When you experience sinus pain and pressure, your first thought might be over-the-counter medicine. After little to no alleviation, your next step is probably your health care provider. Your doctor may write you a prescription for amoxicillin or doxycycline followed by levofloxacin or moxifloxacin. You might begin to feel better with the antibiotics, but a month later, you’ve got sinusitis again.
Taking medication isn’t the only treatment for sinusitis. It’s also not always the most effective treatment. Many people wouldn’t think chiropractors and sinuses go hand-in-hand, but chiropractors can treat and prevent sinusitis with sinus chiropractic adjustments.
What Are Sinuses?
The air-filled chambers located in the bones around your nose are sinuses. They’re also called paranasal sinuses because they surround the nose. Everyone has four pairs of sinuses:
- Frontal: Frontal sinuses are behind your forehead.
- Maxillary: These sinuses are behind your cheekbones.
- Ethmoid: Ethmoid sinuses behind your nose’s bridge.
- Sphenoid: These sinuses are deep in the skull, behind the nose.
When your sinuses are healthy, the membranes lining them produce thin, watery mucus. The mucus can freely flow from your sinuses through the ostia — tiny openings leading to your nose’s upper part. Inflamed sinuses produce thick, sticky mucus that’s unable to fit through the Ostia. So, fluid and mucus accumulate in your sinuses, causing pressure, pain and sinusitis.
What Is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis will affect more than 20 million Americans this year. Some will have more than one case. It’s an infection caused by bacteria, viruses or both. When viruses or bacteria block the sinus-draining channels, it causes sinusitis.
There are four types of sinusitis based on how long symptoms persist:
- Acute: Symptoms last less than four weeks and improve with proper care.
- Subacute: Symptoms last four to eight weeks. They initially don’t respond to treatment.
- Chronic: Symptoms last eight weeks or longer. Sinusitis becomes chronic with poorly treated or repeated acute infections.
- Recurrent: When you have three or more bouts of acute sinusitis in a year.
Symptoms of Sinusitis
The main symptom of sinusitis is pain and pressure. This pain and pressure can be in the forehead, over the cheek, behind the eyes, at the top of the head or in the upper jaw and teeth, depending on the affected sinuses. For instance, frontal sinusitis causes pain in your forehead. Other symptoms of sinusitis include:
- Runny nose or cold symptoms that last longer than seven to 10 days.
- Frequent coughing.
- Swelling around the eyes, which is worse in the morning for older children and adults.
- Nasal discharge draining into the throat.
- Facial pain.
- Sore throat.
- Bad breath.
- Sleep apnea.
Causes of Sinusitis
Cold viruses and bacteria are among the most common cause of sinusitis. Other causes of sinusitis include:
- Sleep apnea
- Environmental allergens like pollution and cigarette smoke
How Can a Chiropractor Help With Sinus Issues?
Your sinuses are a part of your bone structure, and your brain and nervous system control your mucus membranes. When you see a chiropractor for sinuses, they can adjust your facial bones, allowing your sinuses to drain correctly. Once your sinuses start draining, painful symptoms may alleviate, and the stress on your nervous system disappears. Your body begins to work more efficiently without the need for antibiotics.
Misaligned neck vertebrae can also cause sinus issues. Chiropractors can make gentle spinal adjustments to correct this problem.
What to Expect
When you visit a chiropractor for your sinuses, they’ll ask questions to understand your symptoms and the root cause of the problem. They may recommend an X-ray if they suspect misalignments. Then, your chiropractor may examine and perform chiropractic adjustments for your sinuses to relieve pressure and allow drainage.
How to Prevent Sinusitis
Instead of simply treating sinusitis, you can take measures to prevent it from occurring again. When treating sinusitis, it’s like pulling a tooth with a cavity. It treats the cavity and removes your symptoms but doesn’t prevent you from acquiring more cavities.
One of the best ways to prevent sinusitis is with regular chiropractic sinus adjustments. As mentioned, your nervous system controls your sinuses. Routine adjustments can clear the blockages between your nervous and respiratory systems. When the blockages are clear, your sinuses drain so mucus doesn’t accumulate. Without the accumulation of mucus, you won’t experience sinusitis. Chiropractic adjustments work as a long-term solution to prevent the reoccurrence of sinusitis. Chiropractors can also use sinus adjustments to help with allergy symptoms.
Other ways you can prevent sinusitis include:
- Avoiding respiratory infections: Adults suffer from two to four colds a year, while young children get six to eight — so you can’t completely avoid contracting a cold. However, there are steps you can take to avoid getting so many. Wash your hands frequently and avoid contact with sick individuals as much as possible.
- Managing your allergies: Avoid exposure to your triggers when you can. Don’t use nasal sprays because they can dry out your sinuses, causing an overproduction of mucus over time and worsening your problem.
- Adjusting your diet: Some foods can cause inflammation and exacerbate the effects of sinuses and long-term sinus problems. These include flour, sugars, salt and fried food. If you can’t remove these foods from your diet, balance their inflammatory effects with fruit, vegetables and turmeric.
- Avoiding areas with poor air quality: Poor air quality from pollutants, like environmental pollutants or cigarette smoke, can irritate and inflame your lungs and nasal passages.
- Adding moisture to the air in your home: Dry air can cause your nasal passages to become dry. Add moisture back to the air with a humidifier.
- Build immunity to the local pollen: You may build immunity to the pollen in your area by eating local honey during peak allergy season.
Contact Thrive Chiropractor Group to Treat and Prevent Sinusitis
You want to seize every day at your best so that you have the energy to make time for work, family, friends and yourself. However, sinusitis can quickly wear a person down. Between the pain and pressure on your face and other symptoms, you can feel worse than if you have the flu. Plus, it seems to last forever and doesn’t always respond to over-the-counter medicine or antibiotics.
Medication doesn’t address the root of the problem — it only acts as a cover-up to alleviate your symptoms. Blocked sinuses cause sinusitis, so sinus adjustments are the best way to treat it. When you see a chiropractor for sinus problems, they adjust your bones, helping your sinuses drain properly, thus treating and preventing sinusitis. Contact Thrive Chiropractor Group today to schedule an appointment and feel your best again!