Low Vagal Tone Or Vagus Nerve Injury A Connection To The Trigeminal Will Also Be Made
An important aspect of vagus nerve function is its role in the regulation of middle ear pressure by opening the auditory tube or Eustachian tube. The Eustachian tube connects the middle ear cavity with the nasopharynx. Normal opening of the Eustachian tube equalizes atmospheric pressure in the middle ear and clears mucus from the middle ear into the nasopharynx. The Eustachian tube needs to be open during normal swallowing, as just that noise could damage the sensitive nerve endings and structures in the inner ear. The vagus nerve innervates the levator veli palatini one of the key muscles that open the Eustachian tube. The other muscle that opens the Eustachian tube is the tensor veli palatine innervated by the trigeminal nerve. If the Eustachian tube on one side of the head were unable to open and close properly then secretions would build up in the middle ear, causing a pressure gradient between the middle ear, atmosphere, and the other middle ear cavity. When the pressure inside one middle ear cavity is different than the other side it can cause many symptoms including dizziness, hearing loss, ear discomfort, ear fullness, pressure in the ears , as well as pain in the ears.
Sinus Headache And Neck Pain
Inflamed and swollen sinuses can cause sinus headaches, and this can be due to infections, colds or allergies. It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between a sinus headache and a migraine and it is always best to seek advice from your GP to be sure. Both conditions can cause very similar symptoms, including pain in the face and head, although there are some key differences. Sinus headaches tend to cause pain in the face and frontal part of the head , including the cheeks, eyes, ears and upper teeth, but rarely anywhere else. In migraines, the headaches are usually also more severe, one-sided and often preceded by an aura or symptoms that the migraine is about to start, such as flashing lights or a feeling of nausea. Pain that is felt predominantly in the neck area is unlikely to be due to sinusitis and is also rare due to migraine. Other causes might need to be considered, such as neck stiffness due to a musculoskeletal cause, an injury or a vascular cause. It is, however, possible to get some tightness in the neck due to tension or stress, and this can also accompany sinusitis or migraine, although the neck pain is likely to be less severe than the facial pain/pressure.
Steps to Prevent flare-ups
Signs Of Something More Serious
When To See A Doctor For Neck Pain
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, you should seek medical care if your neck pain is:
- accompanied by pain that radiates down your legs or arms
- accompanied by headaches, tingling, numbness, or weakness
In general, its a good idea to see a doctor if youre worried about your neck pain, or if the pain is affecting your quality of life.
Neck Pain And Sinus Infection: Whats The Connection
As mentioned above, there are several sinuses in the head, including the pair of air cavities located behind the nose, which doctors refer to as sphenoid sinuses. When these specific sinuses get inflamed or irritated because of a bacterial or viral pathogen, you will likely develop sinus infection and neck pain.
On top of that, your sinus infection and neck pain can worsen if you have problems with your autonomic system. An impaired autonomic system fails to regulate involuntary processes like respiration, causing you to have difficulty managing sinus infections. Early detection of an ANS problem may be the key to finally getting rid of your chronic sinus problem, so be sure to consult with your doctor or perhaps an upper cervical care practitioner to know your best option.
Know The Limits Of Natural Sinus Pain Relief
You should not try to self-treat your sinus pain if you have symptoms such as as yellow or green mucus discharge persistent fever or stiff neck pain for more than 24 hours confusion, weakness, numbness, or tingling and persistent nausea or vomiting. These symptoms could be a sign of a significant infection in your sinuses that might need antibiotics. Ã¢Using natural sinus pain relief is fine if you have mild chronic pain or a headache related to a common cold or an allergy, but if you have severe pain that is not responding to these techniques, you need to see your doctor,Ã¢ advises Das.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Get A Sinus Infection
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What Causes Migraines With Sinus Symptoms
If you are one of the many sinus sufferers who is actually dealing with migraines, it may sound like bad news at first. After all, migraines can be a chronic and debilitating condition. Since people who dont get migraines dont understand them, you may be dealing with the social stigma that comes along with this condition. It may even affect your ability to hold down a job.
While migraines are difficult to cope with, theres actually an upside to the diagnosis. Migraines are a neurological condition. That means you can get help by boosting your central nervous system, and that can be done in a safe and natural way. How? By making sure your atlas is properly aligned. What is the atlas?
