Affecting up to 15-20% of Canadians, tinnitus or ringing in the ears is quite a common problem for many. Although it is considered a condition, it is just a symptom of an underlying condition. If you have a constant buzzing or ringing sound in your ears that hasn’t stopped for a few days, you should consider physiotherapy as it can help you a lot.
Causes of Ringing Ears
The ringing of the ears is a broad condition that can be caused by various factors and health conditions; some are not so serious, while others can be. One of the most common causes of ringing ears is exposure to loud noises, like working in a noisy environment, listening to loud music, or riding loud motorcycles. Other reasons for ringing ears include ageing that leads to overall hearing loss, heavy alcohol consumption or smoking, and other severe health conditions like diabetes, heart conditions and allergies.
Physiotherapy for Ringing Ears
Over decades of research, it has been found that physiotherapy can be extremely useful in treating ringing in the ears. The first step in treating ringing ears with physiotherapy is identifying the trigger for the sound. For this, we examine the patient and evaluate their medical history.
Once the trigger point is identified, the next step is to develop a meticulous physiotherapy plan to treat the condition. The treatment often includes exercise, but may also incorporate other physical therapy treatments like acupuncture or electrotherapy to target specific issues that are causing the problem.
There are many ways in which physiotherapy can treat the condition, and it differs from case to case. For example, ringing caused by weak neck muscles can be treated by exercising the neck muscles. For ringing caused by a pinched or damaged nerve, electrical stimulation is often used.
Most Common Physiotherapy Treatments for Ringing Ears
Treating tinnitus is not as simple as taking medicines, and it does require a level of exercise and discipline. Here are the most common physical therapy treatments that are effective in treating tinnitus.
Cervical Movements and Muscle Contractions
This form of treatment includes repetitive cervical movements and exercises that work and contract your neck muscles. These movements include basic exercises that can be either active or passive, depending on your condition. With the help of these exercises, the neck muscles are strengthened, and the cervical spine mobility is brought back to a healthy normal. This works best if the ringing is caused by weak neck muscles.
Stretching, Postural Training and Acupuncture
Like the above form of treatment, stretching and postural training can also help reduce the stress on the muscles around your ears. In this form of therapy, the muscles are stretched to promote blood flow in the tissue. This is because the improved circulation of blood speeds up the healing process. In some cases, even acupuncture is recommended to promote blood flow if stretching routines aren’t enough.
In the case of ringing ears caused by damaged tissue or upper cervical nerve C2, electrical stimulation like TENS is an excellent way to treat the condition. In this treatment, short bursts of electrical charge are sent through the skin to the target tissue to promote healing and stimulation. Although it sounds scary, electrotherapy is not invasive and does not offer any side effects, making them an excellent alternative to surgery.
This is not all, other forms of physical therapy are cognitive behavioural therapy and deep breathing, but they are not as common. If you seem to be suffering from any of the issues mentioned above, you should contact Physiatrix Rehab. We offer class-leading physiotherapy in Surrey. Book an appointment now.