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Man Ther. 2016 Dec;26:125-131. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2016.08.005. Epub 2016 Aug 26.

Does multi-modal cervical physical therapy improve tinnitus in patients with cervicogenic somatic tinnitus?

Author information

1
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Antwerp University Hospital, Edegem, Belgium. Electronic address: sarah.michiels@uantwerpen.be.
2
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Antwerp University Hospital, Edegem, Belgium; Multidisciplinary Motor Centre Antwerp, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Department of Translational Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.
3
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Multidisciplinary Motor Centre Antwerp, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.
4
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Multidisciplinary Motor Centre Antwerp, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Laboratory of Functional Morphology, Faculty of Science, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.
5
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Tinnitus can be related to many different aetiologies such as hearing loss or a noise trauma, but it can also be related to the somatosensory system of the cervical spine, called cervicogenic somatic tinnitus (CST). Case studies suggest a positive effect of cervical spine treatment on tinnitus complaints in patients with CST, but no experimental studies are available.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the effect of a multimodal cervical physical therapy treatment on tinnitus complaints in patients with CST.

DESIGN:

Randomized controlled trial.

PATIENTS:

Patients with a combination of severe subjective tinnitus (Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI): 25-90 points) and neck complaints (Neck Bournemouth Questionnaire (NBQ) > 14 points).

INTERVENTION:

All patients received cervical physical therapy for 6 weeks (12 sessions). Patients were randomized in an immediate-start therapy group (n = 19) and a 6-week delayed-start therapy group (n = 19).

MEASUREMENTS:

TFI and NBQ-scores were documented at baseline, after the wait-and-see period in the delayed-start group, after treatment and after 6 weeks follow-up. The Global Perceived Effect (GPE) was documented at all measuring moments, except at baseline.

RESULTS:

In all patients (n = 38) TFI and NBQ-scores decreased significantly after treatment (p = 0.04 and p < 0.001). NBQ-scores remained significantly lower after follow-up (p = 0.001). Immediately after treatment, 53% (n = 38) experienced substantial improvement of tinnitus. This effect was maintained in 24% of patients after follow-up at six weeks.

CONCLUSION:

Cervical physical therapy can have a positive effect on subjective tinnitus complaints in patients with a combination of tinnitus and neck complaints. Larger studies, using more responsive outcome measures, are however necessary to prove this effect.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

NCT02016313.

KEYWORDS:

Cervical spine; Physical therapy; Somatic tinnitus; Treatment

PMID:
27592038
DOI:
10.1016/j.math.2016.08.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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