and can also sprain the capsular ligaments.
Genetic conditions –
Some inherited musculoskeletal conditions can cause weakness in the ligaments in the spine. This means that they are not able to provide a firm foundation to hold the head up. One of these conditions is a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
The injections are most effective for neck conditions when combined with certain exercises. All our appointments include a prescription of certain exercises to enhance the effects of the injections.
Interested in how much prolotherapy costs? Head over to our prices page.
For more in-depth information about how this treatment works, head over to our post titled ‘what is prolotherapy?’