Push these 5 trigger points for somatosensory tinnitus

Tinnitus is defined is the perception of sound in the absence of an acoustic external stimulus. To a person, this correlates to a bothersome auditory perception of noise.

There can be many reasons why an individual has these symptoms. A subtype of subjective tinnitus is called somatosensory tinnitus.

This basically means that in some individuals, the pitch and loudness of the tinnitus can be modulated or adjusted from movements of the neck, jaw, eyes and turning the head.

Another stimuli that a person can do to determine if he/she has somatosensory tinnitus is by applying pressure to certain areas on the face and neck. Someone can temporarily change the tinnitus is by pushing on myofascial trigger points (Rocha et al 2007 & Rocha et al 2008).

The diagnosis of tinnitus involves patient history taken, clinical examination, neuropsychological assessments, and audiometric and tinnitus tests. Even though self-pressure in itself is not a full diagnostic exam (we recommend reading another post on diagnosis here), it can be part of a physical examination.

There are locations of myofascial trigger points (Sanchez & Rocha 2011) correlating with somatosensory tinnitus that we recommend you can do on yourself.

Directions:

Using your thumb or fingertip, apply enough pressure to at least blanch your nail on the following 5 locations:

  1. Temples = Temporalis trigger point

Temples = Temporalis trigger point

2. Cheek = Masseter trigger point

Cheek = Masseter trigger point

3. Mandible = Masseter trigger point

Mandible = Masseter trigger point

4. Mastoid = Sternocleidomastoid trigger point

Mastoid = Sternocleidomastoid trigger point

5. Neck = Suboccipital myofascial trigger points

Neck = Suboccipital myofascial trigger points

The common described sounds of tinnitus are chirping, buzzing, ringing, hissing, or whistling sounds. In many cases, more than one sound but several mixed forms of noise or sounds are perceived.

If you do have involvement of the somatosensory system with your tinnitus symptoms, you may notice a correlation of more sounds from the side of pain —- i.e. more pronounced sounds if you push on one side vs the other.

I hope this can help you figure out other strategies to help yourself! Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Tinnitus Treatment
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