CONDITIONS TREATEDSomatic 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.
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.