When a “Sinus Infection” is a Neck Problem

I have patients that have been told they have a sinus infection, when what is really causing their runny nose and headache is a problem in their neck.   I’ve written about sinus  infection and a great non-drug way to treat it.  Believe it or not, the neck can cause symptoms that look and feel a lot like a sinus infection.  Please don’t take my word for it!  One of my foundational principles is to educate my patients.

A runny nose is a response to some kind of irritant.  The body responds to physical irritation by secreting fluid.  If the eye gets something in it or if it get scratched, tears begin to flow.  If the back of the heel gets rubbed by a poor fitting shoe, the skin secretes fluid and a blister develops.  When the skin gets badly sunburned it blisters.

When there is a problem in the body, messages are sent to the brain about the trouble.  Sometimes we “feel” these messages as pain, however most of the time we are never aware of them.  It is very common for a person to have some sort of problem for years before they “feel” it.  The body has been telling the brain about the problem from the beginning, but it is not until the “volume” gets loud enough that the person becomes aware of it.

When something is wrong in the neck, messages are sent to the brain.  As I explained, sometimes a person feels these messages as pain and sometimes a person does not feel anything.  These messages cause the brain to tell the neck muscles to tighten up.  The brain will continue to send the neck “tighten up” messages 24/7.  Often the person is completely unaware of the messages going to and from the brain.  Frequently as I am working on my patients they will feel the pain and tightness in an area where they had no idea anything was wrong.

When the brain begins to tell the neck muscles to tighten up, the neurological pieces are in place to cause a sinus condition that is often misdiagnosed as a sinus infection.   Check out this short video I put together to explain how this happens:

So how do you know if your runny nose is really neck trouble?  Well, did treatment for the sinus infection work?  If it did then it probably wasn’t a neck problem.  So if the treatment for your sinus infection has not been working, have your neck checked out.  Better yet, have your neck checked before you start taking medication!

I’d love to answer your questions and hear your thoughts.  Leave a comment here and I will be happy to answer you!

199 Responses to When a “Sinus Infection” is a Neck Problem
  1. Adz
    December 26, 2012 | 3:15 am

    G’day – really interested in this theory.

    Had a “sinus” issue for 2 years. Never had problems before and have tried antibiotics, antihistamines etc. Had scans that came back clear for sinusitis. Skin prick tested for allergies and all negative. Don’t suffer from hayfever.

    One side of head/nose/ear blocked. Nose runs (especially when eating and/or cold). Clear mucous. Tend to get a blocked & painful eustachian tube.

    Have mild TMJ and so thinking that it might be a jaw/neck problem.

    Interested to hear your thoughts.


    • Dr. Kilcup
      December 26, 2012 | 9:00 am

      Where in the world are you Adz?

      From your brief history I hear lots of things that suggest your neck might be the source of your problems. Find a good Chiropractor!

    • Jody
      December 12, 2013 | 12:13 am

      I have suffered from sinus infections for quite some time. About a month and a half ago, I had what I thought was a sinus infection & went to Urgent Care. They have me Augmentin 875 mg, A shot of Prednisone, plus another 5 days worth, as well as Flonase, a nasal steroid spray. None of these meds worked. The pain is so severe that I am bedridden. My face and eyes are grotesquely swollen, my face is distorted and I have severe bags under my eyes. (which I have NEVER had) The pain is primarily on the left side of my face, head, neck, shoulder & eyes. It does hurt on both sides now but more so on the left. Just a slight press on my cheeks causes pain and pressure. I went to my dentist to make sure all my teeth were healthy, & they were. But my dentist noticed a lump in my sinuses. I went to to the hospital over the weekend due to severe pain, & now nausea too. Plus from the beginning of this, my eyes are really sensitive to light, and they run constantly. I seem to have blurred vision on & off as well. The CT scan revealed a cyst or polyp on the right side (weird cuz I was thinking it should be on the left side) and mucol opacificatin in my sinuses as well. I am on my second round of antibiotics which are not helping at all. I am now waiting to see a Neurologist because my ENT said my sinuses and the small cyst are NOT what is causing me all of these problems. I find that really hard to believe. Even all of my teeth hurt from time to time, as they do with sinus infections. This pain is nearly unbearable. I cry everyday from the severity of the pain. A heated rice-bag seems to help a teeny bit. The left side neck & shoulder pain (feels stiff & like I have really bad stress knots in there) is pretty debilitating as well. I am hoping to get some possible suggestions as to what this could possibly be? Could it possibly be Neck Cancer, or Eye Cancer, or possibly a brain tumor or something like that? My lymph glands are also a little swollen. Here has got to be an explanation for all of this.

      • Dr. Kilcup
        December 12, 2013 | 8:42 am

        Jody I don’t think you have any cancer. I do think you have a very bad infection. The cyst can make you more susceptible to infections because it can interfere with the drainage of the sinus. You need to get this thing cultured so the right antibiotic can be given.

        • Jody
          December 12, 2013 | 2:23 pm

          Hi Dr. Kilcup- The ENT I saw yesterday told me there was no way the cyst was causing me all of this, due to it’s lccation & it’s size. I was shocked!! He was not a very friendly guy & was quite adamant when telling me the sinuses are not the cause. He is now referring me to a Neurologist & has also ordered lots of bloodwork. Do you know of any other possibilities? Could it possibly be Chronic Lyme Disease? I am miserable & getting very discouraged in my attempt to get to the root of the problem.
          Thank You for your time :)

          • Dr. Kilcup
            December 13, 2013 | 9:13 am

            Jody did the ENT say that you don’t have an infection?

      • Hussam
        March 6, 2014 | 10:40 am

        Dear Jody,

        I have had 2 sinus surgeries, and I cant breath, in the main time my neck is killing me. actually it is effecting my whole left side, which is making me miserable. I did my first surgery in Jordan, where the Doctor took extra bone out of my nose so I had to do it again in Germany. Recently am in Australia trying to get to the bottom of the pain.
        So does the neck effect the sinus or the sinus effects the neck???
        And if you found a solution Please help me or tell me what to do.

  2. Adz
    December 26, 2012 | 2:32 pm

    Cheers for the reply Dr Kilcup, I’m in Australia (Down Under).

    Will def try to locate a good chiropractor and see what they suggest (have tried everything else from prescription pills to cortisone sprays to acupuncture to naturopaths! Henc the “googling” to try and find some other possible remedies.)

    Will keep you update if I have any success.

    Thanks again and best wishes for 2013

  3. Dr. Kilcup
    December 26, 2012 | 2:38 pm

    I’d like that Adz!

    Thanks for the best wishes! I pray that you will get the help you need in 2013!

  4. leanne
    January 9, 2013 | 12:16 pm

    What causes the neck muscles to tighten so much to cause the sinus problems

    • Dr. Kilcup
      January 17, 2013 | 4:36 pm

      Great Question Leanne! LOTS of things can start the neck muscles tightening up. Stress, sleeping wrong, injury and awkward posture are top sources of neck tightness. Once the neck starts to tighten it causes pain and that makes the muscles get tighter. It is called the Pain/Spasm/Pain Cycle.

