It’s that time of year when head pain and pressure from sinusitis and spring allergies can get the best of you. You’re not alone in the struggle either. More than 35 million Americans suffer from some form of sinusitis. And, it can dim the joys of spring no matter what your age – from kids to adults! Thankfully, you don’t have to turn to prescription drugs and over-the-counter allergy medicine to clear your sinuses. A visit to your local AlignLife chiropractor may be all you need to get natural sinus pain relief with a simple, yet unique chiropractic adjustment. Here we’re diving into what sinusitis is exactly and how chiropractic helps below.
What is sinusitis?
Your sinuses are made up of eight different hollow cavities in your forehead, cheeks, and temples. On a normal (healthy) day, these cavities are filled with air and lined with a thin layer of mucus that helps filter out dust, dirt, and other pollutants. When they do their job correctly, you breathe easily. But when you have sinusitis – or inflammation in the tissues lining your sinuses – that’s when problems start to pop up and you get that stuffy nose, and can’t breathe clear feeling.
Instead of air in your cavities, you now have mucus backing up and it doesn’t have an easy path to drain. This puts pressure on your sinuses which can be felt primarily as headaches and pain around your eyes but can cause congestion, dizziness, and more.
Some of the most common causes of sinusitis are seasonal allergies, colds, viruses, and sinus infections.
How your chiropractor can help you drain your sinuses
Your spine health, and the nerves running from it, affect every part and function of your body as well as its innate ability to heal itself. This is also true when it comes to your sinuses.
When targeting your mucous membranes and the bones in your sinus cavities, AlignLife chiropractors will focus on your neck or the cervical portion of your spine. The reason for this is that those with excessive sinus congestion are also often carrying added tension in their neck. A quick adjustment can help relieve this pressure without the use of drugs.
Chiropractors can also target the bones in your facial region, adjust any cranial misalignments you have, and perform nasal-specific techniques and trigger-point therapy to help encourage your body to relax and drain your sinus passages.
Clinical studies have shown that manipulating the bones that directly touch the sinus cavity can be highly effective in getting relief from sinusitis and sinus congestion. Once those sinus cavities are cleared, you’ll likely feel an immediate release of pressure and a decrease in pain.
Other Natural Solutions to Stop Sinusitis and a Runny Nose
Prescription and over-the-counter remedies may work in the short term, but they’ll do nothing to address the underlying cause of your excessive phlegm. Try these natural remedies to help find long-lasting relief.
1) Reduce Your Exposure to Outdoor Allergy Triggers
If seasonal allergies are the reason for your congestion, there are a few things you can do to help minimize your body’s response. The top tip is to stay indoors on dry, windy days or when pollen counts are high. The best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
You can also delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling, and other gardening chores that stir up allergies during high pollen days. If you have to be outside (or simply can’t stay indoors any longer), try changing the clothes you were wearing outdoors once you come inside. You can even take it a step further and take a shower to rinse the pollen from your skin and hair.
2) Rule Out Food Allergies
Allergies may have more than one trigger so if you find you’re still struggling after taking steps to minimize outdoor or seasonal allergies, take a look at the foods you’re eating. Food intolerance and allergies are common causes of excessive mucus production.
Dairy, wheat, gluten, corn, and soy are all common allergens. If your body has a sensitivity to the food you’re eating, it can cause your immune system to over-produce the histamines that cause post nasal drip.
To determine if a food intolerance or allergy is behind your symptoms, start by removing all traces of dairy, gluten, corn, and soy from your diet for 6-8 weeks and see if they improve. After the 6-8 week period of time is over, reintroduce one food at a time to test for a reaction.
3) Eat Mucus-Busting Foods
Once you’ve figured out which food (or foods) your body can’t tolerate, it’s time to introduce more foods that cut down on phlegm. Here’s a great list of mucus-busting foods to try, or you can also try making an allergy-relief syrup from raw honey, cayenne pepper, onion, and garlic. Each of these ingredients boosts your immune system and cuts down on excessive mucous production. Plus, it helps thin out mucus so it’s much easier to clear.
4) Stay Hydrated
Always make sure you’re drinking enough water. This is especially true when you’re fighting sinusitis and sinus congestion from seasonal allergies. Caffeine and alcohol can dry out your sinuses, which only encourages more mucus production. So instead of reaching for your morning coffee or carbonated beverage, keep yourself hydrated. Aim for at least eight glasses of pure, filtered water per day. If you’re already doing that, try to drink half of your body weight in ounces. (Example: if you’re 175 pounds, aim for 87 ounces of water a day).
5) Use a Neti Pot
A neti pot is also a great way to help naturally clear your sinuses. You can use it to rinse your sinuses of mucus and debris with a saline solution. If you’re unable to use a neti pot, try to clear your sinuses first with a saline decongestant spray. It’s best to avoid over-the-counter decongestant pills. They have numerous side effects that can be as bothersome as the congestion itself. This includes insomnia, dry mouth, feeling restless or agitated, drowsiness, and more.
6) Look into a Natural Supplement
Chronic allergies can also be relieved naturally with the right supplements. Quercetin, vitamin C, and stinging nettles are great natural ingredients. They can help boost your immune system, decrease histamine reaction, and cut down on mucus production.
AlignLife chiropractors recommend Aller-Aid from Aceva for fast and effective, natural allergy relief. While it may not work as quickly as an over-the-counter medicine, you should start to find relief within 20 minutes. It also doesn’t have side effects! Another great go-to during allergy season – especially if your symptoms have already flared up – is Sine-Aid from Aceva. This will help you thin and expel mucus even more.
Ready to take care of your sinusitis and allergies naturally?
Schedule a spine check with your local AlignLife chiropractor and talk to them about more ways you can naturally fight allergy symptoms and sinusitis.