Tinnitus and craniosacral therapy | British Tinnitus Association

Name of treatment

Craniosacral therapy (CST)

Type of treatment Complementary therapy
Claims for treatment

Reduces/eliminates the tinnitus percept. 

How treatment is delivered Manual manipulation of cranial bones
Potential negative consequences Cost

Evidence offered:

Papers available None in PubMed. One citation found, but not the actual paper [1]. One systematic review of clinical evidence for craniosacral therapy.[2]
Conclusions drawn “The notion that CST is associated with more than non-specific effects is not based on evidence from rigorous RCTs” [2]
Quality of evidence [3] A-
Does the BTA recommend this treatment? No
BTA opinion on this treatment There is no plausible mechanism of action for CST. Whilst no studies have been conducted on CST and tinnitus, studies conducted into CST and other conditions do not show that it is effective.
Would the BTA support further studies into this treatment? No
Verdict: Safety. Is this treatment harmful?

Regarded as safe

Verdict: Efficacy. Does this treatment work?


No evidence of an effect

[1] Wilson, W. Craniosacral therapy. Positive Health, 1999: 43, 45-47 cited in Isbell B, Neira SC & Elliott R. Craniosacral therapy research. The Fulcrum, 2006: 37, 6-7

[2] Ernst, E. Craniosacral therapy: a systematic review of the clinical evidence. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 2012: 17(4), 197-201

[3] 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

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Image: Tomas Prokopic

Updated 15 April 2019

Information currently under review April 2022

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