Sinus Infection & Exercise ?

male feeling sick
A man is blowing his nose into a tissue. (Image: kieferpix/iStock/Getty Images)

A sinus infection, or acute sinusitis, causes the sinuses around your eyes and nose to be inflamed and swollen. The swelling interferes with drainage and causes mucus to build up. You may be congested, have a headache or even have fever. If you feel like exercising with a sinus infection, it is OK as long as you follow a few guidelines. Certain types of yoga exercises may actually improve your condition.

Causes

Sinusitis causes inflammation in your nose, sinuses and throat. Swelling prevents mucous from draining normally, causing congestion, pain and pressure. When you have blocked sinuses, the moist environment is ideal for germs to take hold. Certain germs trapped in congested sinuses cause an infection and a thick, yellow or greenish discharge from your nose. Acute sinusitis can be caused by viral, bacterial or fungal infections. Certain medical conditions can increase your risk of getting a sinus infection.

Treatments

Most cases of acute sinusitis don't need medical treatment because they are caused by viruses. Rest and over-the-counter treatments may be enough to relieve symptoms. Antibiotics aren't usually needed to treat acute sinusitis because many cases are caused by viral or fungal infections and most cases of bacterial sinusitis improve without medication. You may only need antibiotic treatment if a bacterial infection is severe or recurrent.

Exercise

Depending on how you feel, mild to moderate exercise is OK if you have no fever. Exercise could bring relief because it releases adrenaline, which contracts blood vessels and may decrease swelling in your sinuses. Exercise if your symptoms are above the neck, as with runny nose, nasal congestion or sore throat. Don't exercise if your symptoms are below the neck, as with chest condition, a frequent cough or an upset stomach. Wait to exercise if you have a fever, extreme fatigue or numerous muscle aches. Listen to your body and stop exercising and rest if your symptoms get worse.

Yoga and Sinuses

Yoga poses and breathing exercises can be good alternative treatments for sinus problems because they can relax the body and mind, improve breathing and circulation and help the body heal. Certain yoga exercises to try include cat's pose, child's pose, head to knee, knee to chest and lying down twist.

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