Deafness and Chiropractic

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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Cervical Spine Disorders and its Association with Tinnitus:
The "Triple" Hypothesis

Med Hypotheses. 2017 (Jan); 98: 2–4 ~ FULL TEXT

Conceivably, cervical spine disorders could trigger a somatosensory pathway-induced disinhibition of dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) activity in the auditory pathway; furthermore, CSD can cause inner ear blood impairment induced by vertebral arteries hemodynamic alterations and trigeminal irritation.

A Randomized Controlled Trial on Treatment of Cervicogenic
Sudden Hearing Loss with Chiropractic

Zhongguo Gu Shang. 2015 (Jan); 28 (1): 62–65

After the treatment, pure-tone audiometry score and NPQ score in treatment group improved to (40.23± 8.14) dB and (12.70±8.29) scores respectively, which were obviously better than that of control group's (37.70±10.61) dB and (21.24±11.13) scores (P<0.05).

Resolution of Hearing Loss After Chiropractic Manipulation
Topics in Integrative Health Care 2014 (Sep 30); 5 (3) ~ FULL TEXT

After being unsuccessfully medically treated over an 8 month period, she sought chiropractic care for the above symptoms. After 3 chiropractic adjustments, her hearing and associated symptoms were significantly improved. She received 12 treatments over a 4–month period. When asked to rate her hearing and fullness sensation in the ear on a Patient Specific Functional Scale with a 0–10 measure, where 0 is no deficits and 10 is completely impaired, initially she rated her symptoms as 7, and 5 months after the conclusion of care, her rating dropped to 1. Following treatment her audiogram was normal.

Chiropractic Management of a 40–year-old Female
Patient With Ménière Disease

J Chiropractic Medicine 2010 (Mar); 9 (1): 22–27 ~ FULL TEXT

Treatment included primarily high-velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation to the upper cervical and thoracic spine, along with soft-tissue trigger-point therapy, and stretching exercises. Within 2 weeks of treatment, the patient's tinnitus had resolved; and all other symptoms (including vertigo) were improved. The patient's headaches, neck pain, and vertigo were subsequently resolved within 3 months of treatment. The patient experienced only 2 minor episodes of self-resolving "light-headedness" over that time. After 2½ years of follow-up, any occasional episodes of mild aural fullness and/or light-headedness are either self-resolving or relieved with cervical spinal manipulation and soft-tissue treatment.

Improvement in Hearing After Chiropractic Care: A Case Series
Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2006 (Jan 19); 14 (1): 2 ~ FULL TEXT

A percentage of patients presenting to the chiropractor have a mild to moderate hearing loss, most notably in the right ear. The clinical progress documented in this report suggests that manipulation delivered to the neuromusculoskeletal system may create central plastic changes in the auditory system.

Hearing Loss, Otalgia and Neck Pain: A Case Report on Long-Term
Chiropractic Care That Helped to Improve Quality of Life

Chiropractic Journal of Australia 2002 (Dec); 32 (4): 119–130 ~ FULL TEXT

Observation over an extended period assists in understanding the progression of chronic disorders. This patient experienced substantially reduced symptoms with chiropractic care during the 7–year observation period. Of note is the repeated exacerbation of neck pain that often precedes exacerbation in ear symptoms, along with the relief of both following adjustment and an association between improved hearing and improved cervical alignment.

Vertebrogenic Hearing Deficit, the Spine, and Spinal
Manipulation Therapy: A Search to Validate the
D.D. Palmer/Harvey Lillard Experience

Chiropractic Journal of Australia 2002 (Mar); 32 (1): 14–26

The claim that hearing can be improved following SMT has been scoffed at as physiologically impossible, but a review of the medical and chiropractic literature suggests that hearing deficits may be associated with spinal joint motion restriction, spondyloarthrosis, irritation of the sympathetic nervous system, decreased cervico-cerebral circulation and/or decrease in tinnitus.

Chiropractic Care of a Patient with Temporomandibular Disorder
and Atlas Subluxation

J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2002 (Jan); 25 (1): 63–70 ~ FULL TEXT

A 41–year-old woman had bilateral ear pain, tinnitus, vertigo, altered or decreased hearing acuity, and headaches. She had a history of ear infections, which had been treated with prescription antibiotics. Her complaints were attributed to a diagnosis of temporomandibular joint syndrome and had been treated unsuccessfully by a medical doctor and dentist. High-velocity, low-amplitude adjustments (ie, Gonstead technique) were applied to findings of atlas subluxation. The patient's symptoms improved and eventually resolved after 9 visits.

Vertigo, Tinnitus, and Hearing Loss in the Geriatric Patient
J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000 (Jun); 23 (5): 352–362 ~ FULL TEXT

A 75–year-old woman with a longstanding history of vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss experienced an intensified progression of these symptoms 5 weeks before seeking chiropractic care.The patient received upper cervical-specific chiropractic care. Through the course of care, the patient's symptoms were alleviated, structural and functional improvements were evident through radiographic examination, and audiologic function improved. The clinical progress documented in this report suggests that upper cervical manipulation may benefit patients who have tinnitus and hearing loss.

Cervicogenic Hearing Loss
HNO 1994 (Oct); 42 (10): 604–613

Findings in 62 patients suffering from vertebragenic hearing disorders are reported before and after chiropractic management. Results indicate that these hearing disorders are reversible, as demonstrated by audiometry and OAE. The therapy of choice is chiropractic manipulation of the upper cervical spine. The commoness of vertebragenic hearing disorders emphasizes their clinical and forensic importance.


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