So many people (~4% is quite a lot, I have to admit) have elongated styloids, and only few of them experience significant troubles. From what I hear around, the pain can start after some neck trauma - car accident is just one of them.
Could it be that we grow up and most of people with elongated styloids just have them naturally grown and adapted to the neck’s natural movements. One day there is an accident, or some of the neck/spine discs start deteriorating, or we start using new technologies like smartphones, and “normal” neck movements start changing, even for a short period, giving that extra pressure, rubbing new tissues, nerves, veins/arteries against the styloids. Day by day new habits form and the painful self-reinforcing state becomes permanent, locking the muscles and paving new paths for styloids to affect the structures around.
That was just a thought. On the other hand, I found my old panoramic X-ray from 2014. The styloid was very thin, possibly broken close to the skull base, slightly angled and long. The later X-rays (e.g. 2020) show the styloid thicker, and the gap between the vertebraes almost non-existing (and from about 2015 my neck started “grinding” when turning sideways, so I suspect something happened there).
Very interesting thoughts, vdm, & very possible. I’ll try to watch the video later, but your conjecture about the role modern technology plays in elongated styloids becoming symptomatic makes A LOT of sense.
We do have a couple of members on our forum who have children, even pre-teens, that have been diagnosed w/ ES so there is definitely a hereditary predisposition in some cases. There has also been a link to parathyroid dysfunction which might insinuate a hormone/internal chemical balance component in some cases as well. The theory of neck/throat trauma causing ES is pretty much a given as we understand how our bodies work hard to strengthen what it deems as weak & heal what is dysfunctional but in so doing, new problems are sometimes created.
I’m curious about your scans & apologize that I’ve forgotten whether you’ve had surgery. Was your scan from 2014 an initial diagnostic CT & your symptoms were manageable till 2020 or does the 2020 scan show regrowth?
Interesting…I have an identical twin sister, I’d love to know if her styloids are elongated (she doesn’t have symptoms), if hers aren’t then I think the whiplash injury I had caused mine to calcify & elongate. I think that’s happened over time though- I didn’t have symptoms for a while after the accident. I agree with you about the discs deteriorating & causing ES symptoms too- my vascular symptoms started after a prolapsed disc.
Re your scans, the styloids can grow jointed, almost like fingers, maybe yours started like that & then filled out with extra calcification? Maybe through the ways you’ve suggested?
2020 was the year the symptoms became much worse, 2014 was nothing else than just a bit sore neck that would get better with physiotherapy. But what’s noticeable on the panos is the gap between vertebraes, which is very small in 2020 pic.
It’s like the lordotic curve in your neck is slowly decreasing. Again, that seems to be a much more frequent problem for people now that we spend so much time on cell phones, computers & video games. It used to be seen more in people who were “bookworms”. We’ve traded old tech for new!