Home Trigger Point Therapy for Tinnitus, Headache, and TMJD – thorough EVALUATION ONLY revised

trigger points is a cause of tinnitus the first thing I want to share just a brief history of how we came to understand that trigger points can cause tinnitus we've known for a long time the toxins that build up in muscles can irritate the nerves of that muscle sending irritating signals into the nervous system service system the Janet Ravel medical doctor did much of the pioneering research in this field during and after her success in treating President John F Kennedy for his chronic lower back pain I look back in 1942 she explained how these trigger points which are toxins built up in muscles could cause widespread nerve irritation known as myofascial pain syndrome so that partly due pain was part of the picture the pain is not the only form of nerve irritation these trigger points can cause in 2012 researcher William T Chi is quoted in the International tinnitus Journal saying although pain is the best know symptom of this muscle disorder sugar points are responsible for a large number and wide variety of symptoms especially in the head and neck these symptoms often masquerade as primary disorders of the ear nose and throat one of these symptoms is tinnitus also in 2012 rocha another researcher got serious about determining exactly what muscle could cause tinnitus and how I can tell if someone would be helped by appropriate therapy so what he did before the treatment and the people who had tinnitus he evaluated with his hands all the muscles that can be causing the tinnitus nerve irritation the eight muscles and he asked the people in this evaluation how it affected their tinnitus when he was working on it did it make it temporarily louder quieter that caused there to be fewer or more tones of there and then the treatment he had wonderful people that he did weekly ten sessions done weekly on specific these specific eight muscles it in manual muscle therapy included certain point therapy and myofascial release and he gave home exercises and habit changes such as applying heat locally stretching and postural instructions alright so that was ten weeks after treatment before asked how their tinnitus had changed the results were best in a subgroup in which said tinnitus got choir before treatment in the before treatment evaluation so after five treatments improvement was seen in pain tinnitus intensity number of sounds and the total tinnitus handicap inventory scores thi after the tenth treatment some tinnitus frequency and people moved from constant tinnitus to intermittent others moved from intermittent tinnitus to absent they didn't have it anymore and then as a two-month follow-up two months after their tenth treatment 76% of this group showed stable scores meaning their symptoms hadn't addressed to where they were at the beginning so that's pretty exciting so it's really nice to know if you're part of the subgroup but even if you're not it still may be helpful but if you are then it looks really good so if you have tinnitus myofascial trigger points may be all or part of the cause since only a few people are able to see me personally I developed a self-evaluation technique follow this taken carefully to find out if myofascial trigger points are causing your tinnitus the eight muscles that we're going to evaluate you want to start on the right side they should also of course repeat it on the left side you might also find the looking at a mirror is very helpful in following this directions if you choose having a professional trained in muscle therapy follow these directions on you would be even better but the following technique is designed to be done without the help of a professional so some professionals it might be particularly good at this are chiropractors good massage therapist and physical therapists doctor teaching in the International tinnitus Journal in 2012 said of trigger point therapy that the only certain way to determine whether trigger point treatment will be benefit for you and benefit for tinnitus in particular is to carry out a therapy trial so try it out before finding the critical muscles and trigger points with better muscle you need to know how to use your hands in a way that brings a problem to the surface without the proper technique it's entirely possible to go to the exact spot that it's Ground Zero of your tinnitus caused and miss it so let's go over the two simple techniques that you'll use to locate and draw toxins from the trigger point before finding critical muscles and trigger point within the muscle you need to know how to use your hands in a way that brings the problem to the surface without the proper technique it's entirely possible to go to the exact spot Ground Zero of your tinnitus caused and miss it let's go over two simple techniques you'll use to locate and draw out the toxins from the trigger point so first there's the two-finger method it's the most common method with the pad of your fingertip press moderately deep into the muscle so I encourage you to move your finger around feeling the muscle striations so you'll be in one spot pressing for about five seconds that's plenty doesn't always take that long though use the pressure it would take to press well into the muscle tissue and this is the amount of pressure it will take to make a depression in molding clay I prefer to use my index finger with my longest finger resting behind half of the index finger nail for support so I don't put too much stress on the finger the joints then there's the pincher method the pincher method is used for muscles you can reach around like the sternocleidomastoid using your thumb and finger reach around and squeeze the muscle moving slowly across it along the muscle band looking for hypersensitive areas use the pressure it would take to gradually flatten a ball of mold and clay so just gradual it didn't have to be really hard just a gradual pressure that would gradually flatten this clay or you use the same techniques to correct trigger points later if you're very toxic it may be too painful to apply the full pressure until you've done the treatment for a few sessions now let's look look at this again as you practice on the master and sternocleidomastoid muscles so for the masseter so you try this now use your index finger back it up with another finger the way you find the masseter is right here right in front of your ear press in there we'll go through this more carefully in a minute but get some practice so press into that muscle you'll feel hard bone behind it press in feel the different striations go fairly deep if it doesn't hurt too much spending a few seconds in one area you might slide the skin around but you're on one spot of the skin feeling different areas of the muscle underneath the next is the pincher method this is particularly good for the sternocleidomastoid so use your thumb and your index finger so you can't do it like this I tend to grab in like