Eagle Syndrome - Online Support Group

Is massage or upper cervical Chiropractic care safe if you have ES?

Hi Everyone,
I’m not diagnosed, but I have many of the symptoms, and they are especially bad right now. My question is, if I have ES, and am having some vascular symptoms, is it safe to have someone messing with your neck, as in TMJ massage therapist and/or an upper cervical Chiropractor? Just trying to find some relief. Thank you!

In a word: No! If a therapist is not aware of ES then they could do some serious damage to nerves, & very worrying if you think you have vascular ES, as it could potentially tear a blood vessel or cause a stroke.
That said, some members have found help with a chiropractor, but it’s not something I would risk.

Definitely agree with Jules - NO. Even very gentle spine mobilization by a skilled clinician knowledgeable in ES can make things worse. Just keep your neck moving in pain free ranges. Trigger point (Functional) dry needling can be very helpful to the big muscles ie: upper trapezius or the sternocleidomastiod muscle by a very skilled PT.

I am third in agreement with Jules & JustBreathe. Err on the side of caution. I have had cervical adjustments since my ES surgeries but waited for quite awhile after the operations. Truly it’s advised to ES patients to stay away from traditional cervical spine adjustments for the long term, even after surgery. Soft tissue work can be done (after the styloids/s-h ligaments are gone) to create cervical spine adjustment w/o the head/neck twisting that is often used to accomplish it.

Thank you all.

One thing I do to relieve the pressure is to rub the hard “knots” as I have thought that’s what they were. Now I’m worried I’ve made things worse. I have been feeling dizzy and off balance lately but have attributed that to my sickness I just had. I’ve used Flonase and that isn’t helping the dizzies at all. Thanks for your good advice and support as I navigate all of this. I’m just trying to figure out what has been working with me for a couple of years. It’s been a long road and continues to be. Maybe my googling has actually gotten me somewhere at last.

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Well, I did both chiropractor and PT Dr. My jaw/ TMJ was totally off. With that said these 2 Dr are outstanding. My chiropractor is the sharpest Dr I have ever know, and the only Dr I’ve encountered that knew all about Eagle. My PT Dr gave me my first clue something was seriously wrong. She massaged my neck/,etc and gave me the main relief I have had the last few months. BUT both these Dr are way above average; I wouldn’t let most Dr touch me. A neurologist sent me to this PT Dr after a car wreck several yr ago… in his words most PT are nice and ok… few are exceptional.

Hi agb,

ES symptoms can be very frustrating from the standpoint that what works to alleviate pain for awhile can change & stop working so you have to “re-invent the wheel” to try to figure out what helps next. Often icing or applying a warm compress to the neck area can help. Ice should be used for no more than 15 min at a time w/ at least a 45 min break. Heat can be used for longer periods. Make sure you have a thin protective layer between the ice/heat & your skin to prevent burns.