Tinnitus and osteopathy

Name of treatment


Type of treatment

Alternative medicine. In the UK, osteopathy is a health profession regulated by UK law.[1]

Claims for treatment

Reduces/eliminates the tinnitus percept.

How treatment is delivered

Physical manipulation, stretching and massage.

Potential negative consequences

Generally regarded as safe[2]

Cost – most people pay for osteopathy treatment privately.

Evidence offered:


Papers available

< 10 in PubMed database.

Conclusions drawn

The very limited evidence suggests that osteopathic treatment may have greater effects in people with postural or somatic problems.[3] No benefit was seen in people with noise induced tinnitus.[4]

Quality of evidence[5]

A, C, E

Does the BTA recommend this treatment?

No. Osteopathy is not mentioned as a potential treatment in three current tinnitus guidelines.[6] [7] [8]

BTA opinion on this treatment:

Although independent evidence is very limited, what there is does not show that osteopathy is effective for tinnitus, although manual manipulations may be effective for somatic tinnitus.[9] Further research is required.

Would the BTA support further studies into this treatment?

Yes, if high quality study.

Verdict: Safety – is this treatment harmful?

   Regarded as safe

Verdict: Efficacy – does this treatment work?

  No evidence of effect

For further information

The BTA Tinnitus Support Team can answer your questions on any tinnitus related topics:

Telephone: 0800 018 0527
Web chat: – click on the icon
Email: [email protected]
Text/SMS: 07537 416841

We also offer a free tinnitus e-learning programme, Take on Tinnitus.

Download this information

This information is in PDF format.


We welcome feedback on all our information. You can pass your comments to our Communications Team:

Telephone: 0114 250 9933
Email: [email protected]
or by writing to us at the address below.


[1] NHS. Osteopathy. Available from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/osteopathy/ [accessed 29 June 2022]

[2] NHS. Safety and regulation – Osteopathy. Available from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/osteopathy/safety/ [accessed 29 June 2022]

[3] Amanda B, Manuela M, Antonia M, Claudio M, Gregorio B. Posturography measures and efficacy of different physical treatments in somatic tinnitus. International Tinnitus Journal. 2010;16(1):44-50.

[4] Mazzoli, M. (2011). Complementary Tinnitus Therapies. In: Møller, AR, Langguth, B, De Ridder, D, Kleinjung, T. (eds) Textbook of Tinnitus. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-60761-145-5_92

[5] A = Systematic review/meta analysis. B = Randomised control studies. C = Cohort studies. D = Case control studies. E = case studies/reports. +/- to be used to indicate quality within bands

[6] Tunkel DE, Bauer CA, Sun GH, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline: Tinnitus. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. 2014;151(2_suppl): S1-S40. doi:10.1177/0194599814545325

[7]Cima RFF, Mazurek B, Haider H. et al. A multidisciplinary European guideline for tinnitus: diagnostics, assessment, and treatment. HNO 67, 10–42 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00106-019-0633-7

[8] National Guideline Centre (UK). Tinnitus: assessment and management: NICE Guideline [NG155]. London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (UK); 2020 Mar.

[9] Michiels S, Naessens S, Van de Heyning P, Braem M, Visscher CM, Gilles A, De Hertogh W. The Effect of Physical Therapy Treatment in Patients with Subjective Tinnitus: A Systematic Review. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 2016 (10). DOI=10.3389/fnins.2016.00545 

Author: Nic Wray

Version 2.0

Updated: 30 June 2022

To be reviewed: June 2025

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