Ask the Chiropractor- Does chiropractic help with tinnitus? Is there a way for chiropractors to help with the ringing in my ears? Dr Hulsebus discusses that there are several ways chiropractic care might help. #healthy815 #icachiropractor
- Hello, Dr. Brant Hulsebus, chiropractor here. Today, another edition of "Ask The Chiropractor". "Ask The Chiropractor" is our little podcast that we do here for when somebody has a question about chiropractic care, we like to answer it here. I've always said, "If you have a question about chiropractic, or chiropractic care, you should always ask a chiropractor, not a family doctor, not a dentist, not a podiatrist, but actually ask a licensed certified chiropractor." Just like if you had a question about your teeth, you wouldn't to ask your family doctor, you'd ask your dentist. So today, we got a really good question. Today has to do with tinnitus, ringing in the ears. Has chiropractic been able to help somebody with ringing in the ears? And before I start talking about a symptom that people come to the chiropractor with, I want to clarify a little chiropractic, kinda how it works and what it does and what it doesn't do. Chiropractic doesn't ever treat anything, other than trying to put the spine back in line, and reducing what we call subluxations, making sure the spine's acting the way it's supposed to, and the nerve flows off. And a lot of times, after we deliver care, people have side effects of that care, and get great relief of different symptoms. So let's talk about that symptom that might be alleviated if you get your spine back in line, ringing in the ears, tinnitus. So what happens is, there's a couple different ways chiropractic can influence this. The first way is the second bone in your neck, the C2, otherwise called the axis, is a very unique bone. It has a little tree stump that sticks up on it, and the first bone wraps around it. And when you shake your head no, that's where you pivot and turn. Now this little tree stump that sticks up, what happens is, there's another part inside your head, another bone, and other things in that area, that as this rotates and turns, it puts pressure on that. And there's a bone inside your skull, and it kind of, I always thought personally, it looks like a giant hawk, 'cause it has a body in the middle, and it comes out real big on both sides. Now this bone can rotate left, right, front, or back. A lot of babies deal with this bone. It'll rotate forwards, and it'll block the tear ducts. And a lot of times when you have a little baby, you have to like massage their face, and you get all that junk out of their eyes. And as the child grows, the head grows, the bone falls back into place, and the eye problem goes away. But that's typically what we see when we deal with babies. But I also want you to visualize this bone with me. It can shift left, or shift right. And inside your ear, you have a tube called the Eustachian tube. If your Eustachian tube narrows, the air flow changes. And when the air flow in and out of that tube, and the pressure changes, you get ringing in the ears or tinnitus. So this bone should shift to the side, and cause problems with the Eustachian tube, tinnitus and ringing in the ears is very common. So as a chiropractor, what I would do is I would adjust your second bone in your neck, to try to influence this one indirectly, by getting the second bone realigned, and taking the pressure off inside the head, and allowing that bone inside your skull to fall into place. Now I've taken some other classes in addition to normal chiropractic classes where we do a thing called cranial adjusting. Now let me explain to you what cranial adjusting is. Every time you breathe in your head gets a little bit bigger and when you exhale, it shrinks. That's why if you have a head on too tight a lot of times when you breathe in you can feel more pressure when you breathe in on this hat. But the reason the body does this is because it's actually opening up and coming down and it plays part of the role of moving your spinal fluid around. It creates like a suction and moves things back and forth. A lot of times when somebody has a really bad headache they wanna rub right behind their temples here. And that's where you can actually feel that bone. And so what we do is we stabilize that, you take a breath in, then you take a breath out. We let go. And by doing that we can actually help that bone become more freed up and in doing so, doing a cranial adjustment. So a lot of times the people that have really bad tinnitus, not only will we check the second cervical, but we'll also do that cranial adjustment trying to free more up. I've had a lot of people come to me with migraines and ringing in the ears and we do that. They feel better like that. Now the other thing we talk a lot about when we deal with this is the trigeminal cervical nucleus. Now I'm gonna use a bunch of words and there's no quiz at the end but the trigeminal cervical nucleus is a really cool thing as a chiropractor to study, because anytime you have a headache, the trigeminal cervical nucleus is involved. Now trigeminal is a nerve that innervates your face, it's got three branches, that's why it's called tri. And the geminal just, I don't know what