Al’s DMX case study

Al is in his mid 20’s with a neck problem that started over 3 years prior to him being seen at Caring Medical Florida, flying in from Europe. His pain was been triggered and worsened by a number of factors: impact trauma to head and neck from a fight; high speed car crash 4 years prior, poor sleeping position, and a brief spell of self-manipulation of the cervical spine which caused some significant rotational damage. In the year before coming to Caring Medical, his symptoms began to progressively increase.

His primary symptoms included both sharp and dull pain in the neck, crepitus, headaches that radiated up into the back of the head, tingling and numbness on both arms and fingers (especially if he has been turning his neck a lot), dizziness, cognitive issues, memory trouble, difficulty swallowing, difficulty with walking and balance, occipital neuralgia. Additionally, his uvula deviated to the left which indicated that his vagus nerve function was hampered on the right side. Al said he can feel constant movement in the cervical vertebrae and that he was even able to move each with his hands. He also noted that his movement had become limited but the motion he does have is accompanied by constant grinding and clicking. This pain was present 24/7 and especially affecting his sleep.
In our office, we have a protocol to help numb the neck to try to prevent muscle guarding and give a more accurate picture of the ligament laxity/instability. Many people wrongfully believe that their necks feel “tight” that their ligaments can’t be loose. However, it is really the ligament-muscular reflex in action. The muscles end up having to stabilize the spine in order to allow the person to hold the head up and the vertebrae to not damage the spinal cord and other precious real estate in the neck. Al had a lot of muscle guarding in his neck, which only worsened his neuralgia and other symptoms. But again, this is his body’s way of safeguarding the spinal cord. It was, therefore, no surprise that his initial Digital Motion X-ray (DMX), it was confirmed that Al had more than the average cervical instability. It was potentially life-threatening! The primary concerns were that C1 was rotated and he had an S-curve that were both consistent with severe instability.

After reviewing the DMX, the seriousness of the patient condition was much clearer and Dr. Hauser felt Al needed an MRI of the cervical spine to determine if surgery should be considered a reasonable option. (There is a time and a place for spinal surgery, particularly when the instability is potentially life-threatening.) The MRI confirmed the cervical problems seen on the DMX and the severity of Al’s case. Dr. Hauser discussed the possibility of surgery for a case like Al’s and that it wouldn’t be out of the question. However, if Prolotherapy was his and his family’s preference, we would need to use more aggressive Prolotherapy solutions, which would include platelet rich plasma (PRP). Al opted for Prolotherapy. In addition to the Prolotherapy treatments done in the office, Dr. Hauser ordered Al to wear a cervical collar to provide support while the ligaments repair, as well as exercises to correct the cervical curve.

After only two Prolotherapy treatments, Al reported feeling over 30% improvement in terms of stability and less need to self-manipulate his neck, in addition to sleeping much better. At the same time, Al followed all the neck exercises that Dr. Hauser recommended to correct his lordotic curve.

On his 4th treatment, Dr. Hauser ordered repeat DMX to look for the objective progress with the curve. Al had noted continued improvement in symptoms and we like to check mid-series to verify the curve is improving as expected.


Before having to return to home, Al received a total of 7 treatments and showed exceptional functional and symptomatic improvement. He did not feel the need to self-manipulate his neck anymore but, instead, was naturally able to move around much more than when he started. After the last treatment, it is a patient’s job to continue to practice good posture (especially while using a cell phone or computer) and continue on with the recommended exercises, as well as use the collar as needed. One of our greatest joys is to help our wonderful patients avoid spinal surgery and restore function!