Can dry needling help tinnitus?

Can dry needling help tinnitus? The short answer is, sometimes dry needling can help tinnitus but it depends on the cause. Let’s dive into the current research and I’ll tell you about a recent patient who’s tinnitus I helped with dry needling in Tampa, FL.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a a condition where you hear a high or low pitched ringing in your head even though there there is no external sound. Between 10-15% of the population will experience tinnitus. Conventional treatment is extremely limited and there is no medication that cures tinnitus. Most doctors are at such a loss to treating tinnitus that some are even going so far as pointing a giant magnet at your brain and zapping it with the hopes that cure the tinnitus. So far that approach isn’t very successful.

Can dry needling help?

The good news is that dry needling CAN help some types of tinnitus. In cases where we find that tinnitus is one sided, then often the ringing can be caused by your neck (cerviocogenic) or from a tight muscle (pterygoid muscle) in both of these instances, Dr. Josh Hanson has successfully treated and cured tinnitus in a number of patients. Let’s review into 2 recent research articles.

Research Article #1 – Cervicogenic Tinnitus

In “Dry needling as a novel intervention for cervicogenic somatosensory tinnitus: a case study” the researched showed that dry needling that targeted the muscles of the upper cervical spine with dry needling resulted in a meaningful reduction in cervicogenic somatosensory tinnitus, and the improvements persisted at 1-year follow-up

How the heck can my neck cause tinnitus? Well some of the nerves that innervate part of your ear come out of the cervical plexus (a bundle of nerves) and those nerves start at your neck. So if you had an injury, trauma, overuse or poor posture this can irritate those nerves and cause them to act wonky.

Research Article #2 – Lateral Pterygoid Tinnitus

In “Sudden Brief Unilateral Tapering Tinnitus (SBUTT) Is Closely Related to the Lateral Pterygoid Muscle” the researchers discuss how “Some, if not all, SBUTTs appear to be closely related to trigger points within the lateral pterygoid muscle.”

What the heck does the pterygoid muscle do? Check the picture out below to see where it is on your face. This little muscle helps to open your jaw and make one side of your jaw protrude, which are important actions when it comes to eating. If this muscle is irritated or not functioning properly it can lead to TMJ and tinnitus.

A patient story

Last week I saw a patient who had a bad dental procedure over 1+ year ago that included a crown on a molar that wasn’t placed right. This cause his bite to be different on the left side. After a couple of weeks he had a lot of jaw pain and eventually this led to a constant ringing in his left ear. So after eventually getting the dental work fixed he was left with severe TMJ pain from the over use and compensation and a constant ringing in his ear for 1+ year. Like most people with tinnitus he had X-rays, MRI, CT scan to rule out anything bad and of course all the imaging came back fine. So he tried chiropractic, physical therapy and home massage with nothing helping. In desperation he found Dr. Josh Hanson to try dry needling in Tampa, FL and after an assessment of his jaw mechanics, we needled his lateral pterygoid muscle (along with a few others) which provided instant relief. I just checked in with this patient 4 days later and he has had no tinnitus since the first procedure.

The good news

If you’re dealing with tinnitus there are treatment options. Dry needling is proven to help at least 2 causes of tinnitus. There is no harm to have a careful evaluation performed by an experienced dry needling practitioner like Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM in Tampa, FL

Get in touch your way

The most experienced and comprehensive Prolozone Treatment for Knee Pain can be found with Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM at Hanson Complete Wellness in Tampa, FL. Dr Hanson has performed over 30,000 procedures for the treatment of pain. Feel free to get in touch whatever way works best for you – Call or Text us at 813-534-0311, Fill out a Candidacy Form and Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM at Hanson Complete Wellness will call you to see if you’re a candidate or Book Your Visit Online Here.


Picture of Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM

Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM

Dr. Josh Hanson specializes in treating chronic pain and providing fertility support. He has performed 40,000+ procedures over the last 10+ years. Dr. Hanson has a clinic in Tampa, FL where patients travel from all over Florida to receive cutting edge care.

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