  5. Kerrie
    February 16, 2013 | 2:55 am

    I’m not crazy after all! I have wondered if this is the cause of my symptons for a long while but have always been told this is not the case. I also have tried it all and seen everybody like Adj with little relieve.
    I have had a clear runny nose and headaches for years which has become worse over time. It’s very embarrassing as I cannot go anywhere without tissues. My neck pain started about 5years ago, then about 2years ago my muscles in my back/shoulders started aching/burning. It now has gotten so bad that it effects my day to day living. The pain is worse at the base of my neck. In the past year my right eye burns every now and then.
    I have poor posture and found out I have mild scoliosis (they said I was probably born with it) I started going to a chiropractor but my Dr adviced me against it so I have been seeing an osteopath instead which gives me relief for about 24hrs.

  6. Heather
    March 18, 2013 | 11:44 am

    I have had chronic neck pain only after sinus infections for 5 years now. Each time I get a sinus infection, I have an achy feeling in my neck and shoulder for weeks afterward. I had a CT scan for my sinuses, but it was clear. The achiness is now straight down my vertebrae and no longer in the left shoulder like it used to be.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 18, 2013 | 11:49 am

      Thanks for stopping by Heather. Sorry for your pain. Sounds like there is a problem in your neck Heather. The two problems may be connected. Sometimes the sinus infection can cause a neck problem. You should seek out a good chiropractor and get your neck looked at. Most likely there is something wrong in your neck.

      Let me know how it goes.

  7. javed
    March 27, 2013 | 12:11 am

    i have pain on my rt side of face,lips,rt infirior nossle cavity, teeth and throat from 2 years.i was diagnosed with rt maxiliry sinus infection, but now ct scan is clear.the pressur of my nerves inner side of rt upper & lower lips looks more.sawalling is also there near lips.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 29, 2013 | 2:39 pm

      Could be Bells’s Palsy, TMJ or a upper cervical problem javed. Sounds like you might need a new doc.

  8. Han
    March 28, 2013 | 1:56 pm

    Suffer from tightness in my neck, especially when I lay down at night. Find sleeping on my side helps as when I lay on my back I feel the tightness worsen, I get pressure in my head but no pain…just pressure?! It makes me feel breathless and worried. I do suffer from anxiety and when ever I see my GP I always get told the pressure and tightening is related to GAD but to me it feels like something else?! Sinus…pressure!! Not a nice feeling:(

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 29, 2013 | 2:38 pm

      Han you need a good Chiropractor!

  9. Hannah
    March 29, 2013 | 2:51 pm

    Yes just looked up TMJ and I do constantly clench my jaw due to the medication I take for anxiety so I’m guessing this could be what is causing the tension. I clench my teeth all night, I think!! Thanks for the info xx

  10. Hannah
    March 29, 2013 | 3:00 pm

    I’m not sure i know what that is?

  11. Hannah
    March 29, 2013 | 3:02 pm

    Oh yes I see, javed is a person on this post. No that is not me.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 29, 2013 | 3:07 pm

      Yea that is was what I was wondering. Your TMJ could be part of your problem Hannah but I promise your neck is not working right. The jaw and neck work together. A mouth guard of some kind will help your jaw. Get to a good Chiropractor for help with your neck.

  12. Hannah
    March 29, 2013 | 3:10 pm

    Yes I will, thank you so much for the advice it’s so helpful x

  13. Dianne
    March 29, 2013 | 10:28 pm

    Hi, I have chronic sinus infections and have suffered with my current one since Nov. I’ve been sent to an ENT who has put me on a three week course of antibiotics and steroids. My sinuses are visibly swollen in forehead and cheeks hurt with much pressure, but there is no drainage and since being on the mess I get dizzy and have a hard time focusing and can’t work. There is a little pain at the back of my neck and also up the left side of neck…so do you even think I even have a sinus infection?

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 29, 2013 | 11:16 pm

      NOVEMBER???? Its almost APRIL Dianne. Do you know what the definition of insanity is? OY!

      First it does sound like you could have a bacterial or viral sinus infection or it could be allergies. I don’t think this is PRIMARILY a neck problem but by now your neck is part of the problem.

      I’m very concerned about your immune system. Having you on these kinds of drugs this long is really bad for you. What are you doing to HELP YOU? The drugs kill and screw up your normal physiology. I know there is a time and purpose for drugs. However you need to be doing things to help make you stronger. Your immune system needs help. You need a doctor who understands this and can help you.

      We could do that over the phone and with blood work. If you are interested let me know and we can get started.

      I would also encourage you to read my article on what to do after antibiotics and the one on home treatment for sinus problems.

      Hope that helps.

  14. rachel
    April 22, 2013 | 7:07 am

    Hi, I have just found your post, I suffered damage to my neck 9 months ago in a car accident followed by a second car accident two moths later, i still suffer with the injuries in my neck, and am suffering with headaches, in one side of my head, pain in the left hand side of my face, and pins and needles and numbness in my left arm, I have been back to my doctor with these symptoms and she has told me it is acute sinusitis, is it more likely to be because of my neck or would a bought of sinusitis cause the pain in my neck to feel worse?
    advice greatly appreciated, thank you

    • Dr. Kilcup
      April 22, 2013 | 8:15 am

      Mercy Rachel! Your poor neck. Have you done anything for your neck? From what you have told me I doubt you have a sinus problem. I need more info. to be confident.

  15. Ted
    April 27, 2013 | 9:34 am

    I’ve had tightness and pain from my neck, back and shoulders since being a child. Over the past year my sinus problems got so bad i had allergy tests, a scan and even a septoplasty to no success. It makes so much sense that my neck would cause these issues but nobody has told me this before. I just wanted to say thanks and I’ll update with my progress in a few weeks time.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      April 27, 2013 | 9:36 am

      Thanks for the feedback Ted and I look forward to hearing how it goes!

  16. Elaine
    April 27, 2013 | 11:43 am

    I have had a sinus infection since last November. It is thick green mucus which smells real bad, like something has died. I have had 3courses of antibiotics, an x ray, a camera up my nose, which showed I have a severely deformed septum. I then had a c.t scan and have been given an appt at ent in 7 weeks. When I enquired as to why so long, was told it just a routine appt, so doesn’t sound like they taking it fancy further. Also, am seeing an osteopath for severe neck pain, which started a few months ago. Can you give me any advise, please, as I am so sick of this now. Many thanks.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      April 27, 2013 | 1:14 pm

      Elaine I am sorry you have had such a miserable time. I know how frustrating being sick can be. Let me try to help. There are 2 parts to your story that I can read.

      The first is your sinus issues. Your immune system is not working very well and your sinus are prone to collecting stuff like pollen and bacteria. In order to figure out what is going on with your immune system I need lab work. This is something I can do with patients like you over the mail and internet. If your interested contact me and I can give you more info. The issues with the deformed septum mean that you need to irrigate your sinus cavities daily to keep them clean. I wrote a article on this: http://www.darrellkilcupdc.com/2011/05/allergy-sinus-relief

      The second issue is your neck. I can’t ever remember a patient of mine come to me with severe neck pain that did not feel way better within a week or two. Even patients with herniated cervical discs get better in 2 to 3 weeks. If your doctor is not getting rid of your pain after months its time to find someone better.

