ANALOGY BETWEEN TINNITUS AND CHRONIC PAIN
The psychological profile of tinnitus patients and chronic pain sufferers are very similar. Hence, the management and treatment of tinnitus and chronic pain are similar as well.
The psychological profile of tinnitus patients and chronic pain sufferers are very similar. “People living with chronic pain commonly exhibit high levels of anxiety and depression, functional disability and poor coping strategies which can affect the success of their treatment “. Similarly, there is prevalence of neurotic characteristics with tinnitus patients such as “depressive reactive, hysterical conversion reaction and borderline personality”.
The quality of life for both tinnitus patients and chronic pain sufferers are compromised. “Chronic pain can disrupt employment, family interactions and social functioning; it can lead to depression and withdrawal from social activities, loss of confidence and an inability to cope”. Similarly, clinically significant tinnitus can lead to stress that can lead to other stressors such as “ reduced income, marital problems or other handicaps associated with the experiences of vulnerability”
Studies have also shown that there are cortical changes and reorganization present in both chronic pain and tinnitus. “An injury or stimulation-related increase or decrease of sensory input into the brain leads to changes in the respective primary sensory and often also the motor areas and these alterations are associated with unpleasant sensations such as tinnitus or pain”.
Patient empowerment is essential in the treatment of chronic pain. “Empowerment involves ensuring patients have the knowledge, skills, attitudes and self awareness about their chronic pain”. This is similar to the demystification or counseling for tinnitus patients which is also a key element in tinnitus treatment.
Management of tinnitus and chronic pain employ similar treatment protocols to include counseling, biofeedback ,cognitive behavioral therapy.
Chronic Pain. (2011, February 8). Chronic Pain Management. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from
Tyler, R. S. (2000). 2. Tinnitus handbook (p. 37). Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning.
Tyler, R. S. (2000). 2. Tinnitus handbook (p. 41). Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning.
Barrie, J. (2011). Patient empowerment and choice in chronic pain management. Nursing Standard, 25(31), 38-41.
Flor, H., & Diers, M. (2009). Sensorimotor training and cortical reorganization. Neurorehabilitation, 25, 19-27.