this I'm using my fingers sideways instead of just straight reach in grab the muscle and give it a little squeeze move one or the other fingers as you're feeling for part of the muscle that is tender and part of the muscle that causes an increase decrease or change in any way of your tinnitus or headache or TMJ problems you so now let's get started the masseter on the right hand side to lay your fingers flat on the side of your jawbone in front of your ear clench and relax your teeth and jaw and feel the muscle bowl to relax under your fingers the insertion or belly of the muscle so with your right hand locate the lowest portion of your jawbone your mandible from the back angle to about one and a half inches along the bottom press in here checking for trigger points so when you found a trigger point it will be a very tender area that's important but even more important is if it causes a change in your tinnitus causing it to increase/decrease or changes the number or type of tone that you hear so move up slightly and check again between this front border where it drops off into your cheek and the back border or your jaw bone meets your ear or it drops off below your ear repeat this until you've moved all the way up to the bony Ridge called the zygomatic arch so we drop off the front go back now we're up to that bony Ridge and feel along the bottom of that okay then we starting at the back part of the bone your edge between your ear canal and your eye so the bunny rage goes from here up to here we're to go to the bottom portion of that so starting back here press in just below and up against it checking for trigger points as you work your way forward so as you get forward as you go along you're almost to the front it drops down just a little bit into this area we call it cheekbone and this arch is the origin of the masseter muscle this is a grammatic arch now the temporalis muscle just as we did with your right hand on the master locate the bunny Ridge called the zygomatic arch between the eye socket and the ear canal starting at the front part press in just below the ridge where it angles down to form the lowest part of your cheekbone press into the soft depression if you're too far back you'll notice there's not a soft depression you can't go in far here you can go in very far then backwards against the jawbone so we press in and backwards continue pressing backwards gently as you carefully open your jaw to expose more of the insertion of the temporalis muscle and the cheek for your trigger ball and check for trigger points here very good now let's let your hand or your fingers flat on the side of your jawbone in front of your ear then move your hand up to your thumb is over your the center of your ear canal and your fingers are flat on the side of your skull and clinch and relax your teeth and jaw and feel the muscle bulge under your fingers just as we did with the masseter you'll be able to feel the masseter here underneath your palm but you'll also feel the temporalis underneath your fingers so the muscle attaches to this entire area here under your fingers and goes all the way back to here and then comes down underneath the zygomatic arts to attach here so we're going to check this area for muscle for trigger points and that area the muscle so begin check for trigger points where the tip of your little finger is right here so behind and above your eye and you work back we're pressing in moving the skin around to feel inside the muscle or the texture of the muscle and deeper in the muscle work back checking for tender areas and in particular trigger points that caused a change in your tinnitus frequency loudness or changing the tone so then we'll drop down just a little bit work forward again so you're going to do strips here here here here and then you'll work all the way down until you're right on top of the zygoma or just above the zygomatic arch pressing in check it for trigger points you okay leave a tour scapula origin the top end of this muscle is found by feeling just behind and below the ear for the large knob called the mastoid process then you move slightly below the lower tip so find the tip move slightly below and then move back around your neck two to three centimeters about an inch okay only until you have something harder than muscle to push forward against so as you push forwards and not to the side but you push forward go from the tip push forward forward soft soft soft pushing there pretty deep like we were before and then you feel something hard this is a c1 top of the top vertebra and start checking here with the press method okay pushing forward perhaps a little bit toward the midline but mostly forward then move down about a centimeter so in this case I like to support my middle finger here with my index finger like this I values one finger so you can see it easily so move down about a centimeter and press forward again feeling for trigger points move down a centimeter again and check this two more times do that down again okay so that's the origin of the levator scapulae now the insertion the other end of this muscle is found by reaching your left hand around in front of the opposite shoulder so you may want to take your hand and push your elbow up with this so you can get back there more easily so reach around create under your elbow as you reach back over and touch the spine of the scapula spine to the scapula is here okay so you feel along the ridge toward the spine of your body the spine being back here okay this is the spine of the scapula so you feel long there till you find the vertical edge of this bone of your scapula so the vertical edge is here so you moved along the spine it kind of fades away but you're pushing it hard enough you'll feel that vertical edge there so it oriented this way so this spine meets this edge and you press deeply into this this is the origin levator scapulae here along the edge of the spine of your scapula okay and you move up just a little bit it's along this edge so you have to press in and then press laterally it's it's fairly challenging so moved along the spine we drop to the end and then we move up pressing laterally against this that's the levator scapulae insertion check for trigger points here so this insertion point is only about an inch long and just above the spine of the scapula along the medial the inside edge of the spine of the scapula the upper trapezius shrug your shoulders notice the prominent muscle that lifts your shoulders up to your neck and skull this is the upper trapezius the words in this muscle the attachment to the skull evaluate using the press method the origin of this muscle is found by feeling along the back of your skull until you get to the very midline moving down to your Fingal's drop fingers drop into a depression to adjust off your skull then press up and in towards your skull as you move your fingers to the right side two or three centimeters so you can do this with one hand or two hands