By| September 13, 2011
“Normal physiological movement between the bones of the face and skull is important in maintaining drainage of the sinuses, and permitting the free passage of air through the nose.”
Sinuses are cavities within the bones of the face. These cavities humidify the air before it enters the lungs. They are also lined with a membrane that produces mucus to trap bacteria which the body then removes from the sinuses by swallowing it or pushing it out the nasal cavity.
Sinusitis occurs when the mucous membranes that line the sinuses become inflamed by bacterial, viral, fungal, allergenic factors, or as a result of medication side-effects.
Trauma to the face may restrict the normal movement between the bones, and can have very wide reaching effects in the whole body. Causes include birth compression, head trauma and dental treatment. If draining mucus becomes restricted, it can lead to infection.
When your sinuses are inflamed and mucus stops draining properly, you may feel headache upon waking in the morning. Tenderness of the forehead may indicate inflammation of the frontal sinuses. Infection in the maxillary sinuses can cause cheek, jaw and tooth sensitivity.
Ethmoid inflammation often causes swelling of the tissues around the eyes and pain between the eyes as well as tenderness when touching the sides of the nose, a loss of smell, and a stuffy nose.
Drainage of mucus from the sphenoid sinuses down the back of the throat (postnasal drip) can cause a sore throat. Nasal polyps grow in inflamed tissue of the nasal mucosa.
Medications can be used to dry up the sinuses or to reduce swelling, which can provide temporary relief. But as soon as the medication wears off, the swelling returns and so does the backup of fluids.
The walls of the sinuses are made up of the bones of the cranium. In life the bones of the head do not fuse and the sutures are designed in a way that allow for small motion. When the bones are jammed and the sutures become compressed in the head, that motion of the bones may become diminished. As a result, the sinuses are unable to drain and mucus then accumulates in the sinuses. If the motion is not restored, then the sinuses become congested and more prone to infections.
Sometimes diminished movement may not be an issue until something such as an upper respiratory infection overwhelms the body’s ability to drain the sinuses by increased mucus production.
Osteopaths evaluate, diagnose and treat sinus congestion by helping to restore proper movement of the bones of the head that allows proper drainage of the congestion of the sinuses and restoring normal physiologic function of the body. This maximizes the health of the body and allows the body to clear sinus congestion and help you feel more comfortable as your body clears your infection.
Cranial osteopathy is utilized to assess the mobility of these bones and to detect where the bones are not moving well which restricts the size and motion of the sinus cavities. Osteopaths will work on freeing up the compressed sutures with cranial osteopathic techniques restoring normal motion of the bones of the head. Normal mobility allows the sinuses to drain, enhances blood flow and enhances healing mechanisms of the body.
Why not try osteopathy for your sinuses? An Osteopath takes a holistic approach that will help you breathe easier and reduce your risk of sinusitis. Their goal is to improve the drainage of the sinus to prevent build up from occurring.
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