tinnitus and chronic pain are related and solveable

Tinnitus and Chronic Pain

I am privileged to work with an amazing audiologist, Peter Ormrod, who specialises in treating tinnitus. Interestingly one of the first things we spoke about when he came to work with us was tinnitus treatment.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is when you can hear a sound that doesn’t have an outside source. The perception of this sound varies, some describe a high pitched whistle, others a buzzing, or even the sound of the sea. While many of us may be temporarily affected by mild tinnitus, chronic tinnitus affects about one in two hundred people.

Causes of tinnitus

Now where this got interesting for Peter and myself is looking at the causes of tinnitus.

While there are a number of complicated factors one of the big ones is trauma: head injuries, whiplash, falls etc. And this is where there is a huge overlap in our areas of expertise.

With specialised training and the use of correctly programmed hearing aids Peter can alleviate tinnitus in 82% of his sufferers.

BUT if tinnitus is caused by trauma to the head, neck and shoulders, or referred trauma through the arms and wrists . . . this is where I come in!

When I’ve spoken about chronic pain and migraines I’ve talked about the way nerves run through the neck, every single nerve in your body runs through your neck. Including the nerve running from your ears into your brain. Bizarre right? You’d think it would go straight in but it doesn’t! It goes via the neck just like everything else.

So if the neck is compromised then this auditory nerve becomes compromised too.

And if the nerve is compromised then what we have, in effect, is like a bad telephone line with static on it.

Tinnitus and Chronic Pain

New research suggests that both of these are controlled by the same area in the brain – that part of the problem is in how the brain process these experiences and the sensory stimuli. Tinnitus and Chronic Pain occur when this system is compromised.

So Peter and I often work together to help tinnitus sufferers – I treat their neck to help reduce the “static” on the nerve while Peter works on the symptom to reduce the interference.



  • lisa

    January 17, 2020, 7:30 am

    what is the root cause of tinnitus and what are the effects of tinnitus if we have suffered from this?

    • Estelle Mitchell

      January 17, 2020, 1:55 pm

      Hi Lisa,
      Tinnitus has a wide variety of root causes, it’s why a detailed medical history is so vital to any treatment.
      The effects of tinnitus vary depending on the intensity and how much the noise interferes with everyday life.
      We’d probably need a more personal conversation to be able to give you more help.

  • Samuel baird

    August 6, 2020, 2:22 am

    Hey i am a 35 yr old fisherman and have always had mild forms of tinnitus here and there since teenager but usually when coming back from work(on a fishing boat,so always some sort of a noise) to quiet home it would disappear pretty quick and maybe pop through a day here and there for few minutes,however during qaurantine it came on 1 day in 1 ear and has never left. I did have a bit of a bad neck and went to a masseuse and the pain went wuickly but had no effect on my tinnitus,nor did I expect to. But reading about what you said I thought I should mention it

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