British Tinnitus Association
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Neck muscles causing Pusatile or Somatic Tinnitus

My head noises began after a concussion 8 months ago. MRI and CT showed nothing. I have had two frustrating trips to an ENT consultant who has at last said that what I am hearing could be related to neck muscles and physio can help. So she says I need to see a psychologist (!!!). Fortunately, I had already worked out what was going on and have been working on relaxing my neck muscles and improving my posture with the neurophysio I see as a result of my concussion. She is doing her best ( and is not too pompous to admit she has not heard of this before ) and I am too. I have a small pulsing sound in my right ear only when I lie on my right side. I can live with that.

The other noises I have are a booming sound in the left side of my head at it's worst which can become a hum then a rumble as I relax. I can sometimes get it to disappear as I fall asleep. It is certainly less obtrusive when I wake in the night. The internet is telling me this is somatic tinnitus. I have also noticed ( bizarrely ) that I am not able to feel or hear the vibrations outside. I reckon this is sortable. I have no idea where else to look for help and advice.

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My NHS consultant said there is nothing that can be done and just to get out there and hopefully the brain will adjust. Mine is worse after laying down as are the pressure headaches.

I had private cranial osteopathy who said the same thing for the headaches. I was limited to 10 treatments, with some effect.

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My nhs consultant said there was nothing they could do even before she'd been requested by me to listen to what I was experiencing which says a lot. I have other neck issues that are being well dealt with by the team who deal with my post concussion syndrome. They do listen.

It's the fact that I can turn it off sometimes that gives me hope and the drive to find out more.

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I have been told it's nothing/ or its because I'm thinking about it too much for 5 years so I understand. I know struggle to hear as it's so loud. I tried yoga which brought neck pain and my GP, a different one , said I have severe arthritis in the neck. I'd been ignoring the pain because of 5 years of being told any ' problems ' are in my head . There's a long way to go until ENT care about tinnitus.

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Sorry to hear all that. Of course our problems are in our head ! Mine is a physical rumble in there. I found info about a hospital in Brazil that understands. Brazil. A long way away. ENT seem to have a plan where they hear 'tinnitus' and send us down the route they want us to take without even asking what we are hearing. Yet again last night I calmed mine by relaxing. It took a while.

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Hi my thoughts exactly..you mention a noise and they immediately say tinnitus . I have never once been asked what am I hearing . Glad you are getting relief from relaxing. Take care.

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They say tinnitus and whip out a selection of leaflets for you ( which you've already accessed online ).To be fair though, the consultant did seem moderately interested when I told her what was happening and left me with an open appointment to go back in six months. I'd love to be able to write a letter saying the physio has really helped. I really don't want to go back.

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Mine too is the result of a car accident many years ago which has left me with wear and tear in my neck and impingement on nerves. Thus was discovered in an MRI scan. I have Tinnitus and Pulsatile Tinnitus in both ears, slight hearing loss and Hyperacusis. I have a hearing aid for my right ear and s white noise generator for my left ear which helped quite a lot at first. Now I just live with it. If it is Pulsatile Tinnitus there may be a diagnostic. It might be worth having a look at Whooshers.com and Pulsatile Tinnitus Sufferers fb site for more inf.

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Thanks Bob, I've spent a lot of time reading people's descriptions of their noises on Whooshers and the FB page and that has helped me to realise that mine is not like theirs. I think I have two sorts like you, a small pulsatile one that only bothers me if I lie on my right side ( no whooshing fortunately ) and the other one which is the somatic type ( muscular ). I've not had any scan on my neck, just head MRI and CT. I don't know if I dare go back to my GP armed with all this information and ask for another scan. I was very sensitive to noise after my accident but fortunately that is decreasing now ( both appointments at ENT have been over an hour late and I have been left in a noisy waiting room with people with hearing problems !! And they wonder why I look distressed by the time I get seen. It's like making someone with a broken leg bounce on a trampoline for an hour ).

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Pulsatile tinnitus does seem to be in the wastelands as far as diagnosis of cause is concerned. You are right to trust your own judgement and listen to your body. It took me over a year [and the help of ENT consultant and a cardiologist] - to get the Vascular Dept to agree to an ultrasound on my neck, Turns out my carotid on the right hand side is 50% blocked and that is causing the disruption to blood flow that I can hear. I am now on statins and a strict diet .

It should not have taken so long to get the test but at least I can now "put a label" on the noise and this -bizarrely- helps!!

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Well done, I desperately asked for more tests because I knew there were more despite ENT saying there was nothing they could do. My neck ultrasound came back clear but I could have been in your position and left like that. I hope the diet's working for you. I'm not sure where to go from here. When I saw an audiologist he just about suggested I'd 'demanded' a test then not gone back for the results. The sonographer told me the test was clear. I delayed my follow up ENT appointment as I have a lot to deal with and I thought the audiologist might give me some advice before I saw ENT again but apparently I'd completely interferred with the way they wanted to process me by trying to deal with things my way.

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