      Hope that helps. :)

  17. Marg
    May 2, 2013 | 8:53 am

    Very interesting theory and I believe you. Here is my situation: I had a sore neck, had a massage, and immediately after, my nose started dripping, I was sneezing and my right eye is very sore – feels like there’s a grain of sand stuck in it. I have had issues with spring allergies in the last few years, but these symptoms began so quickly – right after that massage which felt very good!ny ideas?

    • Dr. Kilcup
      May 2, 2013 | 9:00 am

      Marge if your asking if I think its possible that the massage caused your nose and eye symptoms I need more information. Has this happened before?

  18. Marg
    May 2, 2013 | 9:11 am

    I have had what felt like full sinuses after other massages, but it didn’t last long and was not accompanied by a dripping nose or eye symptoms. I assumed that this sensation was because of my head pressing into the pillow (forehead). What was interesting about this time was how these symptoms flared up so quickly. My sinuses feel fine now but my eye is very sore. I have been to a chiropractor who doesn’t think there’s much of a connection between the neck and sinuses (sorry!) and now have some ointment for an eye infection.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      May 2, 2013 | 9:47 am

      It sounds like there may have been something in the pillow your eye or sinuses didn’t like. If you sinuses drain after you lie face down for a while you would really benefit from cleaning out your sinuses. My article on allergy sinus relief would be good for you to check out. http://www.darrellkilcupdc.com/2011/05/allergy-sinus-relief

      Blessings to you!

      • marg
        May 2, 2013 | 9:55 am

        Thanks – I do have a neti pot and will use it again!

  19. Fitz
    May 15, 2013 | 4:14 pm

    Been battling sinus problems for little over a year been on antibiotics for almost a year no relief. X ray/allergy test/camera up the nose say all good. But I have a constant drip feel dragged out and body feels tired and heavy any thoughts on what I can do?

    • Dr. Kilcup
      May 15, 2013 | 4:18 pm

      The first thing I would recommend Fits is see a good chiropractor! If that doesn’t fix it then we need to do some lab testing to figure out what is wrong. One thing is pretty clear, your drip and fatigue is not a result of an deficiency of antibiotics. ;) It sounds to me like it high time to consider other possible problems.

  20. Fitz
    May 15, 2013 | 4:30 pm

    Thanks Dr. Kilcup any ideas on what I should suggest on getting tested? I will try the chiropractor as I do have poor posture.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      May 15, 2013 | 4:37 pm

      I can help you with the lab work. It requires specialized training that I have. I can do it with you over the phone, internet and mail. If you read my latest article on vitamins it will give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

      I am optimistic that quality chiropractic care will be a tremendous help for you. Please let me know how it goes.

  21. Fitz
    May 15, 2013 | 4:41 pm

    Ok I will let ya know how it goes and thanks for the help

  22. Alexis
    May 25, 2013 | 3:01 pm

    I have flued in my frontal sinuses and take a stairoid nose spray for my headachs,dizziness,and noise sensitivety. After a few days of this treatment I feel alot better and try stopping the nose spray. After just a day or two without all my symptoms return and when at their worst cause major neck tension and an overwhelmed feeling like I’m going crazy! The noise sensitivity can get quite bad. Any suggestions as to what the problem is, it’s been months and I don’t have an infection of some sort.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      May 25, 2013 | 4:48 pm

      Alexis here are my thoughts:

      1. Do you know why your sinus fills up? Allergy? Infection?
      2. Steroids are not something you should be on for extended periods of time.
      3. You really need a some good Chiropractic care. Regardless if the neck is causing the sinus problem or the sinus is causing the neck problem. It seems pretty clear that you have both a sinus and neck problem now.

      Have you ever tried using something like I wrote about here: http://www.darrellkilcupdc.com/2011/05/allergy-sinus-relief ?

  23. Pat
    May 29, 2013 | 4:18 pm

    Ive been battling a symptom that no one can seem to answer Ive had blood work ran with nothing showing up. I feel pressure behind my ears sometimes and i have drainage going down the back of my throat and a feeling of almost being strangled sometimes very tight, but the next symptom is the one that makes me crazy, it feels like my eyes are being pulled, either the sensation is like they are being pulled back into my head or like they are trying to cross, after researching and dealing with neck pain and stiffness im starting to wonder could this be from my neck?… I have had a lot of Chiros want to pop my neck and i always have this fear and wont let them…. I would love to know what you think, I appreciate your thoughts thank you

    • Dr. Kilcup
      May 29, 2013 | 4:31 pm

      Hi Pat. Sorry about all your problems. How frustrating!

      Why wouldn’t you let the chiros pop your neck?

      • Pat
        May 29, 2013 | 5:24 pm

        As far as why I wont let them is mostly because I have a huge fear of it when i was younger i had a chiro pop it and it literally almost made me pass out so as soon as someone touches my neck i just tense up and cant seem to relax enough to let them,,,, I know by the way my neck feels that it needs work but my concern is now could it be making this feeling on my eyes happen, I know that the sinus stuff now makes sense as they can never find any reason for me to feel the sinus symptoms like the drainage and ears eelign full and such….

        • Dr. Kilcup
          May 29, 2013 | 10:34 pm

          I understand. I have had many patients like you. I do think that getting your neck some help would help. You need to have a doc that earns your trust…then trust and find out that getting your neck fixed up is wonderful.

  24. Helen
    June 20, 2013 | 6:33 am

    Mine started with dizziness, ear pain and hoarse voice in October 2012. I took loaratidine, but had to stop since it gave me palpitations. I went to an ENT specialist who diagnozed Sinusitis and prescribed nasal spray, hot water inhalation and another drug for the ear pain. I had relief for a while. Now i have ear pain, neck pain, headache, sores in the mouth , teeth ache amongst others. I went back to the ENT and was asked to have xray and endoscopy done. Can you help with an idea of what can be going on with me. Thanks.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      June 20, 2013 | 8:05 am

      Hi Helen,

      Sorry to hear about your experience. I’ll do my best to see if I can help. I have a some questions for ya.

      What did the ENT conclude from the xray and endoscopy?
      Have you seen a dentist to see if there is anything wrong with your teeth?
      How long did the nasal spray (what was in the spray?) and hot water and pain drug work?
      Has anyone cultured your throat?
      What does the ENT think is causing the ear pain?
      Have you seen anyone else for this problem?

      • Helen
        June 21, 2013 | 1:55 am

        Thank you so much for your prompt feedback.

        Please find my responses in line.

        What did the ENT conclude from the xray and endoscopy?
        R: I haven’t done the xray nor the endoscopy yet. I have to take the results with me to my next appointment which isn’t until mid July. I will get the tests done before then surely.
        Have you seen a dentist to see if there is anything wrong with your teeth?
        R: I haven’t seen a dentist yet. Could all this be teeth related?
        How long did the nasal spray (what was in the spray?) and hot water and pain drug work?
        R: I used the nasal spray on and off for about a month, i stopped cause i read that using for a long period has its own adverse effect. So give and take, the combination of the three worked for a month plus.
        Has anyone cultured your throat?
        R: No!
        What does the ENT think is causing the ear pain?
        R: They think its the Sinusitis.
        Have you seen anyone else for this problem?
        R: Other than the ENT specialists, no. Should i be seeing anyone else?

        I should say that the dizziness stopped after my initial visit to the ENT and the voice got better too, but the pains are still there, they come on and off.

