What are sinuses?

A sinus (Latin for "hollow") can be any cavity in the body, however, the word is commonly used in reference to the eight air-cavities in the cranial bones of your forehead and around your nose. Your sinuses are lined with mucus that acts as a filtering gel. Sometimes this mucus fills the sinuses causing pain or discomfort. When this occurs it is called sinusitis.

Symptoms of Sinusitis

Sinusitis often occurs when you have a cold or seasonal allergies as your body's way of detoxifying and expelling waste. If the drainage is blocked, pressure in the sinuses increase causing pain, discomfort, headache, and swelling around your eyes and ears. Other symptoms may be a dull ache in the cheekbones, pain in the teeth or jaw, increased nasal secretions, chills, fever, dizziness, loss of appetite, photophobia (light sensitivity), bad breath general malaise, and even depression.


Many things can irritate the sinuses and mucus membranes, with the most common being dust, mold, pollen, fumes, viri, bacteria, fungus, and hot or dry air. Less common causes of sinus irritation are bony growths, nasal polyps, deviated septum, facial injuries, tumors, or diseases of the upper teeth.

The Medical Approach 

Standard medical treatment for sinusitis is the promotion of drainage with decongestants, antibiotics, and antihistamines. However, the treatment of sinusitis with these drugs is controversial because they can have numerous adverse effects, including but not limited to insomnia, nervousness, high blood pressure, and digestive issues.

The Non-Medical Approach 

There are a number of natural remedies to treat the symptoms of sinusitis. One popular approach is the neti pot, which is a form of nasal irrigation that removes irritants and excess mucous. Drinking adequate amounts of water is also important to loosen the mucus and flush the body. Additionally, top foods for sinusitis include ginger, oil of oregano, chicken broth, and garlic. Foods to avoid are sugars, dairy, and all grains.

The Chiropractic Approach 

Chiropractic does not treat sinusitis symptoms, however, sufferers often find relief with chiropractic care. Chiropractic relieves stress on the nervous and structural systems helping your body work and heal more efficiently. Chiropractic ensures the cranial bones are properly aligned to allow easier breathing and permits the nasal fluids to drain without interference. Additionally, the nervous system and immune system are intimately connected - any stress on the nervous system impairs immune function. Chiropractic adjustments can be a powerful "wake up call" to your immune system allowing you to fight and prevent illness, as well as function at your best.