When To See Your Doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have a fever, nasal discharge, congestion, or facial pain that lasts longer than ten days or keeps coming back. A fever is not a typical symptom of either chronic or acute sinusitis, but it is possible. You could have an underlying condition that is causing your chronic infections, in which case you may need special treatment. Schedule an appointment with a Cumberland Valley ENT doctor if:
- You’ve had sinusitis several times, and the condition doesn’t respond to treatment
- You have sinusitis symptoms that last more than 10 days
- Your symptoms don’t improve after you see your doctor
See a doctor immediately if you have the following signs or symptoms, which could indicate a serious infection:
- Swelling or redness around your eyes
- Severe headache
- Double vision or other vision changes
Do Sinuses Run Down Back Of Neck
Asked by: Emery Hintz DVM
Allergic congestion in your sphenoid sinuses may cause pressure in the back part of your head and neck. You have four pairs of sinuses, air-filled cavities in your head, that can become congested during allergy season. The deepest of these are the sphenoid sinuses, positioned in the middle of the skull.
What Can I Do To Help My Neck Pain
In most instances neck pain will settle down within a few days without the need for appointment with your doctor or physio!
Try these self-management tips to get you back on track sooner:
- Take it easy, but dont stop!
- We physiotherapists refer to this as relative rest. Try to keep performing your usual routines but you might need to take things a bit slower, have more frequent breaks and get a hand with any demanding physical tasks.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of A Bad Sinus Infection
Explaining The Autonomic Nervous System
The autonomic nervous system is part of the peripheral nervous system. It sends signals from your brain to various body parts that perform involuntary actions like breathing and regulating heart rate. Suppose something wrong happens to some of your autonomic nerves. What do you think will happen?
Naturally, this can result in several health problems associated with involuntary body processes. For example, according to a 2018 study, a malfunctioning ANS increases ones risk for lower airway diseases and disorders like asthma and sinus infections. The researchers explained that the ANS controls various mechanisms like nasal blood vessel dilation and mucosal layer thickening. As a result, you become more prone to health problems like a sinus infection.
Can Cervical Spine Problems Cause Sinus Problems Yes And Here Is How It Can Be Fixed
Because neck injury can be one of the causes of sinus problems, Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractors use advanced imaging in the form of cone beam computerized tomography or digital x-ray to precisely locate upper cervical spinal misalignment. Blair doctors are trained to view the joints of the neck to determine exactly how they have misaligned from normal. By viewing each individual joint of the neck, it is possible to see and measure joint misalignment.
Once this information is recorded it is then used in a precise spinal correction which includes no twisting, popping, or pulling of the neck. The spinal correction is made while the patient is lying on their side and is painless and quick. Once the offending joint is corrected the body will go through a healing process.
The patient is monitored over time to determine at each visit whether they need another correction or not. While the correction is holding in its normal position normal neurophysiology is restored and healing accrues. In many cases sinus problems and other health challenges either improve or fully recover. Hopefully we answered the question, Can Cervical Spine Problems Cause Sinus Problems?
We hope this article will reach those who are suffering and in need of help. We are big believers that for almost every problem there is a solution. Dont give up on finding the solution to your health problems!
Read Also: Cold Vs Flu Vs Sinus Infection
What Is A Sinus
Sinuses and sinusitis are commonly used words, but not many people know what they are or how they work. Sinuses are air-filled cavities in the bones of your face and skull. They play a role in reducing the total weight of all that bone in your head but are primarily responsible for producing the mucous that keeps your upper airways running smoothly.
In healthy sinuses, all of that mucus constantly drains to where it needs to be. If that drainage is blocked however, the sinus fills with fluid instead of air and infection can set in. This is when we experience symptoms like a stuffy nose and sinus headaches.
Sinus Headaches And Neck Pain
To explain the link here, we have to get more specific and talk about the sphenoid sinuses. These are the pair of sinuses that sit deep in the skull, right behind your eyes. Sinusitis in the sphenoids is commonly associated with headaches. In turn, certain headaches can feel like or cause neck pain. Weve already covered the topic in more depth here. One recent medical study reported that 84% of patients suffering sinus headaches also said they experienced neck pain.