        I will appreciate any advise!

        • Dr. Kilcup
          June 21, 2013 | 11:21 am

          My pleasure to help Helen!

          It really looks to me like there has not been due dilligence in your case.

          I would see a dentist to determine if anything is wrong there. You need to get your throat cultured to see if there is some sort of infection. I really do think you need another ENT. If for nothing else a second opinion is really needed.

          Your neck could be part of the problem. The things I outlined are first things. If the results are negative then seeing a good chiropractor is a must.

          Let me know what happens!

          • Helen
            June 22, 2013 | 3:07 am

            Thanks Dr. Kilcup!

            I will do as advised and hope that there’s a change for the better. You have been very helpful.


          • Dr. Kilcup
            June 22, 2013 | 7:42 am

            My Pleasure!

            Take Care.

      • Lita
        July 8, 2014 | 2:13 pm

        Im facing constant head tightness, face,nose and jaw pressure..for about 5 months now.. my doctor had my x-ray done which showed mucus thickening in left frontal sinus.. but my doc said its not the reason because i dont have pain.. its like weird pressure feeling inside head and nose is stuffy.. either side i can feel mucus is blocked and doesnt comes out.. im having anti allergy but symptoms persists 24/7 constantly..

        • Dr. Kilcup
          July 14, 2014 | 8:11 am

          Hi Lita,

          You should give a Chiropractic physician a try.

  25. Saffy
    June 22, 2013 | 12:59 am

    Hi all – ill tell you my symptoms and hopefully you can advise me :)

    I have 2 herniated discs (T3 & T4) which cause me a lot of pain periodically. Recently I started to get a very stiff neck, pain in my neck and shoulders, crunching/clicking sound from my neck when I move my head. When I turn in the night my husband can hear it cracking and crunching !. Anyway this past 2 weeks I have woken up twice with swollen eyelids, it looked as though I had been punched in the eyes – the swelling was followed by little purple/red pin prick type blood spots around my eyes. This happened twice. There was also redness around my eyes and down my cheeks. I still have the neck and shoulder pain, but it is now extending to my head, up one side behind mt right ear and a pressure feeling on my head, temples and face, and slight earache. I had assumed my neck pain was an extension of my back problems – but now wondering if it could be sinus problems ? What do you think ? Thankyou in advance !

    • Dr. Kilcup
      June 22, 2013 | 7:47 am

      Hi Saffy,

      I hear more than one thing going on.
      1. You have a neck and back problem and a good chiropractor will help you a ton.
      2. You have an infection of some kind in your eyes and sinus that needs dx.

      I would pet both things addressed ASAP!

      Does that make sense?

  26. Jay
    July 4, 2013 | 5:41 am

    Hello Dr. Kilcup,

    This is a relatively long post, it is a rather complicated issue, so I apologize for that.

    I’ve been having some problems that seem to confuse the doctors I’ve seen, rightfully so. The first two symptoms I had were ringing in my ears and muscle twitches all over my body. I got a hearing test which came back normal, and the doc said my muscle twitching was benign.

    About 4-5 months after this started happening I got these weird symptoms in my eyes. It would only happen when my head was on the pillow and I was trying to go to sleep. They would move back and forth, kind of how I would imagine your eyes move during REM sleep, but maybe a little slower. Neck related? Went to eye doc, they looked at me like I was crazy. Also, I had a couple episodes of dizziness/light headed.

    A couple weeks after the eye symptoms I got a pretty bad cold virus. One of the worst runny noses I’ve ever had. During this the muscle twitching was the worst it had ever been. They were stronger and lasted longer.

    After the virus I felt fatigued all the time and had a bunch of random symptoms. I felt slightly dizzy/light-headed at times. Random nausea that would last a day or so. I would lose my balance randomly, but only a very slightly. I felt a little bit slower, harder to concentrate. This along with pressure behind and between my eyes, and my eye would do this weird twitching.

    Went to the GP, they suggested an ENT. Went to the ENT. Got antibiotics and steroids and did nasal rinses. Didn’t do anything for me. Got a CT scan. CT scan showed moderate inflammation: 3-4 mm in ethmoid sinuses and 1-3 in maxillary. Clear mucous, no signs of infection. Suggested surgery despite being unimpressed by the amount of “moderate” inflammation. Suggested I see an eye doctor for my eye symptoms because he thought they were unrelated, eye doc thought it could be sinus related (so confusing).

    Had the minimally invasive surgery. Deviated septum correction, and balloon to widen openings.

    I’m 3 months post surgery and still dealing with symptoms.

    Symptoms that remain:
    -Eye twitching that is visible to other people, is worse when eyes are closed. (vision fine. eye doctor dismissed it as sinus problem)
    -Chronic blepharitis
    -Minor chronic fatigue and brain fog. Feel like im never 100%. Like I’m always 60-70%
    -Minor chronic headaches
    -Tenderness on upper part of bride of nose, between eyes
    -Sinuses feel inflamed, partially closed. Like I draw in less air
    -Random muscle twitching gradually faded, but will still have a random twitch here and there

    So basically I have no idea where to go from here. I thought it might be neck related, at least partially, because I was working as a driver, and in the van I was driving the seat was fixed and it forced me to lean my head back all the time, which would put pressure on a part of my neck. 9 months at this job maybe cause this. Also, my eye symptoms seem to get worse when I lean my head back and when I am lying down (head resting on pillow). Although, I have no pain in my neck.

    Could it be some kind of post viral syndrome because a lot of this stuff started happening after I had a virus?

    Could it be neurological because of the weird twitching all over my body, although that seems to have subsided.

    I also heard about something called migraine equivalent syndrome which seems like it could be a fit.

    Is it just chronic sinus inflammation issue that no know on can figure out the cause to and is resisting treatment?

    I know this is a giant wall of text, so if you do end up reading this I just want to thank you for any input. It is much appreciated.


    • Dr. Kilcup
      July 4, 2013 | 8:50 am

      Hi Jay,

      Thanks for all the details. You would be crazy not to seek good Chiropractic care. Chiropractic care will be the safest thing you’ve tried so far.

      The other thing the comes to mind as I read your story is a heavy metal toxicity issue. Many of your symptoms can come from to much lead, mercury or aluminum. If you’re interested in testing to see if you have a heavy metal problem I can help you.

      For sure seek out a good chiropractor!

  27. brett
    July 16, 2013 | 8:26 am

    hello Dr. Kilcup
    I had a sinus infection in jan. i decided to let it heal itself because i read that they usually do. I have had pain near my temples and it runs all the way back to behind my ears. Its not overwhelming and it usually is only real bad when i am pushing on it. It gets worse late at night, sometimes in the morning, when its real humid out, and when i play golf. I also have had pretty bad neck pain this whole time. Saw an ENT, allergist, and my primary and they all want an mri of the head but i want to try to figure it out without having to do that especially cause i was born with a kidney issue and the gallodium isnt great for your kidneys. I have been put on nasal spray and it seems to help a little but i cant seem to find out what is causing this could it be a neck issue??

    • Dr. Kilcup
      July 16, 2013 | 8:35 am

      Hi Brett!

      Just don’t push on it! :)

      Seriously based on what you told me I think that this could be caused by your neck. Getting some chiropractic treatment to see if it helps is much safer for you than the MRI.

