In the clinic, I have seen Patients reporting the following issues relating to the sinuses: -
The main sinuses in the face are around the nose. These sinuses are air-filled pockets in the bones. The main function of the sinuses is to moisten the air we breathe and produce mucus. The mucus helps protects our body from micro-organisms and pollutants we inhale.
It is commonly called Sinusitis when the air space in the air pockets is decreased. This can be due to an increase of mucus, swelling in the lining of the sinus or the persistent presence of fluid which may lead to bacterial growth. Triggers that may irritate the membrane pollens causing a hay fever reaction, or irritate vapours like the presence of chlorine vapour at swimming pools. It can also start after a cold and the body produces more fluid and mucus in its immune response. For some people the sinus are frequently infected without an obvious trigger, I find these people, I find a significant restriction in the movement of the cranial bones which impairs the movement of mucus, allowing the infections to take hold and reoccur.
What you feel: The symptoms you may feel could be facial pain, swelling or pressure inside the face, nasal congestion, tooth pain in the upper jaw, a fever, yellow or green mucus from the nose.
What is happening: when the mucus membranes get irritated they secrete more mucus. If this is not able to drain away the sinus becomes congested with mucus causing discomfort. It is possible to have a secondary issue if the sinus gets infected as this may further irritate the membranes.
How we might treat this. For Osteopaths fluid movement is crucial. First, the cranial bones must be free to move to assist the mucus out of the sinus. In some cases working directly over the inflamed sinus can also help. There must be a path for the fluids to drain, out of the head and neck. It may be necessary to reduce tight neck muscles to improve the fluid flow down the neck.