How Can Osteopathy Help with Sinus Congestion?
By: Brock Palma B. Kin, Osteopathy (Current Study)
With the seasons quickly changing, comes a quick drop in temperature. At this time in
the year, the common cold and flu gets spread around very fast, getting individuals sick ov
the holiday season. The common cold and flu can leave you with multiple symptoms like a
cough, sore throat, slight body aches or mild headaches, runny or stuffy nose and congestion.This post will cover the latter 2 symptoms and how osteopathic manual therapy can help to
reduce these symptoms.
There are 4 different sinuses within your face that can become blocked and inflamed
during this time. They are a connected system of hollow cavities within the skull. They consist of
the frontal sinus which is located in the low-centre of your forehead, ethmoid sinus which is
between your eyes, sphenoid sinus is located between your nose and the maxillary sinus is the
largest and held in behind the cheekbones. They are lined with a thin, soft, pink tissue called
mucosa, and normally they are empty except for a thin layer of mucus. Their job is to humidify
the air as we breath in and trap the bacteria from the air in the mucus. Then the bacteria can be
removed by pushing it out of the nasal cavity (blowing our noses).
The medical term for when the sinuses become inflamed, or when the draining passages
become restricted is called sinusitis. This can often lead to headache pain that originates in your
forehead, eyes, temples and teeth. Temporary relief can be found by taking medications to
reduce the inflammation or dry up the sinuses, but this does not deal with the root cause of the
problem. In order to get down to find the source of the problem, Osteopathic manual therapy
involves taking a holistic approach and aims to improve the subtle movements of the cranial
and facial bones that make up the wall of the sinuses. If the bones aren’t treated, it can worsen
the sinus congestion and prolong symptoms.
This type of treatment encourages the release of stresses and tensions throughout the
head, face and neck and gives relief to the general stresses of the body. In addition to this, it
will also support the drainage of the sinuses and will help prevent the further build up of mucus
within the sinuses. Proper alignment and balance of the bones is ideal for allowing you to
breath easier and free up other symptoms you may currently experience. Supplement
treatments of the neck, thoracic outlet and upper back will help to promote drainage and keep
other fascial restrictions from appearing.