      You want a chiropractor who will work on the muscles, fascia and joints of the neck. Let me put it this way. If the treatment takes 5 minutes or less the doctor is not doing what I think you need.

      Let me know what happens!

  28. Terri
    July 19, 2013 | 12:34 pm

    I have pain that starts at the left side of my nose andgoes down by neck into my shoulder near the middle of my back. when i pull my neck forward it is stiff and painful. is this my sinius or something else and what should i do.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      July 19, 2013 | 12:41 pm

      Hi Terri,

      How is the pain in your nose connected to your neck? Is it two separate pains or are they connected. If they are connected describe the connection.

  29. Terri
    July 19, 2013 | 1:04 pm

    more of a burning feeling in my nose a stiffness with pain in my neck and the a pain in middle of my shoulder. there is like a pressure point in my shoulder that i can get someone to massage and it helps with the shoulder pain.if that all makes sense!

    • Dr. Kilcup
      July 19, 2013 | 1:11 pm

      So tell me if I understand.

      You have three separate pains that are happening at the same time. Right?

      Tell me where the neck pain is, which came first the nose or the neck pain and how long you have had this.

  30. Terri
    July 19, 2013 | 1:14 pm

    it kind of goes from nose to behind the ear and into my neck down to shoulder

    • Dr. Kilcup
      July 19, 2013 | 1:15 pm

      When you pull your head forward does it affect the nose pain?

      • Terri
        July 19, 2013 | 1:24 pm

        no just the neck and the shoulder

  31. Terri
    July 19, 2013 | 1:16 pm

    most of the same pain except the nose is kind of a burn feel. this has went on for years. off and on not every day.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      July 19, 2013 | 1:18 pm

      Terri it sounds like getting looked at by a good Chiropractor might help you. Obviously without seeing you I have to give you my best guess.

      Let me know how it goes!

  32. Terri
    July 19, 2013 | 1:25 pm


  33. elsie
    July 22, 2013 | 4:12 pm

    Hi Dr.Kilcup,
    I recently had a bout with rt molar pain and swelling, went to the dentist prescribed me antibiotics for 7 days – tooth still hurt but not as bad, I have noticed neck pain, that seems connected to sinus pressure/ no stuffiness just pressure and headache behind my rt eye. I have a herniated disc in C5/6, from auto accident 6yrs ago. when I run my fingers along my neck I feel a “knot” and when I put pressure on it my nose releases and so does the head ache. How can I release the tightness in my neck muscles SAFELY? scared of chiro’s because of my herniation….do you suggest massage/ neck exercises? THANKYOU!!! I thought I was going nuts trying to explain what I have been experiencing until I found your post!!

    • Dr. Kilcup
      July 22, 2013 | 4:20 pm

      Hi Elsie! Great to hear from you. I agree with everything you have concluded. The best person for you to see is a good Chiropractor. Honestly! I treat people like you everyday. The herniated disc is just one of many things a doctor has to factor in with treatment. Your treatment should include massage, stretching and gentle specific adjustments to your upper cervical spine.

  34. elsie
    July 22, 2013 | 4:19 pm

    oh forgot to mention I have prior to my tooth pain, I have been having pain in my jaw for about 2-3 months when opening sometimes pops.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      July 22, 2013 | 4:22 pm

      Your neck and jaw work together. If your neck is not working right it will mess up the jaw function. Get to a good doc!

  35. larry
    July 30, 2013 | 12:30 pm

    I have been suffering with a clogged ear and sinus pressure for about 3 weeks. I went to an ENT and no ear infection / sinus was scoped no problems.

    I recently went trap shooting and ended up with a really bad bruise on my cheek and a swollen face for about 10 days. This was a few days before the issue with my sinus started up. Could the recoil from the 12 gauge have pinched a nerve in my c1/c2 causing this issue? I didnt think about it until I read your article. I had assumed it was due to the dust from our home remodel.

    I have some neck pain around the base of my neck and my shoulder. I also feel like I dont have full mobility turning my neck from far side to far side. The ear clogging is also worse on the side of my face that I had the bruise.

    Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  36. Kim
    July 30, 2013 | 7:25 pm

    I have had severe sinus and ear problems on and off for years. I have used saline spray in my nose and drops in my ear but to no avail. I have tried other types of nasal spray and seem to develop sinus infections when I use them.

    Currently I am suffering from migraine type pain plus worse which has gone on for about five days. It is sickening and feels as though it radiates from my neck up. I get dizzy all the time, and have a whooshing sound in my ears. My face is so painful even to touch and my gosh when I put my head down I just about scream. I have seen my doctor and he gave me the same stuff (nasal spray) that has made it worse in the past, even after my protesting he still suggested it.

    This has gone on for years and I am so tired of it. I am a single mother to two children and it absolutely drains me, please help?

    • Dr. Kilcup
      July 30, 2013 | 7:51 pm

      Wow Kim. You need to see a good chiropractor! I wish you lived in Phoenix! Helping moms is one of my favorite things. From what you have told me I know you will get relief from getting your neck working right. There might be other issues but I would start there. If getting your neck right isn’t enough then perhaps doing some blood work to see what else is going on would help. I can help with the lab work.

      Please let me know how it goes!

  37. frank
    August 4, 2013 | 7:38 am

    Hello Doctor,

    For the past year i have had problems with my sinus being congested and i hope you could help.

    When i go to sleep and lye on my left side, my left sinus becomes blocked and if i turn to my right, my right side is blocked. I wake up in the morning feeling exhausted every day and this is really affecting my daily routine. I do not get sufficient restorative sleep and wake up with a lot of aches and pains and i believe this is all caused from my blocked sinus and poor breathing at night.

    I have tried 3-4 different types of antibiotics and nothing has helped so my doctor told me to get an allergy test, and they found i had allergies, although i have taken weekly allergy shots, corticosteroids, sinus rinses, and tried almost every kind of antihistamine for 5 months and nothing seems to work. I feel that i actually get zero relief from any allergy medication. The sinus pressure is always there, although its not so bad when im standing up.

    Ever since i have had sinus trouble, i have also had neck pain. My neck seems to throb 24/7 and some days i also have very bad headaches.

    When i massage my neck, i also notice that my sinuses clear up a little, although the next day i wake up with a blocked sinus. When i blow my nose, nothing seems to come out except for maybe a little white clear stuff. I have had x-rays on my nose and they found nothing wrong.

    I would really appreciate any help.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      August 4, 2013 | 9:32 am

      Hi Frank. Sounds like a very frustrating situation.

      I doubt you have an infection. My guess is that you have had the allergies much longer than the current troubles with your sinuses. With the lack of impact from all the allergy treatments I doubt the allergies are the problem.

      I got some questions for you.

      How long does it take for the blockage of the sinuses when you lie on your side?

      What happens if you lie on your back?

      Did a EENT actually “look” up into your sinus cavities?

      • frank
        August 4, 2013 | 12:36 pm

        Yes that is correct, I have had seasonal allergies for many years, although they were very mild (sneezing and watery eyes, i never had any congestion) although taking an antihistamine would quickly get rid of the symptoms and i would be fine for another year.

