Neck, Side View Trigger PointsIF YOU ALREADY have TINNITUS then you probably know the definition, causes, what to do, and the current treatments available. But read on because if you’ve tried everything and haven’t been helped, then give Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy® a try.

According to the medicos, Tinnitus (pronounced tin-NY-tus or TIN-u-tus) is when you experience ringing or other noises in one or both of your ears. They say that tinnitus is not a disease, it is a symptom that something is wrong in the auditory system, which includes the ear, the auditory nerve, and parts of the brain that process sound. Tinnitus is a common problem. It affects about 15% to 20% of people, and is especially common in older adults.

Noisy environments, bomb blasts, loud music, hearing loss, no obvious reason.

Help for TINNITUS comes in the form of hearing aids, counseling, wearable sound generators, tabletop sound generators, acoustic neural stimulation, cochlear implants, antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs, and other medications.

Tinnitus does not have a cure yet. Most doctors will offer a combination of the treatments above, depending on the severity of the tinnitus and the areas of your life it affects the most. Although tinnitus isn’t usually a sign of serious illness it can, if loud enough, cause fatigue, depression, anxiety, and problems with memory.

Right away I will tell you that we have not always been able to help TINNITUS. However, when the muscles are involved there is a very good chance for relief. In addition to the causes listed above this is what we BPMYOS have found can cause TINNITUS:

  1. Any accident such as whiplash that causes the neck and shoulder muscles to be strained
  2. Sports such as weight lifting and wrestling which strain neck and shoulder muscles
  3. Neck Trigger PointsA blow to the face from the side by a fist or ball
  4. Poor posture as in forward head
  5. Prolonged dental work in which the mouth is propped open
  6. TMJD or jaw pain

In fact, the muscles contributing to tinnitus and to jaw pain are the same since the jaw and the ear are intimately connected.

Where muscles are concerned, the culprit is a trigger point.

SCM trigger pointsFor our purposes, “trigger points” are irritable spots that get into the muscle when it is injured / insulted in some way such as in birth, accidents, occupations, sports, and hobbies. When the “climate” is right the old injury plus stress causes the muscles in which the trigger points reside to tighten and trigger the spasm-pain-spasm cycle. Applying pressure to the trigger point allows the muscle to relax.

SCM Pressing Trigger PointsA few years ago while giving a workshop to Massage Therapists, we were working on the masseter muscle. After treating a couple of trigger points one participant noticed immediate relief from his tinnitus. Subsequent work in adjoining muscle groups eliminated the tinnitus altogether.

SCM SqueezeFollow the diagrams and photos here and using your middle finger backed up by your index finger apply gentle/steady pressure to the masseter, temporalis, around the ear and along the back side o f the sternocleidomastoid for 5 seconds. Use your thumb and index finger to squeeze along the SCM holding for 5 seconds. You are looking for trigger points which will be tender to your pressure.

Trigger Points in NeckDO NOT HURT YOURSELF BY APPLYING MORE PRESSURE THAN A 5, 6, 7 ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 10. More is not better. You want to ease the problem, not make it worse.

The muscles have a habit. Now that you have relaxed them by applying pressure you need to reeducate them. They are waiting for your instructions.

Muscles, like children, need to be reminded. It works best if you do 4 reps of the exercise 4 to 6 times a day. Each exercise takes only seconds to perform.

Myotherapy exercises for neck pain


Charts and photos are from
Myotherapy: Bonnie Prudden’s Complete Guide to Pain-Free Living.

If you have questions or need help, email me at
For more information about Bonnie Prudden®, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®, workshops, books, self-help tools, DVDs, educational videos, and blogs, visit Or call 520-529-3979 if you have questions or need help. Enid Whittaker, Managing Director, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®

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