Somatic Tinnitus

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing ringing, buzzing, hissing, chirping, whistling, or other sounds in the ears. If you are suffering from tinnitus you are probably most aware of sounds in the ears at night, when you’re trying to fall asleep in a quiet room.

The tinnitus noise can be intermittent or continuous, and can vary in intensity. Tinnitus may be accompanied by ear pain, decreased hearing, dizziness and vision problems. Even though tinnitus may be associated with decreased hearing, it does not cause hearing loss, nor does hearing loss cause tinnitus.

Tinnitus is a common problem – it affects about 15% to 20% of the population. For some people tinnitus is merely an annoyance and does not significantly affect their lives. But for others, it may cause problems with concentration, interfere with sleep and create psychological stress, which has negative impacts on both work performance and personal life.

Tinnitus is a multifaceted phenomenon, therefore it may have many possible medical causes, including ear pathology, pathology of the nerve that supplies the ear, side-effects of medications, as well as muscular causes: a chronic tightness of the neck and face muscles, as seen in TMJ.

Tinnitus and TMJ

In the last decade there has been increased awareness that many cases of tinnitus are either associated with or caused by TMJ and neck dysfunction. (Medical literature describes that between 36% to 43% cases of tinnitus are caused by chronic tightness of the neck and face muscles). This type of tinnitus is called somatic tinnitus or somatosensory tinnitus and is classified as a form of myofascial disorder.

Read more about the connection between TMJ, neck dysfunction and tinnitus.

How do we treat Somatic Tinnitus at New Body – New Mind?

At New Body – New Mind we treat somatic tinnitus primarily by using manual therapy techniques to loosen up the tight muscles of the face and neck and release myofascial trigger points in the involved muscles.

Since the treatment of tinnitus involves working on the tight muscles of the neck and face, the specific techniques we use are very similar, if not identical, to the techniques we utilize when treating tension headaches and TMJ.

Read about the treatment of chronically tight face muscles.
Read about the treatment of chronically tight neck muscles.

Once the muscular tension is released and tinnitus is either fully resolved or significantly decreased, we start working on teaching the muscles to relax at rest and fire appropriately during exercise or functional activities. That means that the muscles will engage only when they need to work and they will relax as soon as the exercise / activity is over.

testimonialsSleep apnea specialist referred me to Teresa because within a month of using a sleep apnea device / mouth guard I developed jaw pain and ringing in the ear. With Teresa’s superb hands-on treatment both problems had resolved and I was able to wear the sleep apnea device without any adverse effects.

-Male, 56

testimonialsTeresa at New Body – New Mind treated my TMJ, headache and tinnitus and I could have not asked for a more professional and more effective care. I highly recommend Teresa to anyone who suffers from these conditions.

-Male, 46

testimonialsIf you suffer from tinnitus or stuffy ears go to Teresa! She is not only the best clinician I have ever worked with, but also an inspiring, compassionate person.

-Male, 33

testimonialsI saw many ear doctors for ringing in the ear. The ringing was so annoying that it was difficult to focus on my work. At night ringing was even louder, so I had issues with falling asleep. Everyone was telling me that there was nothing wrong with my ears. Eventually one doctor told me that if I found someone who could massage face muscles, I might be able to get some relief. I am so glad that I found Teresa’s web-site. We started working together and her manual therapy made a huge difference. In addition to working on the muscles I also did hypnosis with her to learn how to stop focusing on the ears all the time and it was very helpful too. I highly recommend this kind of therapy to anyone who suffers from tinnitus.

-Female, 51

testimonialsMy acupuncturist recommended that I see Teresa for treatment of tinnitus. I did not know that there was any treatment for that at all because I saw many doctors and they could not help me. During the first appointment Teresa found that some of my face and neck muscles had tender spots in them and when she was pressing on these spots my ringing in the ears was changing. She showed me pictures illustrating how these muscles could affect ears. I was very impressed with her knowledge, professionalism and excellent bed-side manner, so I decided to pursue treatment. I am very satisfied with the results – the sound in my ear is no longer constant and when it’s there, it’s not as loud as it used to be, so I can actually not pay attention at it.

-Female, 44

testimonialsI was referred to Teresa for treatment of TMJ. I never expected that this treatment would also help my tinnitus. I no longer have any jaw pain and ringing in the ear is gone! Thank you, Teresa.

-Female, 34

testimonialsMy doctor referred me to Teresa because I felt constant urge to pop my ears and I had tinnitus in one ear. He told me that these problems could be caused by jaw muscles. I was skeptical about the idea that muscles could produce ear symptoms, but I decided to give it a try. Teresa was working not only on my jaw muscles but also on specific neck muscles and over a period of three months my symptoms had improved dramatically. As the result of Teresa’s treatments my ears are no longer blocked and ringing in the ear is reduced to the point that it doesn’t bother me anymore.

-Female, 47

testimonialsI suffered from tinnitus for many years. I contacted Teresa because I exhausted all treatment options and I wanted to try hypnosis as the last resort. I found hypnosis very helpful. I am now able to ignore sounds in my ears, so even though tinnitus is still there, it did not bother me anymore. In fact, most of the time I don’t even notice it. Hypnosis also improved my sleep and my ability to manage everyday stresses. Even my wife noticed a positive difference in my mood and overall functioning.

-Male, 38