        It does not take very long for my sinus to close up when i lay on my side, i would say it takes between 5 to 15 minutes although most times i am not aware of it, unless i am still awake. Seems like it just gradually closes up very slowly. When i lye on my back, it just randomly picks a side to block up.I have never had both sides blocked up at the same time. It always alternates from one side to the other.

        I went to an ENT and he took a look and didn’t find anything wrong and he gave me a script for sleeping pills to help, but here i am a year later and still
        have this sinus congestion. I have tried almost everything from eating healthy to exercising every day and it only makes me feel slightly better, theres not really much of a difference with my sinus congestion.

        My neck has been also very sore, and i have a throbbing sensation at the back of my neck and my sinuses also throb.Its been like this since July 2012. Some days are worse than others.I am a healthy 48 year old male (don’t drink or smoke) and the only medication i am taking is for high cholestrol.

        • Dr. Kilcup
          August 4, 2013 | 12:44 pm

          Thanks Frank,

          I have two suspicions.

          1. You have some sort of growth in your sinus cavity that is floppy enough to be influenced by gravity. I would see another EENT and have it scoped and or imaged with an MRI.

          2. Obviously you have something wrong with your neck and getting it fixed will help.

          So far it doesn’t seem to me that the doctors are thinking about what you are telling them. You don’t need sleeping pills or other drugs when the problem isn’t understood. Sounds like you’re going to have to be insistent that they keep digging until this is figured out.

          Good Luck! I would love to hear how this goes.

  38. frank
    August 4, 2013 | 3:00 pm

    Thank you very much sir i appreciate your advice and will make an appointment with an ENT and follow up here.

  39. Heather Williams
    August 5, 2013 | 6:59 am

    I have had neck pain for about two weeks now. I am normally very healthy with only allergy issues from time to time. When I wake up it is pretty severe and gradually gets better throughout the day. I do have ear pressure with it. It feels like the pain you get when you sleep wrong, but I have tried different pillows and even went out of town and slept in a hotel and still the same pain in the morning. I don’t know where to start for help. I have to admit I am very scared to get my neck worked on.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      August 5, 2013 | 7:23 am

      Hi Heather,

      I understand your fear. I often get patients that are very nervous. A good doc will listen and make you comfortable with everything BEFORE doing anything. You just need a good chiropractor.

      I think it is pretty obvious that your neck need some help. Have you read my article the neck and the ear?


      Ask around. You will find people who love their chiropractor. Start be calling the doc and see if you are comfortable on the phone and go from there.

      Good luck!

      • Heather Williams
        August 5, 2013 | 8:19 am

        Thank you! I think it is great that you are on here helping and responding to people who are in pain!

        • Dr. Kilcup
          August 5, 2013 | 8:24 am

          Its my pleasure Heather. I really do enjoy helping.

          Sign up to get my articles as soon as I write them!

  40. judy nichols
    August 18, 2013 | 7:43 am

    Dr. Kilcup
    I went to the dentist and had my teeth x-rayed. He told me my left lower sinus was ‘cloudy’ and asked me if I had any sinus problems. I do not. My head doesn’t hurt nor does my face where the sinus cavity is and my nose isn’t stuffy or runny. After reading your column I am wondering if this pain I am having in my neck on the left side might be connected to the ‘cloudy’ sinus. I was attributing the neck problem to a former problem I’ve had since ’85 when I hurt my neck so bad I could hardly use my left arm. I went to a chiropractor and after considerable treatment I got relief. I still go every now and then when it acts up again but haven’t been lately as my insurance changed and doesn’t pay much any more. I was already thinking about making another appt. because I have not been able to get much relief even tho I now know how to massage the area myself. Could this be related to my sinus? Dentist told me I should go see an Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. Am considering that also but thought I’d try my chiropractor first and see what he thinks.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      August 18, 2013 | 9:06 am

      Hi Judy,

      Very interesting. Have you ever had your sinus x-rayed in the past to compare this too?

  41. San
    September 5, 2013 | 5:51 pm

    Dr Kilcup,
    I am 34 yrs old. I had sinus problems since childhood. It used to occur every year during Mansoon period. However, 2 yrs ago I had stressed my neck and during those period my working routine was also very stressful. Within a month during that period, one morning I was unable to get up from my bed. I had a very stiff neck. After assistance i cud just get up and thereafter things started becoming normal. This continued for one more day. Thereafter, after several precautions taken for neck, my neck stiffness reduced. Nowadays, I find a pulsating/radiating pain just above the heart slightly on the left side with mild sinuses espcially when I feel stressed. This pain is getting worser by the day. I started jogging in the weekends and also did around 20 sit ups. Within few days my neck pain has also started.

    Pls advice me.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      September 5, 2013 | 6:03 pm

      Hi San,

      It sounds like your neck has some problems that chiropractic can help. I need a lot more information about your chest and sinus problems. I would recommend seeking care. You have a lot going on that a detailed history and examination is needed. If you are near Phoenix I would be happy to see you.

  42. Salar
    September 8, 2013 | 7:09 pm

    Hi Dr.Kilcup
    I really appreciate your help .
    I am 21 yrs old male ,and there is ache in my frontal sinuses ,also ct scan didn’t show anything and all of my sinuses are normal except tiny infection in maxillary sinus.
    from last year i am suffering from headache (frontal sinus ache ) every day,i wake up with this ache and i sleep with it,it cause sleep disorders.
    but about two months ago back of my neck became to hurt and when i wake up it hurt more also i can’t sneeze,but when i sneeze the pain is relieve a bit and there is nasal congestion with ear pain,and right side of throat pain.
    Thanks very much Doctor

    • Dr. Kilcup
      September 8, 2013 | 9:10 pm

      Hi Salar,

      Seek out good chiropractic care. See my article on Allergy Sinus Relief and give that a try!

  43. Ken-Ken
    September 10, 2013 | 7:08 pm

    Dr. Kilcup,

    I am 15 years old, about 2 months ago my right nostril has been blocked and I can feel something into my throat. I have underwent medication since then… I have tried decongestants and Carbocisteine but none of them work. Is there a possibility that it might be a neck problem? Because I’m also experiencing severe neck pains and sometimes double vision.

    whether unreplied; I sincerely thank you for the informations above .

    • Dr. Kilcup
      September 10, 2013 | 7:55 pm

      Hi Ken-Ken!

      It could be a neck problem. I would give the treatment I talk about in “Allergy Sinus Relief” a try.

      Where are you from?

