Can the lower neck be a reason for tinnitus?

Tinnitus Treatment

The lower neck can be reason for tinnitus.  It is a subtype of tinnitus that is common and very treatable, which is medically called somatosensory tinnitus.

Therefore, this means that the cause of your ringing or buzzing in your ear could be due to fault of the muscular and joint system.

The most common reason of this disruption is from the cervical spine.A dis- between the auditory and the somatosensory input to the auditory pathway can elicit tinnitus.

Therefore, this is the main premise behind why treating the neck can improve tinnitus.

How can the neck cause tinnitus?

Most, if not all, professionals can agree that the upper cervical spine, with its neurophysiological connections to the dorsal cochlear ganglion, is the main cause for somatosensory tinnitus.

However, a recent medical study examined the effects of injection (a mixture of 0.5 ml bupivacaine 0.5% and 0.5 ml dexamethasone) to the lower cervical spine, specifically to the 8th cervical nerve.

The 8th cervical nerve is between C7 and T1.

This is called the “cervicothoracic junction”.

It is not typical location for tinnitus treatments but treatments here to help!

The following are the 4 main conclusions from the research study:

  • 26% of the tinnitus patients had a reduction of their tinnitus.

  • Most of the successfully treated patients rated the effect of therapy as a moderate reduction of 25% to 50%.

  • 50% of the successful treated patients still had benefit at 6.6 months.

  • This therapy for tinnitus patients’ needs to be considered, especially in those with a hearing loss at 500 Hz that exceed the hearing loss at 2 kHZ.

What does this mean if I have neck pain and tinnitus?

Now, this doesn’t mean you should go out and get an injection! There are more conservative measures that we use for tinnitus from the neck, including

  • tinnitus exercises
  • myofascial release
  • dry needling
  • joint mobilizations.

With that said, It can also mean that if you are ONLY getting treatment to the upper cervical spine, then you may be missing out on a well-rounded approach.

We find this approach is best to improving how the neck functions and moves, which can then improve tinnitus.

What are exercises to help with tinnitus?

Screening of patients who would benefit the most out of cervical treatment will improve success rates.

This is why I created my e-book “Test Your Own Neck”.

You can perform simple movements at home to determine your neck is moving correctly.  It will identify any harsh areas that “pick” at your tinnitus symptoms.

Therefore, this is a perfect addition to manual therapy if your neck is a reason for tinnitus.

If you do have symptom modulation with neck movements as we are describe in our e-book, then I give it a green light to go forth with cervical treatments.I suggest seeking out someone locally in your community or you can even try our 14-day Tinnitus Relief Program to try out exercises at home!

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