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How To Reduce Sinus Inflammation Pain And Pressure
Whether your sinus symptoms are caused by a cold or bacterial infection, here’s how you can relieve them:
- Try a saline nose spray. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to suggest a plain saline spray. Saline mist will ease sinus swelling and help break up the mucus that’s clogging your nose. You can use it up to six times a day without worrying about side effects. You can also make your own saline nasal spray. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how, and be sure that the water you use is distilled or has been boiled, not straight from a tap.
- Use a humidifier. Stuffy sinuses respond well to moist air. Using a humidifier, especially when you sleep at night, will help keep your sinuses open and relieve the pressure. You can also try sitting in a steamy bathroom after a hot shower or inhaling the steam from a pan of hot water for faster relief.
- Apply a warm compress. Ease swelling and throbbing with a warm, wet washcloth across your forehead, eyes, and cheeks.
- Use an over-the-counter decongestant nose spray. These ease congestion and provide relief, especially early in a cold. You can get them as a nasal spray, liquid, or pill. If you use a decongestant nasal spray, don’t use it for more than 3 days. If you use it for longer, it can make your stuffiness worse, not better.
- Take OTC pain relievers. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen can relieve sinus pain. But never give a child or teenager aspirin for pain. It can be dangerous.
A Clue From A Deviated Uvula
Why then were his anti-inflammatories not effective? Why were his anti-histamines not effective?
Again, as we typically see, this patient had various conditions and symptoms. Already mentioned above were trips to a gastroenterologist to track down digestive problems, a cardiologist to rule out heart problems, and neurologists to determine if neurological deficits and problems were at play here. As these other possible causes were being ruled out, what could be left? For some people, it is cervical spine instability and compressive problems in the neck. Nerve impingement can be going on.
When this person came into our center, it was after a screening process to determine if cervical spine instability could be realistically thought of as a cause of his problems. Once we suspected cervical spine instability as the underlying cause of his problems, we asked about other cervical instability symptoms including headaches, visual changes, neck/head, and scalp pain, he noted he had all of them. In fact, his neck was causing him a lot of pain and discomfort, enough so that he had sought out chiropractic care. Of which he did say that he did find relief, but only on a temporary basis.
A possible clue: A deviated uvula. What is this?
What does all this mean?
What Actually Is Sinusitis
It is an inflammation of the tissue lining you sinuses located behind the trestle of your nose, inside your cheekbones, and forehead see the following image, credit to WebMD.
Sinuses are normally filled with air, thats why they are also often called as air-filled cavities. In sinusitis, the sinuss lining tissue gets inflamed and swollen, blocking the flow of mucus that normally drains into the nose. As a result, there will be bacteria, fungi, or viruses that can overgrow and cause an infection, worsening the problem.
This blockage can be triggered by a number of causes, such as allergic reaction, common cold, or particular disorders . People with a condition that weakens their body immune system are also at high risk. If the immune system is not as strong as usual, the infection is relatively easier to develop.
There are several different types of sinusitis. These include:
Fortunately, it is usually harmless and the treatment is not always necessary. Even many times, it responds to lifestyle measures .
Chiropractic Support For Better Neck Health
In your journey back to full health, chiropractic care is a safe and natural treatment regime for CCS. A doctor of chiropractic specializes in spine and neck care and can be an incredible asset in your healing process and in regaining neck health.
Chiropractic care utilizes gentle adjustments of the spine to realign your body, decrease pressure and inflammation, decrease nerve irritation, and ultimately allow for healing to take place. These adjustments are so effective in treating cervicocranial syndrome in particular because they address the misalignments in your neck that cause the myriad of uncomfortable symptoms, getting to the root of the problem.
Additionally, your practitioner may recommend other exercises or modalities to perform outside of appointment times, in order to help expedite your healing process along.
Its time to take back control of your health.
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What Is Cervicocranial Syndrome
Cervicocranial syndrome is caused by instability and misalignment in the cervical spine- or, as most of us call it, the neck. Misalignments in the neck can increase pressure, interfere with normal sinus activity, and pinch nerves.
The symptoms of CCS are varied, and those who suffer from it can experience just one or a myriad of the potential symptoms, which is partially why it can be so difficult to diagnose! However, because the neck is so close to your head and the brain, when the cervical spine becomes misaligned, it tends to affect the area above the shoulders most distinctly. The most commonly experienced symptoms are headaches and migraines, face, ear, and neck pain, sinus pressure, ringing in the ears, and dizziness.