      • Ken-Ken
        September 13, 2013 | 12:04 am

        thanks Doc, I’m from Philippines

  44. Shannon
    September 11, 2013 | 12:22 am

    Hi, Dr. PLEASE HELP. I’m desperate. I’ve been told i have a staph infection in my sinus cavities. I’ve had it for years… I got the balloon sinuplasty about 2 months ago and that’s how they found out it was a staph infection. So i got the surgery while still having horrible, strong staph infection. My specialist wouldn’t listen to me, because i was still trying to tell him that i felt horrible and still had headaches that occurred about 2 weeks after the surgery. So i went to the ER 2 days ago because im in between insurances. I’m getting my new insurance this coming month. But anyways, the ER doctor told me i still had the infection when i went it. This is literally getting in the way of my life, love life and work. It’s horrible. I only feel somewhat better when i take the pain killers the ER doc gave me. I’ve taken atleast 20 different anti biotics over the last 3 years. Now the ER doc just told me i need to go see my specialist cause he needs to take a second look. I’m honestly scared, because now, my neck feels tight and i’ve never experienced that before. EVER. I would just like some assurance that maybe this is an easy fix? I’m just scared and shell shocked becuase i got so sick one time, they wanted to admit me, about 3 years ago when i was 17, i am now 20. They say now it’s due to my sinuses being so infected. I dont know what to do. Is there any advise you can maybe give me that i can consult with my doctor about? I’m so young and want to live my life, work and go to school. Anything would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    BTW, I’ve had lymph nodes in my throat for years as well. When i get extremely sick they will swell up, like the size of a golf ball. When im not “sick” they are still a little bigger than a marble. I dont know if that will help you with any conclusions. But thank you for anything you can help me out with

    – Shannon Walker

  45. Shannon
    September 11, 2013 | 12:25 am

    I’m sorry doc, but heres some more info. The ER doc gave me a shot of Ref-something, i can’t remember the name but it is an antibiotic. It was painful and was administered in the buttock area. After that i filled my prescription for augementin, It’s due every 8 hours, and i’vebeen following it as directed since i got out the of the ER. After the surgery though, my specialist put me on levoquin as well and it obviously didn’t work.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      September 11, 2013 | 8:27 am

      Shannon I can feel your frustration! Has anyone bothered to actually swab your sinus and grow a culture to see if there really is an infection and what exactly it is? I would ask your doctor to do that. If that comes back positive for a specific bug then take the drug they prescribe to kill it. Then have the same test done to confirm that the drug worked.

      Your neck pain will respond great to good chiropractic care.

      If the drugs don’t work your only other good option is to get a very in depth work up like I do and get to the bottom of what is wrong. Very few doctors will take the time to figure out what is the real problem.

      Let me know what happens!

  46. Christine
    September 12, 2013 | 1:43 pm

    Dr. Kilcup,

    I have been suffering with upper neck pain for at least 2 years. It really affects my daily life. I have been going to chiropractor, massage, and acupuncture for awhile now. I feel better more often now, but still not fully. It’s like my upper neck towards skull hurts so bad and I put heat on it and sometimes it helps and other times it doesn’t. I just feel helpless. I am on,y 24 years old and can’t live like this forever. Sometimes it think I might have a sinus blockage. But I just don’t know what to do anymore. Thanks, hope you have some insight.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      September 12, 2013 | 3:01 pm

      Christine I don’t think you have a sinus problem. It sounds to me like you need to do some detective work with your chiropractor to figure out what is keeping this problem from resolving. Unless you have had some trauma to your neck the big thing is to figure out what your doing to aggravate your neck. You also need t be given exercises and things to do at home that will help.

      Check out my article on “The Best Home Treatment for Back Pain”. Give ice a try and see if helps.

      Does that make sense?

  47. Martin
    September 16, 2013 | 12:31 am


    I’m at the end of my tether. I suffer from sinus issues and have done relentlessly for years.I have had ENT surgery for polyps but still feel like I have cold like symptoms everyday. Just recently I presented (for the third time) before an ENT consultant who scanned the sinuses and conducted other examinations. He simply could not find anything wrong and even showed me the scans and talked me through them. In fact, he says that my sinuses look really healthy.

    I do have problems with tension headaches and again have done most of my life. I have had extensive chiropractic treatment which helps but within days my neck starts to feel tense. I do notice however that when I I stretch my neck I get a kind of air popping sound as if pressure is releasing from the sinuses, and when I sleep on one side I feel pressure and then this popping of air happens again.

    I feel really worried about all this and it has in fact led to horrible anxiety because quite frankly no one can give me a diagnosis and I actually feel like the doctors don’t believe me. I also feel slightly dizzy at times and particulartly when I stretch my neck by looking upwards. I do know that my SMC is constantly tight but I am not sure what to do because I can’t be at the massage or chiropractor everyday – who could afford that ?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated. I have a mega diet an my bloods are okay. My blood pressure drugs do have warnings about cold and flu symptoms but the official clinical trials on this show that it is at 3 percent and similar to the placebo studies.
    Well that’s my miserable story.

    Many thanks

    • Dr. Kilcup
      September 16, 2013 | 9:34 pm

      Martin I wish you lived in Phoenix. If the chiropractic care worked then it is what you need. However if it only worked for a short time it means that the treatment was not addressing everything that is wrong. You need to find a doctor that will listen and work with you.

      If you are ever in Phoenix look me up and I will get you fixed up!

  48. Katee
    September 16, 2013 | 8:16 pm

    Hi, I stumbled on this article after trying to find out what the heck might be wrong with me. I have had chronic neck pain for going on 7 years now. It just came out of nowhere one day, it borders on debilitating and no one can really seem to tell me why. The pain is at the base of my skull every single day. And when it flares up it reaches all the way down between my shoulders. I also get “migraines” that I know are related to the neck pain, because the worse my neck hurts, the worse my head hurts. Once or twice a month it gets to the point where I throw up and have a hard time breathing. I also have daily sinus pressure, which is how I stumbled across your amazingly informative article. The strange thing though is that I have seen chiropractors before. Less than 6 months ago I went at least 3 times a month for 4 months, and the neck pain seemed to get worse. Do you have any thoughts? Sorry to be so long winded, I’ve been trying to find an answer for years, and I’m only 28 so most doctors dismiss me as a drug seeker, even though I hate taking meds. Thanks!

    • Dr. Kilcup
      September 16, 2013 | 9:39 pm


      Tell me about the chiropractic care you had.

  49. tahmi
    September 17, 2013 | 8:12 am

    hi,i’m tahmi.i’ve tight muscle in neck area and when i move my neck,some click,pop sound occours. also i’ve sinus type pain.it starts in upper neck area,a pain that goes in and out and it radiates to nose and ear area,terrible eye pain and headaches. i took some antibiotics,it helps the headaches and eye pain.i also took heat therapy that eased the neck pain but the pain didn’t totally go…then i took “flupenthixol melitracen”for like 5 month,the pain just totally vanished…but now when i discontinued this med,it came back..but not that much pain.. is this because of my tight muscles.. please help.no docs getting my problem.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      September 18, 2013 | 10:20 am

      Tahmi where are you from?

      It sounds like your neck is not working right. The heat and drugs will not fix the neck. You also need to be getting plenty of probiotics. Look at my article: http://www.darrellkilcupdc.com/2013/02/after-taking-antibiotics/

      You need to see a good chiropractor and get your neck fixed!

