What is the most effective treatment for Tinnitus?
Tinnitus or ringing in the ears/head is not simply a minor nuisance. It can be an absolutely maddening condition!
If you are looking for treatment or a solution to help tinnitus, one of the most important first steps is identifying the type of tinnitus that you experience.
- Sensorineural Tinnitus - Also known as “industrial deafness” or “industrial tinnitus,” this type of ringing is the result of damage to the acoustic nerve. Sensorineural tinnitus is diagnosed by an audiologist, who may prescribe hearing aids or hearing blocking devices as a way to reduce the noise.
- Somatosensory Tinnitus - This type of ringing is the result of a “crossed wire” or faulty information from some other part of your body accidentally affecting the parts of your brain that normally process sound information. Somatosensory tinnitus is typically diagnosed “by default” if hearing tests come back as normal.
In this article, we will have a look at this second type of tinnitus and natural treatment solutions that may be able to help.
The best treatment for Tinnitus in Brisbane?
When dealing with somatosensory tinnitus, the best most important step is identifying the origin of the faulty neurological input. There are two primary areas of concern:
- The TMJ, aka Temporomandibular Joint or jaw
- The upper neck, aka Upper Cervical spine
Both these areas contain a huge number of nerve receptors that provide your brain with important information about pain, physical movement, and also balance.
However, if either of these areas a physically injured - not necessarily broken or dislocated, but moving or locking atypically even a few millimetres - they can bombard your brain with noxious signals like static on a radio.
It is called the “dysafferentation hypothesis” where the abnormal signals overload your brain and spill into other parts where the signals do not belong.
In addition to tinnitus, a problem with the upper neck or TMJ may also be related to vertigo, dizziness, neuralgia, headaches, migraines, and other chronic pain and neurological conditions.
Pulsile Tinnitus treatment options
Of particular interest is a subtype of somatosensory tinnitus known as “pulsile tinnitus.”
Pulsile tinnitus is a ringing noise that seems to follow your heartbeat. Often, people describe it as a “thumping in my ear or at the base of my skull.”
Pulsile tinnitus is believed to be the result of altered blood flow to or from the brain through the back of the upper neck.
In brief, blood flow to the inner ear and brainstem enters the brain through the vertebral arteries, which pass through C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis) vertebrae in the upper part of the neck and through the large opening at the base of the skull called the foramen magnum.
In addition, blood flow from the brain exits through the vertebral veins, which descend in the opposite direction through the foramen magnum, the C1, and then the C2 vertebrae.
It is believed that when the C1 or C2 vertebrae may misalign at just the wrong angle, they may exert pressure on either of these arteries or veins. The result is that it produces local construction that can be felt as a “thumping” or “pulsile” sensation.
Fortunately, it is exceptionally rare for blood flow to be completely constricted through the vertebral veins or arteries. However, it is still possible for even small constrictions to increase pressure and result in the sensation (and sound) of pulse tinnitus.
New Tinnitus treatment
Treatment that focuses on the re-alignment of these vertebrae in the upper neck may be able to help provide relief for people experiencing pulsile or somatosensory tinnitus.
It is a unique approach to healthcare known as Blair upper cervical specific care.
Blair upper cervical care is a specialised form of chiropractic developed and researched in the USA. Unlike general manipulation, there is no twisting or cracking with a Blair upper cervical procedure. The treatment is focused on gentle precision for powerful changes with the least amount of intervention.
The focus is on restoring the alignment and motion for the vertebrae in the top of the neck - the C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis) - for the purpose of maintaining the normal function of the nerve system.
The upper part of the neck and brainstem are the master control centres for all areas of the body. In addition, the blood vessels that transmit through the C1 and C2 supply and drain blood from these vital life centres.
Because of the nerve connection between the upper neck and the centres of the brain responsible for processing auditory information, this is how we believe that Blair upper cervical care has been able to help people experiencing somatosensory tinnitus.
