Chiropractor Has Made My Tinnitus Worse

Discussion in 'Support' started by pk1996, Mar 14, 2020.

    1. pk1996

      pk1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad posture and Chiro
      This is my story with tinnitus and how it has gotten worse with chiropractor.

      My tinnitus first started over a year ago after I woke up. During the time, I recently got noise cancelling headphones and thought that may be the cause of it. Around the same time, I also developed a clicking noise at the back of my head. My head clicked every step that I took. My tinnitus at the time didn't really bother my sleep but I felt like it was pretty mild. I went to see multiple GPs and 2 different ENTs to see what was the cause of it but all weren't able to find a cause. We tried cleaning ear wax, checking ear pressure, checking my hearing, checking outer and inner ear, but all seemed normal and fine.

      My mum was seeing a chiropractor for her neck pain and she told me that the chiropractor may be able to help with my issue. I had multiple session with the chiropractor and each session either ended with my tinnitus staying the same or getting worst. I started developing new symptoms, where my tinnitus would intensify when i turned or moved my neck to the extremes. Shaking my head would also result in shaking the tinnitus. I would describe this like shaking a bell and hearing the ball inside shake. During my last session, the chiropractor lifted me up by putting her arms under my armpit. I may have been too heavy for her to do that, so my neck on the right side instantly reacted. A couple of minutes later, my neck on the right side felt extremely uncomfortable. A couple of hours later, it flared and swelled up pretty bad. My neck hurt for almost a week and I struggled to to use my right arm at one point. I used neck rub to prevent the swelling and soreness. I even got scans but the doctor said there was nothing wrong with my shoulder/neck and the pain and soreness seem to ease off 1 to 2 weeks later. To this date, my right shoulder will still get sore but that wouldn't last more than a few hours and it happens once every few weeks.

      I tried researching more about my condition, and found a post that mentioned that I should see an upper cervical chiropractor. It was suggested that my atlas/C1 was out of alignment and that's why moving my neck to the extremes will cause my tinnitus to amplify. I found that upper cervical chiro charged a lot for their services and there was not many around me. I decided to go to one that did atlas orthogonal, where the chiro used an instrument that clicked and launched a rod to move my atlas. He started off with xrays to check if my atlas was out of place and it also confirmed that I had sclerosis in my neck. My first session with him had no effect, but my second session made my tinnitus explode. It went from a three to an eight over night. I asked him why his technique made my tinnitus worse. He told me that your tinnitus will get worse before it gets better, and 2 sessions will not do it. I continued going until the 5th session, but we stopped when I told him that my tinnitus instantly reacted to his instrument. Now, I have problems sleeping and also concentrating due to my tinnitus, which I have never had before. He also recommended me to see a NUCCA chiropractor as my tinnitus reacted pretty badly to his technique. In the end I spent several hundred dollars just to make my tinnitus even worse.

      I haven't considered going to the NUCCA Chiropractor yet as my experience with chiro has just been negative. Has anyone had a similar experience and have any recommendations for me?
       
    2. oceanofsound26
      Sleepy

      oceanofsound26 Member

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      TMJ, Neck Issues, and Accompanying Postural Deviations.
      Hi @pk1996 -

      Welcome to the forum and sorry to hear about your issues with worsening tinnitus from chiropractic manipulations. Upper cervical chiro work is the most risky type to try as it carries the most potential for complications. There are several threads on the forum about Upper Cervical Chiro adjustments. Some have found relief and unfortunately others have had it worsen their tinnitus like you. I, myself, believe my tinnitus is due to some combination of musculoskeletal misalignment and neuromuscular imbalances. I have found success with combining several different types of treatment including the Atlas Orthogonal adjustments you tried. From your story, it sounds like you might have some sort of misalignment and imbalance as well especially since you attribute your tinnitus to poor posture. So, I would expect your worsening tinnitus might be conservatively due to some misalignment and/or imbalance that continues to escalate and worsen. While chiro treatment is one thing that can help correct postural deficiencies, employing this as a singular mode of treatment will rarely yield the desired outcome. Chiro treatments can provide short-term relief, but retraining your body and muscles to fix posture will take much more and it will be a marathon rather than a sprint. Combining other forms of treatment like physical therapy/muscle releases/stretches, massage, weight loss, acupuncture, and lifestyle changes with chiro treatments would be a better approach and has been for me as my tinnitus has improved significantly since my onset in July 2018 doing stuff like this.

