Massage Therapy for Tinnitus & 7 Relevant Things to Know
Not long ago, an organization called “Hear It” conducted research and found that about 40-50 million people in the United States, or 10-20% of the population, suffer from tinnitus.
“The American Tinnitus Association” also said tinnitus is a leading military-related disability for veterans. And since 2005, it has been an increasingly common diagnosis. For many veterans, it disrupts their daily lives and also brings back memories of the war.
Any person could develop tinnitus and at any point in their life. This condition can adversely affect your office function and relationship with others. Furthermore, it can negatively impact your cognitive skills, i.e., judgment, awareness, perception, and reasoning.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the perception of non-auditory, internal sound without the presence of external sounds. Besides, this chronic condition can range from irritating to exhausting.
Tinnitus usually sounds like a buzz in the ear, but it can also be ringing, whistling, or even clicking. Whatever the sounds seem like, tinnitus is something you wouldn’t hesitate to get rid of quickly.
Also, this condition can be intermittent or continuous. And you can experience it in one or both ears, either low- or high-pitched. Even though tinnitus is not a disease, it’s a symptom of an underlying ailment or injury.
Below are some sounds that are symptoms of tinnitus:
- Whooshing or musical sounds
Note that the sound volume usually fluctuates, and it’s more noticeable during quiet periods or at night.
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Can Massage Therapy Help Tinnitus?
Massage therapy can help alleviate the various symptoms of tinnitus in several ways. Massage therapy lowers stress, which usually worsens tinnitus and all other underlying medical conditions.
Furthermore, massage can also solve posture problems that can contribute to tinnitus. Although there is no complete cure for chronic tinnitus, Harvard Medical advises that massage therapy can make it manageable.
Also, in one case study, a patient was subjected to soft tissue massage, repetitive movements, and joint mobilization for nearly three months. At the end of this period, the patient’s tinnitus symptoms were alleviated.
Additionally, muscle tension can exacerbate your tinnitus condition.
However, getting a nice massage will help relieve muscle tension and correct unevenness in your neck, head, and jaw. Besides, these postural defects can put undue stress on your inner ear.
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What is the Best Massage for Tinnitus?
There are several massage techniques out there. But, we will explain four of the best massage techniques to manage your tinnitus. They’re as follows:
#1. Lymphatic Massage
It’s worth applying gentle lymphatic (lymphatic drainage) massages on your jaw, head, neck, and ears, especially if inflammation is a factor. Moreso, lymphatic massage is a unique form of massage that demands extra training and the basics of massage school.
So ensure you confirm if your therapist is trained in this particular therapy before subscribing to it.
#2. Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger points are tight and sensitive muscle “knots” found in every muscle in your body. They can cause several strange problems, in addition to their more general effect of directing the pain to another part of your muscle.
Medical studies prove that trigger points in the jaw and front of the neck can contribute to ringing in the ears. Hence using a targeted trigger point massage to deactivate them can provide relief or at least reduce symptoms.
Just like Lymphatic massage, trigger point therapy is a specialized form of massage. Also, ensure your massage therapist is familiar with the procedures.
#3. Myofascial Massage
The fascia is the connective tissue found throughout your body, including your face and ears. It can be narrow and confined. Performing myofascial massage on the large muscles at the front of your neck can help to loosen and relax the fascia of the inner ear.
As a result, it will stop ringing in your ears. Fortunately, many licensed massage therapists can perform this technique.
#4. General Swedish Massage to the Head, Neck, Jaw, and Chest
Applying Swedish massage on muscles of your neck and chest can solve or improve the thoracic outlet syndrome, which in some cases can cause tinnitus.
Thoracic outlet syndrome is a tight muscle in your neck or chest that restricts blood flow to your arm and other areas.
Additionally, Swedish massage can help people with minor ear issues like pain with airplane landings and ear pressure. The most qualified massage therapists can perform Swedish massage.
Note, you can look up more details about other tinnitus treatment options at the American Tinnitus Association website.
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7 Relevant Things You should Know about Tinnitus
The paragraphs below provide all relevant details you need to know about tinnitus.
