The Mayo Clinic defines chronic sinusitis or chronic rhino-sinusitis as a common condition of inflammation of the nasal sinuses lasting longer than 12 weeks that can affect children, young & middle aged adults. It interferes with drainage & causes mucus buildup. Breathing becomes difficult, and the face and eyes may feel swollen, with pain and tenderness. Chronic sinusitis can be brought on by an infection, nasal polyps, or a deviated nasal septum. (1)
Symptoms of chronic sinusitis include:
- Post nasal drip down the back of the throat
- Nasal obstruction or congestion
- Pain, tenderness & swelling around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead
- reduced sense of smell & taste
- Ear pain
- aching in your upper jaw & teeth
- increased cough at night
- sore throat
- bad breath
- fatigue or irritability
Sinusitis can be caused by upper respiratory tract infection, generally of viral origin, but can be caused by bacterial infections and fungal invasion. The viral sinusitis usually lasts 7-10 days, but bacterial infections can be more persistent. Fungal infections are usually in patients with diabetes or other immune deficiencies, and can be life threatening.
The medical management of chronic sinusitis is focused on controlling the inflammation that leads to obstruction and reducing recurrence of infection. However, all forms of chronic sinusitis are associated with impaired sinus drainage first & bacterial infections second.(2) The typical medical treatment is starting with antibiotics and later introducing steroids to control the inflammation. Surgery may be indicated in some cases with nasal polyps or deviated septums.
Dr Schurger’s Chronic Sinusitis
Since a very young age, I’ve had a runny nose. Sure, kids have runny noses, but mine didn’t stop. My mom had allergies to cats and hay fever since she moved to Northeastern Indiana from Cleveland. I figured I had allergies like mom, and accepted it. This started when I was in grade school. I accepted it, but as I got older, it became something that made me very self-conscious. I would have a hanky or two on me at all times to blow my nose with my post nasal drip, my throat was sore, and I was sniffling 24/7. I would try to clear my throat and sinuses to no avail. Now all of this is bad enough when you’re growing up. Consider that it continued on into high school and college, and we add the bad breath into the mix. Teenage years are awkward enough, so let’s just say my social life was lacking (or at least it felt that way to me!!)
The sinusitis was always present, but only occasionally caused my head to be so swollen that I couldn’t go to school, or later, to work. I did find I had better drainage when I walking/standing, but much of my time was spent sitting. This continued even when I started Chiropractic care, with some improvement. I tried everything natural I could, because I had been through the ringer for the allergies. The only thing that really worked was Benadryl, which would knock me out, losing 2-3 hours of sleep within minutes of taking it. Honestly, it was easier to have the drip & work than have to sleep all day long. The best things I found to alleviate but not eliminate symptoms was standing & walking, and drinking lots of water. The symptoms were worse during the winter, but could often be present during the summer.
Introduction to Upper Cervical Care
When I got to Palmer College of Chiropractic, I eventually found Upper Cervical. As I’ve said before, I had relief of my low back pain with Upper Cervical Care, with some mild improvement but not a complete improvement to my sinuses. As I continued with Upper Cervical care, I sought out other ways that would help improve my alignment and my holding. This is where I found the Blair work, which appealed to my engineering background and the natural geometry of the upper cervical spine (in high school I loved math, and for some reason geometry was always one of my favorites). I was under Toggle/Recoil Upper Cervical Care, the technique developed by Dr BJ Palmer for about 9 months when I had my first Blair Upper Cervical adjustment. This is when I REALLY noticed a huge change in things.
Blair Upper Cervical & Clear Sinuses
First, when I was adjusted, I noticed an immediate change in my ability to breathe deeply. In fact, after resting for a few minutes, when I left the clinic, I didn’t want to turn my head. I went home, and laid down to take a nap. TWO HOURS LATER I awoke feeling great! I had almost complete drainage of my sinuses, and my head felt much better. My sinuses were working properly for the first time!! Since I had been living with it for so long, I didn’t notice things about my sinuses, but rather my colleagues & classmates did. In fact, Dr Jason Zablotney was quick to defend my care to Dr Ben Kuhn, noting that I hadn’t sniffled or snorked in over a month in order to clear my sinuses!
This was amazing! I actually had relief from sinus & allergy trouble for the first time in years!! The only downside was that within minutes of going out of adjustment, it would come right back. Just like a light switch, it would bounce back and forth. In fact, it took about 2-3 years before the sinuses wouldn’t automatically turn on like a faucet when I went out of adjustment. But a simple fix was in sight – keep my head on straight to have the health I’d always dreamed of having! To this day that health remains.
If you or someone you know can identify with a story like this, but haven’t had the recovery yet, feel free to call our office and see how we can help you.