      It sounds like you have habituated pretty well and being able to sleep with minimal trouble with tinnitus is no small accomplishment. The clicking noise at the back of your head may well have been an issue with your C-spine specifically your atlas (C1) and/or axis (C2). You may have lost some stability in your C-spine if you have have bad posture for a long period of time and may have developed forward head posture, rounded shoulders, winged scapulas, and/or hunchback posture (more information can be found on the pages of this website - https://posturedirect.com/); all of which will leave you predisposed to developing some type of craniocervical/cervicogenic tinnitus or worsening existing tinnitus for the same reasons related to the neck and C-spine. It is also possible you have problems with the facet joints in your C-spine (a little more info - https://www.healthline.com/health/neck-cracking#how-it-works) which can come with loss of stability. I do a couple stretches to improve atlas and axis mobility (see below videos).

      Atlas Axis Self-Mobilization (Neck Pain,...


      Dr Mandell's Atlas Technique - The...


      Be sure to use to correct technique and do not force anything as it may make your situation worse.

      Sounds like you may have pulled or strained a muscle in your neck which is actually pretty easy to do especially if suffer from poor posture. If imaging shows no problems, you might be in the clear here. If you are a side sleeper, try not to sleep on that side that gets sore for awhile. Stand with one side of your body against the wall, assume your "normal posture", and have someone take a postural photo and then do the same for the other side. See if you can spot any type of forward lean at the ankles, knees, hips, thorax, shoulders, or neck. To provide context - for every inch the head leans forward as part of forward head posture it adds an extra of 10 pounds of load that the neck and spine have to compensate for by drafting other muscles in the upper body for support. It cascades from there if your shoulders, thorax, etc... are pulled forward which strain and negatively impact other muscles that are activated to support parts of the body they do not normally support. Since one side of neck was your problem area, check for rotation or counter rotation of the pelvis and thorax. If your pelvis rotates, then your thorax could counter rotate, and the neck could counter rotate relative to your thorax which will leave you with a neck and pelvis facing one way and a thorax facing the other. The body will misalign, rotate, and/or counter rotate to keep your eyes level on the horizon. Add in a forward lean somewhere and you are really not in good shape. Treatment of a spine with sublaxation and rotation is especially tricky.

      Atlas Orthogonal is a percussion adjustment as you describe.

       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Winner Winner x 1
    3. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      @pk1996
      I can vouch for this advice. Neck trauma triggered severe T (loud, 24/7 sounds) for me last year, but regular neck exercises eliminated half of my sounds and reduced the remaining ones from 9 to 1 on a scale of 10.

      Note: this took one to two months in total. Some exercises gave a (small) T spike, but each spike withdrew within 30 minutes, and the length of the spikes slowly shortened over time as the muscles got more flexible. As long as pain and force are avoided, training the neck like this can give a lot of relief on the long term.
       
    4. oceanofsound26
      Sleepy

      oceanofsound26 Member

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      TMJ, Neck Issues, and Accompanying Postural Deviations.
    5. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      @oceanofsound26
      I seen many do great harm to themselves by doing Atlas Axis Self-Mobilization. I think that many of his techniques are too dangerous to do without professional supervision. Soft muscle therapy without known vascular problems is safer and many times beneficial, but many with tinnitus, non pulsatile tinnitus with no noted hearing loss have neck vascular issues as cause. Other have disease and/or degenerative conditions. One should have X rays done first before any spine manipulation and other radiological testing first before neck therapy when they have tinnitus.
       
    6. oceanofsound26
      Sleepy

      oceanofsound26 Member

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      TMJ, Neck Issues, and Accompanying Postural Deviations.
      Thank you for the information @Greg Sacramento. Nothing bad has happened to me yet, but you bring up some good points. You have much more knowledge and experience than myself with this type of thing and many of your posts have informed how I manage my tinnitus. I will stop performing the Atlas Axis Self Mobilization immediately. I have had X-Rays and an MRI of my C-spine which revealed no vascular or degenerative issues with my neck beyond forward head posture which I am working on (had some TMJ problems as well which is why I sought out an upper cervical chiro). However, additional imaging could have revealed problems I am cutrently not aware of. I have made a lot of progress in the past 9 months and I do not want to go backwards with my tinnitus at this point. I appreciate your concern.

      @pk1996 and all others - Please heed @Greg Sacramento's advice about Atlas Axis Self-Mobilization and other neck therapy. Please go thru the proper channels, diagnostic tests, and visits with medical specialists like I have before attempting anything like this or other types of similar neck therapy you are unsure about or uncomfortable attempting. There is no smoking gun with tinnitus treatment that will cure the condition quickly so please do not take any unnecessary risks.
       

Share This Page

Loading...