Real Tinnitus in most medical texts and studies will tell you that it is not fully understood why ‘’ringing in the ears’’ occurs. It is a symptom, not a disease process itself. The most obvious cause is due to working around loud machinery or music. Therapy for tinnitus is; seeing your GP and audiologist, and re-training therapy (which includes therapeutic noise generators and hearing aids) and counseling. Some people it just effects at night (as they can ignore it during a normal busy day), the best background/quiet music to help you sleep is classical music.
Pseudo Tinnitus – ie clients who have TMJ symptoms have a greater chance of suffering from tinnitus. There are a few theories that TMJ suffers have tinnitus due some of the jaw muscles sit close to the middle ear muscles and can pull the ear drum tighter causing ringing noise.
Or that connections between ligaments that attach to the jaw also attach to one of the hearing bones in the middle ear.
Or the nerve supply to the TMJ is similar to the ear and the part of the brain that interprets sound, which could aggravate pre-existing tinnitus.
However ask any physio or massage therapist and we also have big theories too!! And many of the neck muscles that attach onto the mastoid process also create tinnitus symptoms, mostly SCM (sternocliedomastiod muscle).
So if you get no relief from your GP/audiologist and a year of seeing if your brain will self resolve the problem by blocking it out, or accommodating to it, then see your expert Jaw Physio to see if it is your TMJ and surrounding jaw and neck muscles.
One strange trick has helped some of my clients – they have put ear plugs in their ears, not to stop the noise, but to stretch out the muscles in the surrounding area, along with having physio on their jaw and neck.
Icing the muscles around the jaw and neck can help, as this is usually an inflammatory process, heat packs will make it worse as they bring more blood supply to the area with the heat and increase the inflammatory products to the area.
If it is just muscle spasm then heat.
However, if it is muscle spasm and inflammation, and or synovitis, and or jaw disc protrusion/dislocation then you must only ICE, as heat will make it worse.
Call 9315 3855 for an appointment.