Do you feel exhausted by the continuous ringing noise in your ears? This medical condition is called tinnitus, and has many causes, including physical trauma to the eardrum or a blast of very loud noise. However, one of the less known causes of this problem, as well as an unexplained hearing loss, is damage to your cervical spine.
What Is the Connection between the Ear and the Cervical Spine?
The brain controls all of our senses, including hearing. The ears alone can capture sound from air vibrations. However, the brain interprets them as speech, music or the annoying buzzing of a fly.
The physical path that connects the ear to the brain is a nerve which passes through the upper (cervical) part of the spinal cord. Thus, cervical spine issues can have an impact on your hearing. This is not a simple claim, but supported by research. In a clinical study conducted in 2017, two researchers found that no less than 60% of the patients with cervical spine issues caused by rheumatoid arthritis also suffered from hearing loss.
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The Most Common Causes of Cervical Spine Issues
But how does a person develop cervical spine issues? One of the most frequent causes is trauma. For example, after a car accident, a person can suffer from whiplash (the jerking movement of the head backward and forward).
This sudden movement exceeds the normal range of movement of the neck. Thus, the accident victim may suffer from misaligned vertebrae, pinched nerves of strained muscles and tendons.
In other cases, people develop cervical spine issues as a result of pre-existing conditions, such as:
• Spinal cord inflammation.
Tinnitus Is a Symptom, Not a Condition
Let us now return to the issue at hand. Many people complain of hearing a high pitched ringing noise in the ears, even in the absence of any outside sound. This is not a condition in itself, but the symptom of a specific condition.
It does not go away by itself and can be extremely debilitating. Patients report feeling permanently exhausted, short-tempered, or unable to focus on their work tasks.
When asked when their issues with tinnitus started, many people report suffering from a stiff neck or an incident involving head or neck trauma. As any chiropractor can tell you, a stiff neck is one of the first symptoms of cervical spine issues.
Can Chiropractic Heal Tinnitus Caused by Cervical Spine Issues?
Tinnitus by itself does not have a specific treatment course. Getting relief from this debilitating condition is related to solving the underlying issues – namely, the cervical spine issues.
While chiropractors cannot fully heal conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis, they can help reduce inflammation and correct misaligned vertebrae. Through specific adjustments and manipulations, chiropractic treatment can:
• Free pinched nerves from constraints
• Prevent scar tissue in neck muscles and ligaments
• Improve blood flow to alleviate local inflammation.
As the treatment course progresses, patients start experiencing improvements, including a decrease or total disappearance of tinnitus.
Tinnitus can have a strong negative impact on your life. If it appears after a physical trauma, the underlying cause may be cervical spine issues, chiropractic can help you. We encourage you to browse our online registry and find a chiropractor near you!