I have had an influx of patients presenting with the complaint of ringing in the ear, also known as tinnitus. This condition can burden daily living and cause poor concentration, memory difficulties, and poor sleep. Many people seek answers after realizing the issue is not improving, even after an appointment with their medical provider. The people who present with such problems in practice could have many pain symptoms, but it is often tinnitus when asked which one they wish would improve first.
The medical approach to tinnitus has not shown to be effective. A study performed in 2018 asked patients receiving treatments for tinnitus how effective intervention has been and 82.6% answered: “not at all effective.” In the medical community, the cause of tinnitus is a mystery and is managed by many different specialists. Visits to specialist after specialist increase frustration levels as the ringing in the ears persist for many patients.
My goal as a doctor of chiropractic is not to treat any condition but to restore the natural rhythm of bodily processes, which allows the body to function optimally and without symptoms. In restoring function to the body, I always start with the central nervous system because it is the body’s grand conductor. The most crucial aspect of an optimized central nervous system is an uninterrupted relationship with the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is the interface between the central nervous system and the body’s organs, muscles, joints, and glands.
The central and peripheral nervous systems meet inside tiny holes between each vertebra called the intervertebral foramen (IVF). The spinal nerves that live within these holes do not like to experience any tension or pressure. The problem with modern humans is that we have lived lives outside of our physiological design and have assumed postures and traumas that decreased the size of these holes, interfering with the communication within the nervous system.
The neck area is the area that has received the most insult from the modern lifestyle and is also the most miraculous 7 inches of the body. The neck is the foundation holding the skull upright, and the spinal nerves exiting the spinal cord are going to organs, such as the thyroid, lungs, heart, and back to the brain. The spinal nerves in the neck create a series of nerve bundles that affect the blood to the brain and senses, such as vision and hearing.
When the nerves of the neck are damaged, you can see that this can affect many functions in the body. The neck becomes immobilized from traumas such as whiplash injuries, or chronic postures like sitting. When the cervical spine is immobilized, the muscles attaching the neck to the skull become spasmed and weak. As these muscles become ineffective, the spine loses its normal curvature, and pressure is placed on the nerves of the cervical spine. The most common are the nerves originating below the occiput and the third cervical vertebra. These nerves exit the spine and create a bundle of nerves called the superior cervical plexus. The nerve fibers from this plexus help form the caroticotympanic nerve, which controls the blood supply to the inner ear.
When the caroticotympanic nerve is overstimulated, this causes a decrease of blood flow to the ear canal, which is attributed to ringing in the ear. In many cases, the spine has been malpositioned for over ten years and occurred before the onset of tinnitus. A corrective chiropractor can infer from the years that loss of spinal alignment has been present from the level of degeneration seen on x-ray images. The relieving news is that even though the problem has been current for years, in most cases, results are seen within months. The key is getting started with the Max Living lifestyle sooner rather than later.
The 5 Essentials and Tinnitus
Moving the spine towards a state of optimal alignment takes the pressure off the nerves causing tinnitus. Your Max Living chiropractor will also prescribe homecare exercises to assist in correcting the spine efficiently. Procedures to help achieve quicker results in tinnitus include traction and neck strengthening exercises.
Stress is experienced every day in modern humans, and tinnitus sufferers have been shown to experience heightened levels of anxiety when compared to asymptomatic people. Research has demonstrated that tinnitus symptoms improve when the nervous system reaches a state of relaxation through vagal stimulation. Ways to stimulate the vagus nerve include meditation, box breathing, and walks in nature.
The body is constantly repairing, recycling, and creating new cells, and the material to develop new cells is the food you consume. To take the stress off the nervous system and allow for optimal healing, it is vital to consume an anti-inflammatory diet, like the Max Living Advanced Plan. Research has also shown that supplementing B vitamins, zinc, resveratrol, and Ginkgo Biloba are effective for helping relieve tinnitus.
Our bodies were designed to move and move often. The problem is that humans have domesticated themselves and have become increasingly sedentary. Research has shown that inactive individuals suffer from tinnitus at greater frequencies. Aim to achieve at least 45 minutes of low-level movement each day, such as walking, and three sessions of 12-minute high-intensity burst training per week.
Ototoxicity is poisoning of the inner ear from medications or chemicals. To lower the risk of ototoxicity, remove toxic hygiene and cleaning products from your homes, and ask your doctor for strategies to limit or eliminate prescription medication. The Max Living Cleanse and Detox System supplements effectively remove stored toxins from the body.