Eagle Syndrome Information- Treatments Available For ES:
Disclaimer: These answers to common questions were put together for new members to gain a head start in finding information about Eagle Syndrome; to give you confidence to discuss issues with your medical team and to encourage you to research issues further for yourselves. It was compiled by a volunteer Moderator, who does not claim to be a medical professional, merely an informed observer and patient! The sources used are personal experiences, LivingWithTheEagle members’ experiences, and research from professional publications (some of the articles can’t be read fully unless subscribed to). Many thanks to heidemt for her research and contribution, and for her example of being your own advocate and not giving up. Members are encouraged to seek medical opinion and these pages are not intended to replace that. Members are also encouraged to research more for themselves- there is more research available but with the limitation of time and neck pain, this was the best that I could do! Past discussions are useful sources of info as well; search whatever the subject is, and you’ll often find someone who’s been through it too!
Other methods include reducing pain through physical therapy, relaxing the muscles that had been constricted due to styloid process stimulation.
Otherwise alternative treatments like acupuncture can sometimes help, pain can be made worse through tension and muscle knots- a bit of a vicious circle as who can be relaxed when they’re in pain?!- so massage might help, plus gentle stretches (laying down) on your neck- tucking your chin gently to your chest and turning your head gently side to side. That’s a difficult one; it can help to do a few but often Eagles makes it too painful to turn your head. Little and often did help me.
One member- ann- recommends myokinesthetic-massage of the small muscles in the jaw and neck. There do seem to be some links with tension in muscles to nerve pain- tight muscles can compress nerves, and referred pain from this can be felt elsewhere.
Myofascial Release therapy has also been mentioned on this site. While not wanting to endorse any particular treatments, there are some interesting facts in the following links: https://www.painscience.com/tutorials/trigger-points.php , https://www.painscience.com/tutorials/neck-pain.php . These are introductions to books, but there are some interesting info and research links, so worth a read.
Also this is an interesting article showing where trigger points can refer pain to:
As ES can cause inflammation in the whole neck area, it can be easy to put every pain we get down to this, but sometimes it might be due to a problem elsewhere. Or, it could be that ES is causing inflamed nerves, which could refer the pain to another area! But the more you educate yourself, the more you might be able to understand your pain.
Either hot or cold packs have been found to help to reduce inflammation, or eating lots of popsicles!
Member IamGroot-has tried ‘Vestibular Rehab’ exercises to help with dizziness if that’s a symptom you have- the exercises are designed to help the body adjust to postural changes. Here’s a link to some I found online, but always check with your own doctor before doing these exercises: www.thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk/.../Vestibular%20Rehab%20Exercises.pdf
The best advice I was given was passed on by other members – if you have trouble sleeping because it’s so painful, try sleeping propped up with a wedge pillow, or in a recliner.
I also use a V shaped orthopaedic pillow which has helped a lot.
Lying flat can make things worse, especially if you do have jugular compression and Intracranial Hypertension.
Supplements such as fish oil (for EHA and DPA), and a B vitamin complex can possibly help with nerve repair- always check with your doctor that these don’t interfere with any medication you’re on.
Don’t be fobbed off by doctors, keep going back, and read up as much as you can on medications- be your own advocate, explain how much pain you’re in, and how bad it makes you feel. Keeping a journal of your pain can be helpful too; as a reminder of what symptoms you have and when, although it is common for symptoms to come and go seemingly without reason.