Your sinuses include your nose, forehead--particularly between the eyebrows--and the area under your eyes. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, blocked sinuses can cause tension headaches in each of these locations. However, The Ear, Nose & Throat On-line Consultant website says that pain in the sinus area can also come from tight muscles at the back of your neck because the nerves are connected. Whether the cause of pain is sinusitis or neck tension, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends doing gentle head and neck exercises to relax the affected muscles, but check with your doctor before starting this form of treatment.
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Relaxed Breathing Exercise
According to The Ear, Nose & Throat On-line Consultant website, when you have a sinus or neck tension headache you tend to tense the muscles in your neck and face, which can intensify the pain. This exercise can help to ease your neck and face muscles, by focusing on relaxing. Sit or stand up straight in front of a mirror and breathe in for four seconds and out for six seconds. As you exhale, concentrate on relaxing your stomach, chest, neck and face muscles. You will know you are fully relaxed if you look in the mirror and see your jaw is loose and your mouth is slightly open. Repeat as many times as you need to.
This exercise not only eases tense neck muscles; it can also correct poor posture, which the University of Maryland Medical Center says is a common cause of tension headaches and referred sinus pain. PhysioAdvisor.com says to sit with your back and neck straight and your shoulders rolled back and down. Slowly turn your head to the right as far as it will go without forcing it, until you feel a gentle stretch but no pain. Hold for a couple of seconds then slowly return to face forward then turn to the left. Do 10 repetitions on each side. PhysioAdvisor.com recommends keeping your chin slightly tucked under so your head doesn’t jut forward and your neck stays straight throughout the rotation.
Ear to Shoulder Exercise
Start in the same position as described for the Head Rotation exercise then carefully tilt your head to the right so your right ear moves towards your right shoulder, says PhysioAdvisor.com. Do not force the stretch--the aim is not to have your ear touching your shoulder, but to achieve a gentle pull along the left side of your neck. Hold the stretch for a couple of seconds then slowly return to the start position and repeat on the left side. Continue alternating until you have done 10 repetitions on each side. PhysioAdvisor.com recommends facing forward throughout the exercise, keeping your shoulders back and level and avoiding twisting your neck or pushing it forward or back. If it helps, imagine you are performing the exercise between two panes of glass. According to The Ear, Nose & Throat On-line Consultant website this exercise can also be done under a hot shower to gently increase the stretch.