It’s that time of year where many of us develop a sinus infection. We try our best to ward away the beginning symptoms before it becomes a full-blown sinus infection without much success. Here are some tips and tricks that have helped several of my patients from needing to go on antibiotics, including using DNFT Chiropractic to treat your sinus infection.
Sinusitis is the infection of the sinus and usually occurs when there is a blockage of the sinuses. There are many ways sinusitis can be causes and so it can be hard to know what is causing your own unique sinusitis. The most common way to get a sinus infection is from colds, flu, hay fever, and allergies. Also external pollutants such as smoke in the air, cigarette smoke or deviated septum’s and all lead to the blockage of the sinuses.
Symptoms of sinus infection are Sinus pressure, nasal congestion, runny nose, headache, sore throat, fever, fatigue, nasal discharge and pain behind your eyes or face.
Types of Sinus Infections
There are also different types of sinus infections. You may be surprised to hear that most sinus infections are actually due to viral infections and not bacteria. Meaning that the antibiotics that were prescribed to you will actually be useless in aiding in healing from the infection. Viral sinus infections typically last 7-10 days and will go away on their own with rest and proper diet.
Bacterial sinus infections are not as common as viral sinus infections, however, it may be problematic to tell the difference between a bacterial and viral one because they share common symptoms. Additionally, the viral sinus infection may turn into a bacterial sinus infection. Luckily there is a way to tell the difference between the two: bacterial infections tend to last past 10 days whereas viral infections do not. If you go to your doctor though, they should be able to test the mucus to see which one it is.
Natural Treatments for Sinus Infection
Chiropractic Treatment for Sinus Infection
While most don’t think to go to a chiropractor when you are having a sinus infection you would be surprised to hear how helpful it is for several reasons.
- First with DNFT chiropractic we are able to analyze and adjust the actual bones pushing on your sinuses so that they are open more; this helps them drain so you can get better faster.
- Second, chiropractic is beneficial in boosting your immune system by making everything more efficient.
Particularly adjusting the neck is beneficial in this regard as when we are fighting colds there is often tension our necks being tight from coughing, being inactive or just from all the symptoms of illness causing everything to be swollen. Releasing the tension by re-aligning your neck alone can cause great relief as there is better blood flow, and nerve flow to kick your immune system into overdrive.
Keep drinking to help naturally thin out mucus. Stick to clear liquids such as bone broths, caffeine free herbal teas, water, or veggie broths. Avoid the temptation of alcohol, sugar drinks, or coffee.
Scientist are now saying that 80% of your immune system is your gut. The trillions of good bacteria that live in your intestines regulate your immune system and overall health in many different ways. When the good bacteria get unbalanced it can become comprised quickly interestingly enough the sinuses are a particular place of expression for this.
I’ll explain why. An unhealthy gut leads to inflammation of the mucus membranes in your entire body but where this area tends to be noticed the most is in the sinuses. Inflammation of the mucus membranes causes a blockage of the drainage ducts and fluid in the sinuses—this is what leads to an infection.
To beef up your good bacteria and put things back into balance start taking probiotics like crazy. Fermented foods such as yoghurt, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, lacto-fermented veggies, and kefir all contain natural probiotics.
Plus, as part of the food craze these days there are fun classes in Santa Cruz to learn how to make your own at home.
In addition to these foods you should also be taking a high-quality probiotic these are often found in the refrigerated area of supplements ask a representative at Staff for Life for probiotic supplements or one of our other great health food stores in the area.
Drink Natural Decongestants
There are natural decongestants that work wonders on the sinuses try these out:
Cayenne Pepper – Stimulates the production of new, healthy mucous membranes as well as promoting sinus drainage. The capsicum helps to drain the sinuses and stimulate proper blood flow throughout. Spice up soups, or drink it with warm water. Some say you can even apply some directly to the nasal passage—I would advise against that.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Has long been used to help relieve sinus infections just by drinking it. Take a few tablespoons and add it to a cup of warm water, add raw honey for a more balanced tasting drink. Be sure to use apple cider vinegar that is raw meaning it contains culture or what looks like floating brown globs. That lets you know the vinegar is alive and has the antiviral properties.
Horseradish – For the sushi lovers out there you probably have experienced first hand the power of the sinus clearing horseradish. For those of you have not had wasabi in the amounts it takes to clear your head—trust me it works. Take a few tiny pieces of horseradish and chew it up in your mouth or use the juice of the root to get the effects.
Pull it all together to form a Master Tonic. There are loads of recipes online to create your own homemade tonics to load up on natural arsenal to beat back sinusitis, colds and flus, because I personally have not tried these I won’t post a recipe but many swear by them.
Neti pots or other devices involving using distilled water to flush out the sinuses are a natural and safe way to clear out nasal passages and relieve sinus pressure. Be sure to follow directions as there are certain steps that should be taken to make sure it is an enjoyable experience, such as water temperature. These are particularly helpful when the sinusitis is a result from smoke and allergen sensitivities.
Other great tips to include is seeing a naturopath to get you pharmaceutical grade natural anti-virals and b-12 shots to really boost your energy. Also another great resource is acupuncture. Traditional Chinese medicine has been helping people combat colds literally for ages by addressing it energetically through acupuncture points.
Those are my top tips for naturally getting rid of your sinus infections or preventing them from becoming full-blown sinus infections. Hope it was helpful and stay healthy this winter season!