Pulsile Tinnitus Treatment and Upper Cervical
By correcting misalignments affecting these vertebrae, the Blair upper cervical chiropractic method is not a direct treatment for the effects of pulsile or somatosensory tinnitus per se.
Instead, it is a holistic approach to healthcare that works to allow your body to do what it is designed to do naturally: heal itself!
The process begins with a proper assessment. Many forms of tinnitus are NOT related to the health of your upper neck, and so it is important to distinguish the difference.
An initial assessment usually involves some form of physical analysis including how a problem in your neck may be affecting the structure of your entire body and also if the areas of your neck and moving properly.
Second, an assessment will involve some type of neurological assessment that measures the overall activity of your body in order to identify if there is some type of dysfunction present. In a Blair upper cervical office, this usually involves paraspinal thermography, which measures heat along the spine as an indicator of autonomic nerve activity.
If your initial tests illustrate that there is a problem with your neck, then the third step is a detailed diagnostic assessment that looks at the individual alignment of the points in your neck. This will typically involve some type of customised of “3D” x-rays.
Herein often lies the key difference between Blair upper cervical care and other forms of healthcare … even if you have already had CT or MRI scans.
You see, everyone’s body is different! You don’t need to be a neuroscientist to know that! So in order to see what is going on, it is important to measure the shape of your bone structure FIRST in order to see what is actually going on.
Many of the misalignments that we identify in a Blair upper cervical chiropractic clinic maybe only 1-3mm large. However, these displacements may still represent 10-30% deviations from the normal position. And that is no small matter when we are talking about the sensitivity of your nerve system, tinnitus, and the health of your body.
Natural treatment for Tinnitus with chiropractic care
By identifying the exact direction and degree of misalignment in your neck, a Blair upper cervical chiropractic doctor will be able to perform a series of assessments and precise corrections for restoring the normal motion through the joints in your upper neck,
And when the exact direction and degree are known, it does NOT take a shove, pull, twist or crack to get things to align back into normal motion. Instead, it takes only light and quick impulse, similar to what you would use to feel your pulse.
Like all things in life, healing also takes time. Many people who experience tinnitus experience rapid relief. Others it takes take a while, almost like there is an echo that needs to run its course before settling. Others it takes more than a single adjustment. Others, it can also take more than simply a Blair upper cervical adjustment.
Many people with somatosensory or pulsile tinnitus also have issues affecting the alignment of their jaw. If so, this may be something that requires co-management with a dental specialist.
As much as I’d like to tell you that a Blair upper cervical chiropractic doctor is a “one-stop-shop,” there actually is no such thing.
The best thing I can offer you then is the truth and a fair assessment so that you can make an informed decision so that you can have the best possible opportunity for your body to heal and so that you can experience the relief you so desire from phantom sounds in your ears.
Tinnitus treatment upper cervical clinic near me
If you have already visited with an audiologist, ENT, or neurologist, but without being able to find the underlying cause for your tinnitus, then we may be able to help.
Atlas Health is the premier upper cervical health centre in Brisbane and southeast Queensland. We are conveniently located in North Lakes to be available for people living in the greater Brisbane and Sunshine Coast communities.
Our focus is on helping people with chronic health conditions - including tinnitus - so they can discover long-term solutions in order to enjoy the quality of life that they desire most. Our principal upper cervical chiropractic doctor, Dr. Jeffrey Hannah, is an advanced certified practitioner in the Blair technique. He is an international lecturer, speaker, author, and recognised leader in the field of upper cervical specific care.
If you have any questions, Dr. Hannah offers a complimentary 15-minute over-the-phone consultation to discuss the particular details of your condition and to answer any questions you may have so that you can decide if Blair upper cervical care may be right for you.
If you would like to accept this no-obligation consultation, you can go to Contact Us for more information. Alternatively, you can call our office direct at 07 3188 9329.
We hope this article has been of value for you, and we appreciate your trust in something as precious as your health. We look forward to hearing from you and will offer our best to assist.
Atlas Health Australia - “Hope, healing, and wellbeing from above-down, inside-out.”
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