The Connection Between Neck Pain and Sinus Health

The Connection Between Neck Pain and Sinus Health

Neck Pain and Sinus

Sinus infections develop when the soft tissue that lines the nasal cavities becomes irritated or inflamed. This leads to many commonly reported symptoms like congestion, runny discharge, and swelling. One less widely talked about symptom getting more attention is the association with muscle pain and cramping, especially around the head and neck region. It may seem surprising to learn about the connection between neck pain and sinus health, a closer look reveals these issues’ common relation with one another. When the sinuses swell due to infection, any blockage leads to a build-up of air and mucus and can put pressure on the muscle groups in the face and around the head and neck.

What is the Connection Between Neck Pain and Sinus Health?

Sinus pressure has been associated with painful symptoms such as:

  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Chest pain (from cough)
  • Fatigue/ tiredness
  • Ear pain
  • Neck/ shoulder pain

Congestion, specifically in the sphenoid sinuses, causes pressure at the back of the sinuses, resulting in tense or tight muscles around the head and neck. The Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy published a study in 2019 that reported almost 84 percent of patients diagnosed with sinus infections also expressed painful symptoms. Other sinus issues can also result in neck pain, such as seasonal allergies and the common flu or cold. Doctors are beginning to treat both problems simultaneously, recommending combinations of therapies and medication for sinus issues and pain relief, finding better results.

Common sinus medications include:

  • Decongestants
  • Steroid nasal sprays
  • Allergy medications
  • Sinus irrigation
  • Antibiotics
  • Standard pain relief options:
  • Pain medications
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage/ acupuncture
  • TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)

Of course, these are not the only options available, and many people choose over-the-counter or home remedies to find relief. While this can be fine, if symptoms persist for more than a week or you have had multiple reoccurrences of sinus issues, it’s probably a good time to visit your doctor to find out the extent of your sinus issues and what treatment options are available. While muscle pain in the head or neck is not always connected to sinus health, treating both issues is the best way to provide relief.

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