13 August 2020

Eagle’s syndrome, elongated styloid process and new evidence for pre-manipulative precautions for potential cervical arterial dysfunction

Safety with upper cervical interventions is a frequently discussed and updated concern for physical therapists, chiropractors and osteopaths. IFOMPT developed the framework for safety assessment of the cervical spine, and this topic has been discussed in-depth with past masterclasses characterizing carotid artery dissection and cervical arterial dysfunction. Our masterclass will expand on this information with knowledge of specific anatomical anomalies found to produce Eagle’s syndrome, and cause carotid artery dissection, stroke and even death.

Eagle’s syndrome is an underdiagnosed, multi-mechanism symptom assortment produced by provocation of the sensitive carotid space structures by styloid process anomalies. As the styloid traverses between the internal and external carotid arteries, provocation of the vessels and periarterial sympathetic nerve fibers can lead to various neural, vascular and autonomic symptoms. Eagle’s syndrome commonly presents as neck, facial and jaw pain, headache and arm paresthesias; problems physical therapists frequently evaluate and treat. This masterclass aims to outline the safety concerns, assessment and management of patients with Eagle’s syndrome and styloid anomalies. By providing evidence of this common anomaly found in almost one-third of the population, hypothesis generation and clinical reasoning with patients presenting with head and neck symptoms can improve … ABSTRACT

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