The following health conditions can cause or aggravate tinnitus:
- Earwax: Wax helps to protect the ear canal by trapping dirt and slowing bacteria growth. However, excessive amounts of earwax can lead to tinnitus or cause some other hearing problems.
- Inner ear damage: The tiny fine hairs in your inner ear move relative to sound waves. This movement causes a nerve impulse in the brain for the interpretation of sounds. When this hair is damaged, it can emit random electrical impulses to your brain and cause tinnitus or hearing loss.
- Otosclerosis: This is a genetic disorder triggered by abnormal bone growth. Otosclerosis harden the bones of your middle ear and causes tinnitus.
- Stress and Depression: Although the link is unclear, doctors often cite this as one of the causes of tinnitus, especially when no physical symptoms can be identified.
- Meniere’s Disease: Abnormal inner ear fluid pressure or composition can cause Meniere’s disease. Besides this, ear disorder is associated with vertigo, ear ringing, and dizziness.
- Medications: Tinnitus is often listed as one of the aftereffects of many drugs, including antibiotics, aspirin, quinine medications, cancer drugs, and diuretics.
- Blood Vessel Disorders: Blood vessel disorders can also trigger tinnitus. Examples are high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, capillary malformation, or a kink in the carotid artery.
Other causes of tinnitus include dental work, head or neck injuries, allergies, and a local tumor.
Anyone can experience tinnitus, but these factors may increase your risk:
- Loud noise exposure. People who work in a noisy and loud environment are at significant risk of having tinnitus.
- Sex. Research indicates males are more likely to develop tinnitus than females.
- Age. As you get older, the chances of you experiencing hearing issues like tinnitus increase.
- Certain health problems. Cardiovascular problems, obesity, high blood pressure, head injury, and a history of arthritis increase the risk of developing tinnitus.
- Tobacco and alcohol use. People who smoke tobacco or cigarettes are much more likely to experience tinnitus than non-smokers. This also applies to people who drink alcohol.
People are affected by tinnitus differently. Tinnitus can significantly affect the quality of your life. Below are some complications you could experience when you have tinnitus:
- Anxiety and irritability
- Sleep problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Memory problems
- Issues of work and family life
#4. What happens if tinnitus goes untreated?
When you ignore and fail to treat your tinnitus, it can ruin your life. Tinnitus could cause anger, anger, depression, concentration problems, and isolation. Some tinnitus patients become very sensitive to places with loud music, constant noise.
As a result, they try to avoid such social gatherings altogether. At the same time, others may find it disturbing and difficult to get a whole night’s sleep.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help limit the severity of the condition. Also, avoiding exposure to loud sounds is an effective preventive measure against tinnitus and other hearing-related issues.
Also, you can prevent worsening of your hearing damage by:
- Ensuring you use hearing protection, such as earplugs and ear mufflers in noisy places
- Ensuring you play personal listening devices at a moderate volume
Most cases of tinnitus have no definite cure. Most people get used to it and also learn to adjust to the condition. Ignoring it, instead of focusing on it, can provide you relief.
If this does not help, you can benefit from the effects of treating the symptoms such as anxiety, hearing problems, insomnia, depression, and social isolation.
Dealing with these problems can significantly improve your quality of life.
#7.When to See a Doctor
If you don’t attend to your tinnitus in time, it will cause irreversible damages. Hence you should consult your doctor quickly if you observe the following:
- Hearing loss and dizziness as a result of your tinnitus
- Depression and anxiety due to your tinnitus
- Cold and other upper respiratory infection
- Your tinnitus keep worsening
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Massage therapy is an excellent natural treatment method for those suffering from the symptoms of tinnitus. This therapy can lower your level of stress and anxiety.
Furthermore, tinnitus massage treatment will help relieve you of tension and improve the alignment of your muscles in the ears, jaw, and neck.
In conclusion, when you’re looking for a tinnitus massage, you should go for a licensed massage therapist. And, ensure your therapist is well trained in massage techniques for the muscles of the neck, jaw, and ears.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website results from in-depth research on various topics. The articles on this site are only for informational and educational purposes, and it’s not intended as medical or health advice. Hence, we suggest you always ensure to seek the opinion of your doctor or other qualified health personnel regarding any questions that relate to health objectives or medical conditions.