According to the American Tinnitus Association, “tinnitus is the perception of sound when no actual external noise is present. While it is commonly referred to as “ringing in the ears,” tinnitus can manifest many different perceptions of sound, including buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing, and clicking.”
It is thought that almost 15% of Americans suffer from some form of tinnitus.
No one seems to be quite sure what the cause of tinnitus is, but it is most often associated with hearing loss.
Traditionally tinnitus is treated with changes to diet and lifestyle, the use of hearing aids, behavioral therapy, use of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, and electromagnetic stimulation, but none of these treatments have been found to definitively improve or cure tinnitus symptoms.
Improving Tinnitus with chiropractic
It is not often offered as an option by the medical community, but chiropractic has been found repeatedly to help with symptoms of tinnitus.
One 2002 study showed the improvement and resolution of bilateral ear pain, tinnitus, vertigo, altered or decreased hearing acuity, and headaches in a 41 year old woman after 9 visits to a chiropractor.
A case study from the March 2012 Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research showed how one “52 year old male presented to the office with a previous diagnosis of Meniere’s disease and associated symptoms of tinnitus, sensations of fullness in the left ear, vertigo, tension headaches, right mid-back and scapular pain along with other musculoskeletal complaints.”
He decided to seek out a chiropractor and “after the first adjustment, the patient noted a minor reduction in tinnitus. After 4 adjustments, and 5 weeks of care, his subjective feedback demonstrated an improvement of about 60% and a significant reduction of musculoskeletal complaints.”
Another case study from 2014 shows the positive results of a 46 year old female with neck pain, tinnitus, and hearing loss who was treated with cervical spinal manipulation. She had been unsuccessfully treated medically for 8 months when she decided to see a chiropractor. “After 3 chiropractic adjustments, her hearing and associated symptoms were significantly improved. She received 12 treatments over a 4-month period. When asked to rate her hearing and fullness sensation in the ear on a Patient Specific Functional Scale with a 0-10 measure, where 0 is no deficits and 10 is completely impaired, initially she rated her symptoms as 7, and 5 months after the conclusion of care, her rating dropped to 1. Following treatment her audiogram was normal.”