may be easier to do with two so you've gone the right to the very center and then we press drop down to a fit a little depression it's very small because you have another vertebra here it begins so the depression is just about the size of your finger get in there and then press in and then up and then check for trigger points there move over just to touch press in and up very common error if people have trigger points in and up now if your next stretch like this you may not feel it so you want to be sitting up straight and so you move over little by little until you've gone two to three centimeters about an inch work checking that whole region between the midline and an inch over okay then from this that's one of the origins of the muscle very critical area from this off-center point of your lower skull move your fingers down about two to three centimeters about an inch so now we're on the spine press in toward the front of your body deep enough so that you're able to press from left to right now if you're too close to center you won't build the press in at all you're right on this bony spinous processes she'll need to be off to the side about an inch press in and then you should be able to go from left to right pressing directly this way you're pressing up against the side of the spinous process of your vertebrae of your neck up against this attachment site okay so you evaluate using the press method here continue evaluating all the way down your neck pressings to the side all the way down your neck feeling for those trigger points see if it causes any increase in your tinnitus increase in headache so you got to the very bottom then you might find it easier using your other hand pulling across this way whatever works best for you okay so we worked all the way down to find the insertion point of this muscle the other end of the muscles found by reaching your left hand onto your right clavicle the collarbone wrapping your fingers over it pressing down into the depression into the depression on the other side move your fingers toward your shoulder until the bone rises a bit and then it runs into another bone over your shoulder so you're going to press in here this last few inches press in pull forward and palpate in there for tender points are those especially that increase your tinnitus or your headache then you continue evaluating as you move around the bend if you're going in and then you'll start to press out these bones form a corner here a rounded corner so you're going to be pressing in and forward and in sideways down and backwards okay you may start to use your thumb out here as you push in and then pull towards side okay and then you move up over the muscle here so it curves around and now we're back on the spine of the scapula here we'll press down and you should feel a bone that you can press that way against that's the spine of your scapula move around just a little bit feeling for those trigger points all the way to the end of the spine of the scapula with the scapular hands over here okay finally the belly of the muscle starting out near your shoulder use the pincher method to evaluate the upper trapezius muscle so relax your shoulder don't let it be lifted up let it relax reach in squeeze the muscle if you have different parts of it not just right where you can squeeze but fill the edge of it grab a bigger piece and feel deeper down evaluate all the way up to get close to your neck here it's a much thinner muscle here because down here you're grabbing two parts of you're grabbing the part that attaches here and here it's almost like a tube here okay cleaning is capitis so the orders of this muscle we start just as we did with the levator scapulae the top end of this muscle is found by feeling just behind and below the ear for the large knob called the mastoid process this muscle attaches to the back of the mastoid process it also attaches to about two inches of skull moving back and slightly up for the mastoid process around the back of the skull about two inches here you will press toward the front and a little upward as you check for trigger points so let's start behind the mastoid process pressing forward against that feeling for trigger points and then we start to move up onto the skull or toward the midline so we press Annan up but it's also can be doesn't have to be just in and up be actually up on the skull here for this one we press toward the front and a little upwards if we check as we check for trigger points okay for the belly this muscle we note that it attaches here and that moves down toward and the bottom of the neck and the top of the upper back attaching to the side of the spinous processes so this is the muscle so we can start up here you can use a couple fingers or one finger or three fingers here we check for trigger points as we move down and toward the midline of the very bottom of your neck and a few inches of the upper back so once we get down here we want to be pretty close to the spine now the insertion of this muscle on the lower part of your neck get about one inch off the midline we're going to press in toward the front then from right to left either push or pull to the side up against the spinous process the spinous process is the point is part of your spinal bone on the back so this is where the splenius capitis inserts to the neck and the upper back okay that's the end of that one sternocleidomastoid the origin with your right hand start at the very top of your sternum bone down here this is the muscle here we're going to start down here start with your right hand at the top of your sternal bone now just below your neck just to the right of Center and turn your head to the left cause this muscle to protrude use the press method to check for trigger points at its attachment to the sternum you might also check its attachment over here on the clavicle see if you find trigger points then use the pincher method to evaluate the belly of this muscle as you gradually move up this band of muscle you may want to bend your head forward to relax the muscle and continue to have it rotated to the left a little bit have the muscle fully relaxed and it goes from here to here some people end up moving too far around the back if you're not sure where it is turn have it stick out again reach in and grab it and then relax so as you move up towards mastoid process the bone just below your ear you'll need to tilt your head slightly forward to allow access to reach around this muscle but you don't want to flex it and turn so hard that it's hard to to press into them also you want the muscle to be relaxed so to show you with other hand this top area is the most difficult to get relaxed and work on at the same time then as you get to the mastoid process feel the tip of it down here you can work a little bit to the front on the tip and around the back just a bit and even up on the skull feeling for trigger points

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