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Research Article Open Access
Somatic modulation in tinnitus has been demonstrated by several studies although few investigations have been published on the efficacy of physical treatments in tinnitus subjects. In the present study the prevalence of somatic components to tinnitus were evaluated and the efficacy of two different physical treatments were compared: InterX® transcutaneous dynamic electrical stimulation and manual osteopathic therapy. Furthermore, posturographic measurements were analysed to verify the postural control in tinnitus subjects. 40 consecutive tinnitus patients, aged 18-65, were randomly selected for treatment (once a week for 2 months): 20 tinnitus subjects were treated with osteopathic manipulations, 20 with InterX®. They were evaluated pre and post therapy with audiogram up to 16 kHz, tinnitus pitch and loudness match, MML, THI questionnaire, posturography, structured interview with special attention on postural and movement influence on tinnitus, physical evaluation and osteopathic evaluation. 40 controls with no tinnitus, underwent audiological tests, postural and osteopathic evaluation for comparison. In our population, tinnitus sufferers presented more frequently musculoscheletal strains assessed with osteopathic visit and postural problems assessed with posturography measures in comparison with controls. Posturographic test, showed an average oscillating areas significantly greater in tinnitus participants (p ≤ 0.05), compared with control subjects. On the average in the treated groups, the enveloped areas were not significantly affected by either of the treatments. Tinnitus improved subjectively in most patients: loudness decreased, % time of awareness, % time of annoyance and quality of life was overall perceived as improved. This was mostly evident in subjects with muscular strain and tensions. This study indicates the benefit of physical, manipulation therapy for those patients with somatic modulation of their tinnitus, further studies are needed to establish the diagnostic or prognostic role of posturographic measurements.
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Author(s): Bonaconsa Amanda
tinnitus, somatic, posturography, physical therapy, osteopathy