geminal means, honestly. But it's the trigeminal nerve that goes across your face with the three branches. And these three branches, you know, that's Bell's palsy, is the trigeminal nerve. A lot of times, if you get a tooth worked on you get a headache as you're irritated to trigeminal nerve. So as a chiropractor, we're curious about the trigeminal nerve because part of the neurological input of it not only comes from the trigeminal nerve on your face, correct? But also from C1, 2 and 3, the top three bones in your neck. And as chiropractors, we definitely influence those. So if you have a problem in the top three bones of your neck on x-ray, especially the C2, right? So that's up there right in the middle of those, we wanna adjust those areas and see if we can free it up. Because part of the output of the trigeminal cervical nucleus not only is the pathway from the trigeminal cervical nucleus to the cortex of the brain, which causes the pain, but it can also affect other areas like the periaqueductal gray, causing pain there too. It can also affect the sympathetic nervous system by tapping into the thalamus. But back to our point, it also does the muscles that open and close the diameter of your eustachian tube, along with TMJ muscles. For the TMJ muscles, they are very important in this. So when someone tells me that they've had some jaw pain, headaches, and now they're getting ringing in the ears. Now we're thinking trigeminal cervical nucleus. And what's the best part about all this? Well as a chiropractor, it doesn't really matter what you tell me. When you come to my office and you're a new patient we're gonna take x-rays of your cervical spine. 'Cause we want to make sure it's safe to take care of you before we do anything else. But the second thing is we wanna see what's going on with those vertebrae. We want to see how they're lining up and what's happening with them. So with the x-rays, if we take the x-rays and we determine it's safe to proceed with chiropractic care, which again, only a chiropractor can answer that question. But once we know it's safe to proceed with the chiropractic care, we wanna see if there's any major misalignments with those bones. And if we see a major misalignment with those bones then I'm more optimistic that we might be able to help with the ringing of the years. So if these are the things that we see as a chiropractor then we think we can help you. Now are there like 150 other reasons why people have ringing in the ears? Absolutely. Can chiropractor care take care of all these reasons? Absolutely not. That's why we have ear, nose, throat doctors, which we're also friends with. So if you are having an ENT problem you need to go see an ENT. Luckily, because I work with the Rockford Ice Hogs, we have a team ENT I've become friends with and I'm able to call over there and make the referral for you. But if we take your x-ray and we see those top three bones having issues then we're optimistic we might be able to do something to help you. Again, we're not gonna treat the tinnitus. We're gonna get those three bones realigned. If you get those three bones realigned maybe we'll take the biomechanical pressure off the tube. Maybe we'll help the nerves enervating the muscles around the tube teel better. Maybe we'll help the trigeminal cervical nucleus do better, which will help with the headaches, help with some of the stress, and maybe help those muscles relax and get the tube back open again. So if you have tinnitus or ringing in the ears and you're curious if a chiropractor can help you, the best thing to do is have those top three bones in your neck looked at and see if that's a component of something that can help you. You might also want to ask if your chiropractor understands your cranial adjustments, 'cause that cranial adjustment right there can do a lot of good for you. Those are the questions I would ask my chiropractor before I came in. Will you x-ray my neck and do you do cradle adjustments in order to help out with my tinnitus? I would say if you started care for the chiropractor and two weeks goes by and there's absolutely no change in the tinnitus, then probably unfortunately, maybe you went to too many rock concerts as a kid and that's why you have it. Or maybe you've been around too much heavy machinery your whole life, and that's why you have it. 'Cause there are other factors that cause tinnitus besides just things that chiropractors take care of. So I hope this answers the questions about can chiropractors help with tinnitus. If you have a question or you want some more clarification or if you're curious whether or not you you could get help from this, just leave us a message below. We'll get back to you. Reach out to it's at rockforddc, R O C K F O R D dc.com. Leave a message there. And if you have a question that you'd like to see answered just like this patient asked about the tinnitus, you'd like to have your question answered. Leave us a question behind, give us a call, shoot us a text, give us an email, whatever it takes in today's world. Get ahold of us. Ask your question. And maybe next week when I'm doing this you'll be the question of the week in "Ask the Chiropractor". All right, everybody, have fun. Thanks for listening. Bye-bye.