The relationship between neck pain and Sinusitis

imageI think it’s fair to say that most people of a working age have suffered at some point from neck pain. This can be a vague ache of tension associated with work and poor posture , or a more acute sharp pain  more often from an accident, sudden movement or trauma of some kind.

It’s a very common presentation at my clinic, neck pain that has been building up over a period of time, often months sometimes years. Sometimes the thing that prompts people to get something done about it is that they are now struggling to turn their head one way or both, that they are experiencing headaches, and perhaps a sense of nausea or  feeling lightheaded.

People with a sedentary lifestyle, who work at a screen and spend a lot of time typing or ‘mousing’ tend to suffer the most. It’s common for our posture to deteriorate whilst at a screen, driving or watching tv…we lean forward , dive into the screen and load our neck muscles with the weight of our head. If we sit up straight with our head supported by the spines bony column the head weighs around 12 lbs, lean forward a little and it doubles in weight….let the head drop to 45 degrees and it now weighs an impressive 45 lbs……all this weight now being supported by your neck and shoulder muscle( check your own head position now…are you leaning forward into the screen??)

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With these muscles now under contraction they start to compromise blood flowing away from the head….it can be pumped past them effectively by the arteries as these are under more pressure, but the flatter veins are compressed, and blood flow is restricted. The flow away from the head around the neck should be in the region of 85%… But if this path gets blocked or compromised , then blood is pushed forward into the skulls deep sinuses, forward to the face to drain around the nose and eyes….thereby engorging the mucous membranes of the faces sinuses, leading to e reduction in the relative air passages…leaving you with a sense of blocked heaviness…..this can also make you prone to infection in the sinuses as reduced flow leads to stasis…..imagine a stream that’s been dammed….debris and muck builds up behind it!

So it’s simple to see that by helping posture to improve, releasing tight neck muscles and articulating and mobilising your spine that your sinuses will drain and your head feel less congested  and free!

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