Effect of Massage or Chiropractic on Symptoms

Many years ago I was diagnosed with elongated styloids (4-5cm). After a chiropratic visit I noticed a hard, pointy thing under my jaw and had a CT done (Have always wondered if the neck adjustment altered the position of the styloid). I have been fortunate over the years to not have any serious symptoms. However, about three years ago I started having periodic tingly/numb sensations on the left side of my head/face from the top to the jaw. It will last a few days or maybe a month. Ibuprofen seemed to take care of it. I’ve gone about 2 years without any additional sensations. Today, I had a massage and the therapist used a towel pull on my head and stretch my neck. When she pulled and twisted to the right I had an “explosion” of tingling in my head and felt odd all over for a few seconds. I suspect the styloid hit a nerve but I also worried I had had a TIA (no classic symptoms thought). Anyway, I am curious of other peoples experience with chiropractic and massage and whether or not these tend to aggravate symptoms. I haven’t had a neck adjustment in years fearing this very thing but never considered that a massage techniques could do this. It was a bit scary for sure. Thanks.

It’s risky. Any neck manipulation may exaggerate (or ease) the symptoms. I don’t even need a physiotherapist to cause me a remission or relapse-sometimes that happens after carelessly moving my head.
Btw I do a lot of physiotherapy on my own, just everything is very carefully done because I know exactly where my styloids are, and where they go with every movement.

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It’s not something I would consider at all unless it was with a practitioner who is experienced with ES. Dr Samji I believe warns against any treatments- hopefully someone will correct me if I’m wrong about that.
One of our members, @Awest has written a paper which you might find interesting, here’s a link:
WESTBROOK et al. (2020) - Eagle’s syndrome, elongated styloid process and new evidence for pre-manipulative precautions for potential cervical arterial dysfunction – Doctor info and research article - General / Research Papers - Living with Eagle


As has been noted, having any sort of neck manipulation when an elongated styloid is present is not a good idea. You have experienced why that is. It’s possible the neck stretch w/ the head turned pushed your elongated styloid into your ICA (internal carotid artery) which could have caused the TIA type symptoms. Vascular compression of either the internal jugular vein or carotid artery are problems that ES can cause & both have scary symptoms.

I hope the symptoms you experienced subside. Now you know one aspect of massage to avoid in the future. I’m glad you’ve been able to live w/ that elongated styloid w/o needing surgery. That’s really great!

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Thank you for your response. I learned my lesson and thankfully most of the sensations in my head and face have subsided significantly. Still a bit fuzzy around my ear and eye socket. My doctor still suggested an MRI to make sure I didn’t have a TIA. Waiting for the results.


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I seemed to get some relief with ART massage. They basically push down on the muscle at one point and then stretch it while pressure is on it. I don’t think I’d do any high velocity maneuvers with the neck.

I’ve gotten ART (active release therapy) along with Graston for years, & it has been tremendously helpful. It’s painful but has made a big difference in my ability to function fully & more pain free.

I’m glad it’s been helpful for you @stuuke.