Pressure around your forehead and eyes. A dull, constant throbbing in your head. Sensitivity to the touch. Sinus headaches are not only incredibly uncomfortable and painful, but they have a way of disrupting your ability to focus on even simple day-to-day tasks.
For many who suffer from sinus headaches, it’s easy to feel like you have no option but to bear the misery of each episode. Or, perhaps you’re inclined to reach for the nearest bottle of painkillers to get through it. However, that doesn’t need to be the case.
The great news is that sinus headaches can often be treated with completely natural methods– that will actually target the root of your pain. In this article, we’ll explain why sinus headaches happen as well as provide conservative methods to relieve your pain for good.
What Causes Sinus Headaches?
Sinus headaches generally stem from extreme congestion that your body is having difficulty clearing on its own. When the congestion and irritation persists, it can turn into sinusitis– more commonly known as a sinus infection. A sinus infection simply means that your nasal passages are infected and inflamed. Sinusitis can also be triggered by a virus, and often follows a bout of sickness, lingering long after any previous symptoms of coughing from a respiratory illness have gone away.
Sinus pain usually feels like an intense pressure in your forehead, and behind your eyes in particular, getting worse in severity as you bend forward. The pressure and inflammation in your nasal passages from these infections are the driving forces of discomfort behind the accompanying headaches– and can become chronic if not treated properly.
If you’re experiencing sinus headaches and believe you have a sinus infection, it’s best to consult with a doctor. Though many sinus infections pass within a couple weeks, improper treatment can also extend your misery over twelve weeks. Or worse yet, even become a recurrent issue, predisposing you to become infected more easily and more often.
At-Home Sinus Pressure Relief
There are some great, natural at-home options for giving your sinuses a little extra love. And by love, we mean relieving pressure and inflammation– the two biggest culprits of discomfort!
If you have access to a gym steam room, by all means, use it! Steam helps to gently open nasal passages, so the simple act of sitting in a particularly steamy room can be very relieving for sinuses that are under a great deal of pressure. No gym access? Don’t worry. The same steamy environment can be achieved by simply running a hot bath or shower in an enclosed home bathroom.
Use A Humidifier
Especially if sinus headaches are a semi-regular occurrence for you, investing in a small humidifier can work wonders. A humidifier adds moisture to the air, and is usually used while you sleep. Dry air can be very irritating for a sinus infection, and oftentimes those who suffer from sinus headaches wake up in more pain than when they went to bed. A humidifier can help curb some of that by keeping more moisture in the air.
Sleep Slightly Elevated
Again– many who suffer from sinus headaches report the discomfort being particularly bad in the morning. This is partially from breathing in dry air all night, but it could also be from sleeping in a flat position that doesn’t allow for any sinus movement or drainage. It’s a small step, but sleeping with your head propped up on a couple pillows can help keep your nasal passages open and decrease morning discomfort.
Use A Saline Spray
Keep those nasal passages moist! You can get a saline spray at most grocery and drug stores for a few bucks. A couple sprays in each nostril throughout the day can help to keep moisture in your sinuses and cut down on pressure.
How Chiropractic Can Help Alleviate Sinus Pressure
Another great, natural treatment option to relieve sinus pressure is chiropractic care. Gentle adjustments of the upper spine help to stimulate the nerves leading to your sinuses, decrease pressure, and reduce sinus irritability. More targeted, nasal-specific adjustments may also be used in combination with the adjustments of the spine at the discretion of your provider. This treatment targets pressure relief and can truly make a huge difference when managing discomfort from sinus infections.
By consistently decreasing the pressure in the nasal cavities, you’re giving your body a chance to also bring down the inflammation within this delicate area. Consistent chiropractic treatment is also a great way to decrease inflammation in your body in general, which could also help during your healing process.
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