Sinus Trouble

Sinuses clean the air you breathe and add resonance to your voice. If you’ve ever woken up with a stuffy head a mucus in your throat, or you feel that you always have a cold, or even experience “post-nasal drip”, you could be suffering from sinusitis or rhinitis. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses. When mucus fills the sinus lining the condition is called sinusitis, and when mucus involves the nose or throat it is called rhinitis and may mimic a cold.

Your sinuses can refer to any cavity or sac in your body. In this case, we are referring to the eight spaces in the cranial bones of your forehead and around your nose. Sinuses help you to breathe, however when they are inflamed healthy breathing is the one thing they prevent.

Your nose, throat, and sinuses are lined with mucus to help ensure that the air you breathe is not only moist and warm but free from dust dirt, and pollutants; without this filtering gel your lungs, kidneys, even your blood could fill with toxins.

Sinusitis often occurs when a cold ends, which is actually part of having a cold and helps your body detoxify waste. But, if the drainage is blocked, pressure increases in the sinus cavities and can cause pain, discomfort, headache, and swelling around your eyes and ears; a dull ache in the cheekbones; pain in the teeth or jaw; increased nasal secretions; chills; fever; dizziness; loss of appetite; photophobia (sensitivity to light); bad breath; a general “yucky” feeling; even depression.1-2

Anything that irritates the mucous membranes can be a contributing factor to both sinusitis and rhinitis: dust, mold, pollen, viri or bacteria, fumes, and hot or dry air in buildings.3 Those that suffer from allergies often have sinus symptoms because most allergens first irritate the nasal passages. Less common causes of sinusitis are tumors, growths, nasal polyps, deviated septum, or facial injuries.

Drugstores are filled with all kinds of sinus remedies like decongestants, antibiotics, and antihistamines. This approach is controversial because while drugs may alleviate nasal stuffiness, the effect they actually have on the sinuses can cause adverse effects in some individuals such as nervousness, high blood pressure, and insomnia. According to medical writer Charles P. Lebo: Antihistamines and decongestants…are generally ineffective for sinusitis and tend to make it worse…Nasal sprays can cause a “rebound” stuffiness that can be worse than the original problem.4

Chiropractic is not a treatment for sinus conditions, yet those that suffer from such conditions report relief after receiving chiropractic care. By relieving stress on the nervous and structural systems, chiropractic care can help your body work more efficiently. Even more so, chiropractic can ensure that the skull bones “breathe” and move freely, permitting drainage that is not interfered with.

Chiropractors and osteopaths alike have observed the beneficial effects of structural care on the nervous, immune, and respiratory systems for decades. 5-12 The relationship between the nervous system and the immune system appears to be even more extensive than has ever been realized. Research has shown that white blood cells may be “tipped off” about invaders by the nervous system.13

Anyone suffering from sinusitis, rhinitis, or any sinus or respiratory problem should see a chiropractor to receive care that can help your body function better, improve your resistance to disease, and enhance your well-being!

References:

  1. Baroody FM. Allergic rhinitis: broader disease effects and implications for management. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2003;128(5):616-631.
  2. Murphy P. Upper respiratory tract infections. In AM Harvey et al. (Eds.), The Principles and Practice of Medicine (22nd). East Norwalk, CT: Appleton & Lange. 1988;588.
  3. Hardin BD, Kelman BJ, Saxon A. Adverse human and health effects associated with molds in the indoor environment. J Occup Environ Med. 2003;45(5):470-478.
  4. Lebo CP. Sinusitis self-defense. Bottom Line Personal. January 15, 1994;13-14.
  5. Mills MV, Henley CE, Barnes LL et al. The use of osteopathic manipulative treatment as adjuvant therapy in children with recurrent acute otitis media. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003;157(9):861-866.
  6. Anderson C. The consequences of birth trauma. A case report of failure to thrive in an infant with cephalohematoma and congenital torticollis. The Chiropractor’s Choice. June 2004;15.
  7. Rectenwald R. Resolution of severe chronic asthma in an infant following upper cervical chiropractic care to reduce subluxation. Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic. 2014;2:27-29.
  8. Nansel D, Jansen R et al. Effects of cervical adjustments on lateral-flexion passive end-range asymmetry and on blood pressure, heart rate and plasma catecholamine levels. JMPT. 1991;14(8):450.
  9. Brennan P, Kokjohn K et al. Enhanced phagocytic cell respiratory burst induced by spinal manipulation. JMPT. 1991;14(7):399-408.
  10. Schmidt IC. Osteopathic manipulative therapy as a primary factor in the management of upper, middle and pararespiratory infections. February 12, 1982;2388.
  11. Kaluza C, Sherbin M. They physiologic response of the nose to osteopathic manipulative treatment. JAOA. May 1983.
  12. Leboeuf-Yde C, Axen I, Ahlefeldt G et al. The types of frequencies of nonmusculoskeletal symptoms reported after chiropractic cpsinal manipulative therapy. JMPT. 199;22(9);559-564.
  13. Felton D. The brain and the immune system. In Moyers B. Healing and the Mind. NY: Doubleday. 1993;213-216.