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Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. 2012 Dec;78(6):21-6.

Efficacy of myofascial trigger point deactivation for tinnitus control.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Medical School of the University of São Paulo, Rua Mato Grosso no. 306, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Chronic pain in areas surrounding the ear may influence tinnitus.


To investigate the efficacy of myofascial trigger point deactivation for the relief of tinnitus.


A double-blind randomized clinical trial enrolled 71 patients with tinnitus and myofascial pain syndrome. The experimental group (n = 37) underwent 10 sessions of myofascial trigger point deactivation and the control group (n = 34), 10 sessions with sham deactivation.


Treatment of the experimental group was effective for tinnitus relief (p < 0.001). Pain and tinnitus relieves were associated (p = 0.013), so were the ear with worst tinnitus and the side of the body with more pain (p < 0.001). The presence of temporary tinnitus modulation (increase or decrease) upon initial muscle palpation was frequent in both groups, but its temporary decrease was related to the persistent relief at the end of treatment (p = 0.002).


Besides medical and audiological investigation, patients with tinnitus should also be checked for: 1) presence of myofascial pain surrounding the ear; 2) laterality between both symptoms; 3) initial decrease of tinnitus during muscle palpation. Treating this specific subgroup of tinnitus patients with myofascial trigger point release may provide better results than others described so far.

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