Can Dry Needling help Tinnitus?

Can Dry Needling help Tinnitus?

There are two kinds of tinnitus, subjective and objective. Objective tinnitus accounts for less than 1% of cases and involves the perception of an internal sound such as a bruit. Subjective tinnitus is the most common type and is audible only to the patient.

A subtype of subjective tinnitus is called Somatosensory Tinnitus. The loudness or intensity of this type of tinnitus can be changed by jaw or neck movements and even pushing on myofascial trigger points. You can refer back to a previous article we wrote on pushing on these myofascial trigger points for somatosensory tinnitus.

Trigger-point dry needling is an invasive procedure where a fine needle is inserted into the skin and muscle. It is typically aimed at myofascial trigger points, which are hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule in a taut band. It is believed that somatically induced tinnitus is a sub-group responsive to somatosensory-based treatments including joint mobilization, exercise and dry needling.

Dry needling is typically applied to trigger points of the bilateral upper trapezius and cervical muscles including the splenius capitis, semispinalis capitis, sternocleidomastoid, levator scapula, and suboccipitals. In some cases and depending on what joints/muscles modulate your tinnitus, dry needling can be applied to the jaw muscles as well. This of course depends on if you are a candidate for dry needling and if the clinical examination finds it pertinent to perform this procedure at one or multiple areas in the neck and/or jaw.

If you are suffering from somatosensory tinnitus and want to know if dry needling could be effective for you, feel free to contact us for more guidance and consultation.

You can even perform your own self-examination by using one of our Feel it to Heal it Physio guides for the neck and jaw below! This is the first step to determining if your symptoms are associated with your neck or jaw! Can even do at home.