What are risk factors for somatosensory tinnitus?

What are risk factors for somatosensory tinnitus?
What are risk factors for somatosensory tinnitus?

What are risk factors for somatosensory tinnitus is a common question we get as neck health experts.

Somatosensory tinnitus, also known as somatic tinnitus, is a type of tinnitus where the perception of sound in the ears is influenced or modulated by movements or sensations in other parts of the body.

It is believed to have a connection to the somatosensory system, which processes sensory information related to touch, pressure, and body position.

Risk factors for somatosensory tinnitus may include:

  1. Neck and Jaw Issues:
    • Problems with the cervical spine (neck) or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can contribute to somatosensory tinnitus.
    • Conditions like cervical spine arthritis or TMJ disorders may affect the sensory input to the auditory system.
  2. Muscle Tension:
    • Chronic muscle tension, especially in the neck and shoulder area, can exacerbate somatosensory tinnitus.
    • Stress and anxiety can contribute to muscle tension, which, in turn, can affect tinnitus perception.
  3. Head and Neck Trauma:
    • Prior head or neck injuries, such as whiplash, concussions, or other trauma, can disrupt the sensory pathways and potentially lead to somatosensory tinnitus.
  4. Dental Issues:
    • Dental problems, such as misaligned teeth or dental surgery, can affect the jaw and bite alignment, potentially influencing somatosensory tinnitus.
  5. Posture:
    • Poor posture can strain neck muscles and affect the cervical spine, which may contribute to somatosensory tinnitus in some cases.
  6. Bruxism (Teeth Grinding):
    • Teeth grinding, a common symptom of stress, can put pressure on the jaw joint and surrounding muscles, possibly leading to somatosensory tinnitus.
  7. Psychological Factors:
    • Stress, anxiety, and depression can amplify somatosensory tinnitus or make it more noticeable.
    • These emotional factors can also lead to muscle tension and changes in perception.
  8. Medications:
    • Some medications used to treat pain or muscle spasms may have side effects that impact the sensory and auditory systems, potentially contributing to somatosensory tinnitus.

Note that somatosensory tinnitus can vary from person to person, and not all cases have well-defined exact causes and risk factors.

If you suspect you have somatosensory tinnitus or are experiencing tinnitus with unusual sensory associations, it is advisable to consult with a physical therapist trained in somatosensory tinnitus or an audiologist.

They can conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the underlying causes and recommend appropriate management strategies or treatments tailored to your specific situation.

Treatment options for Somatosensory Tinnitus

These results do show still a portion of patients did not show improvement. At PhysioFit of North Carolina, we not only treat the cervical spine to treat somatosensory tinnitus, but also treat the jaw and face. This is coined TMJ treatment.

If you suspect somatosensory tinnitus or experience any of the mentioned symptoms, we recommend seeking professional evaluation and guidance to better understand and address this unique form of tinnitus.

Patients presenting with tinnitus should consider specialized physical therapy.   We provide a comprehensive treatment approach through our Somatosensory Tinnitus Relief Program.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today so we can help you!

Tinnitus Treatment