The International Tinnitus Journal

The International Tinnitus Journal

Official Journal of the Neurootological and Equilibriometric Society
Official Journal of the Brazil Federal District Otorhinolaryngologist Society

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ISSN: 0946-5448

Abstract

Proprioception: the missing link in the pathogenesis of tinnitus?

Author(s): Henk M Koning

Objectives: The object of this study was to relate cervical spine pathology to the occurrence of tinnitus and of cervical pain.

Design: A retrospective analysis of 124 patients with tinnitus as main complaint and 300 patients with cervical pain as main complaint who visited our clinic in a two-year period.

Results: In patients with tinnitus as main complaint, 64% of the patients have also cervical pain, and in patients with cervical pain as main complaint, 44% of the patients have tinnitus. Both groups of patients have in common a high prevalence of postural instability and dizziness, degeneration of the intervertebral disc between the fifth and seventh cervical vertebrae, and a large anterior spur in front of the fifth cervical vertebrae. Patients with cervical pain as main complaint have more degeneration of the intervertebral disc between the third and fourth cervical vertebrae, a larger anterior spur in front of the third cervical vertebrae and more loss of cervical lordosis.

Conclusions: Postural instability is an important discriminant factor in patients with cervical pain and in patients with tinnitus as main complaint. In patients with cervical pain postural instability was associated with the occurrence of tinnitus. In patients with tinnitus, there is evidence for two profiles of somatic tinnitus, discriminated by the occurrence of postural instability and low-frequency hearing loss. It seems that the combination of tinnitus and postural instability begins as a cervical pain syndrome and that the tinnitus aggravates in time, possibly by the occurrence of hearing loss, internal diseases, or surgery of the lower limb

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