      • tahmi
        September 18, 2013 | 12:14 pm

        i’m from bangladesh.I’ve seen every type of doc, it’s really hard to find a good doc here.whenever i try to explain my problems to them,they look at me as if i’m mading all this up.my neck xray shows that my neckbone got a little straight. one of my pain management docs told me there is no way that a neck pain cause all the rest pain.i stopped trying everything,just fed up with all of this.. could you tell me anything that would help ease my head related pain ? I’m sorry doc i’m bothering you this way.It’s been more than 2 years now,no solution…and yeah thanks for your reply:)

  50. Katee
    September 19, 2013 | 6:16 am

    My previous chiropractic care was normally just neck adjustments. At first I went in and got x-rays and he said my neck didn’t have enough of a curve to it, and that I should have much more range of motion, so I went and got adjusted 3 times a week for 2 weeks and then twice a week for the next couple months. Every once in a while he would crack between my shoulders as well. I expected it to make a huge difference, but I found that after the first couple times I was actually in more pain. I stuck with it for a few months before I just had to give up, the migraines were getting too bad. I am a HUGE fan of chiropractic care. I think most of the time drugs like muscle relaxers and pain meds just make you hurt yourself more, so I was a little disappointed. I’m thinking there must be some other underlying problem. I did have a positive test for lyme disease once which was never treated, but the doctors assured me that it could not be what’s causing my pain. So I’m left confused

    • Dr. Kilcup
      September 19, 2013 | 10:50 am

      Katee you need a chiropractor who will do more than adjust you. I suspect that there are myofascial and muscle problems. These problems need to be specifically worked on. Specific stretching, massage and myofascial release will get the rest of the problem fixed. Just cracking the neck and back is not enough. For example my average hands on treatment time on a patient is 15 minutes. The cracking part takes less than a minute. The other 14 minutes I am working on fixing the other components.

      Does that make sense?

      • Katee
        September 19, 2013 | 11:39 am

        That does make sense, and thank you for your input. I have never even heard the term myofascial pain before. After reading a little about it, it does seem a lot like what I’m experiencing. I will try and search for a better chiropractor. It’s slim pickings here in my rural area, but I’m sure it would be worth a drive every now and then. Thanks you for taking the time to try and help me figure it out. I

  51. brittany
    September 20, 2013 | 8:28 am

    Hi, I have sinus pressure in my nose off and on my whole life…not a big deal everyone gets sinuses. I started going to the chiropractor about 6months ago and ever since then I have had severe neck, nose and.head pressure off and on. Also numbing of the face, all on my right side. I remember when he made the first few neck adjustments and the right side of my face was totally numb and I had so much preassure in my nasal cavity I couldn’t look down at work to read. I told him about it and he said in was sinuses…I have never had sinuses like that in my life. Not sure what to do. I don’t have a family doctor…

    • Dr. Kilcup
      September 20, 2013 | 9:56 am

      Wow Brittany that doesn’t sound good! I don’t know what the doctor did but it doesn’t sound like what was done was good for you. I don’t think this is a sinus problem. I wouldn’t go back to that doctor.

      What are you feeling now?

  52. Adam
    September 25, 2013 | 6:55 pm

    Been suffering severe chronic headaches in frontal sinuses for over two years. Have seen chiropractors, U.C. Chiros, nutritionists, trigger point guys, acupuncturists, ENTs, allergists, neurologists, you name it. My headaches are awful and ALWAYS THERE – very cloudy pain. And It only gets worse an hr after I lift weights. I’m not sure what is wrong with me but I need help ASAP. I’ve endured these headaches far too long. I would go to mayo clinic but I can’t afford it. Ill be honest – I’ve probable have heard and done what you are going to tell me, but I’m always going to listen. Thank you

    • Dr. Kilcup
      September 26, 2013 | 9:13 am

      Hi Adam,

      That sounds terrible! Has any treatment helped your headaches temporally?

  53. Sue
    October 7, 2013 | 4:36 am

    I have been treated for sinus issues for over 15 years with no benefit, nose still very congested and painful. I am sure the meds are also interfering with my mental health. Do you know what I could do to alleviate this problem?

    • Dr. Kilcup
      October 7, 2013 | 7:15 am

      Sue your problem could be connected to your neck. Seeing a good Chiropractor would be an excellent idea!

  54. Cheryl Stevens
    October 18, 2013 | 12:13 am

    I have always had sinus infections and with a course of antibiotics it has been treated, 18 months ago, I had an injury to my nose and recently found I have a damaged nasal septum. This after a ct scan and examination is going to be treated with fess surgery soon. I have had in the last 10 months chronic sinusitis of the ethmoid sinuses and a nasty ear infection lasting 2 months which I have never experienced before. My concern is I have a severe stiff neck and a ringing in my ear, is this related? I’m now worried this won’t be cured with surgery? I am also on my 9th course ofantibiantibiotics and recently prescribed amitriptyline for the pain and to aid sleep.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      October 18, 2013 | 7:21 am

      Cheryl I think you have potentially 4 problems. Your neck, your sinuses, your intestines and your immune system. You need to get your neck looked at by a quality Chiropractor. I suspect that your immune system is not working well because of how long this has gone on. I am pretty sure that due to all the antibiotics your gut is now damaged. Aren’t you glad you asked? ;) Any questions?

  55. Cheryl Stevens
    October 18, 2013 | 12:05 pm

    Thank you, I will definitely look to see a chiropractor and yes I’m pleased I asked :)

    • Dr. Kilcup
      October 18, 2013 | 4:51 pm

      Cheryl feel free to ask any follow up questions. God Bless!

  56. Sue
    October 20, 2013 | 12:41 pm

    Hi Again
    Thanks for your advise and I just wanted to say that I have read all the comments on here now and everything makes sense to my sinus issues! I had a whiplash injury over 25 years ago and never really resolved, I also had an MRI scan in 2008 and they found that C4-7 have bulges and scoliosis. How many treatments do you think I should need to have some significant relief? thanks Sue

    • Dr. Kilcup
      October 20, 2013 | 12:52 pm

      Sue you should notice that the treatment is helping right from the beginning. How much treatment you need is impossible to predict. With your history I know good Chiropractic care will be a big help in many ways. Let me know how things go!

  57. wayne
    October 21, 2013 | 9:36 am

    I’ve been having headaches for over a year now. I’ve had MRIs, CAT scans, two CBCs and the only thing found is I have bone spurs in my neck. The difficulty I have in accepting this as the problem is that the neck stiffness and headaches come and go, seemingly w/ no rhyme or reason in terms of strain or irritation of neck. What is the likelihood that the bone spurs are causing my headaches and neck discomfort? Thanks.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      October 22, 2013 | 8:45 am

      Hi Wayne,

      I would have to see the films to tell you what the spurs are causing. I can tell you that most problems that involve the spine are not due to the parts in the spine, but rather HOW THOSE PARTS WORK TOGETHER. All the imaging you have had do nothing to show how the neck is functioning. In my experience the neck is the most common source of headaches. If I were you I would seek out a good Chiropractor. The care you will get is much safer than the drugs for pain.

  58. Denise
    November 1, 2013 | 7:18 am

    I have had sinus drainage for the past 7 years on the left side. I also have neck pain, which comes and goes in cycles, which I think are caused by hormonal issues. Sometimes the neck pain is so severe, that it radiates up into the base of my head. Other times, the neck pain is almost nonexistent, just an ache when I move my head a certain way. I also experience blurry vision close up. Wondering if this could be a neck issue.

  59. Irene
    November 12, 2013 | 5:53 pm

    Can anxiety symptoms be corrected with chiropractic manipulation ? My problem is majorly in the neck and head area. Daily neck and head tightness . I get an urge to crack my neck during the daily a few times and the cracking sound concerns me . What could this be? I also experience lower back pains .

    • Dr. Kilcup
      November 12, 2013 | 6:00 pm

      Hi Irene,

      I would say anxiety problems can be helped by chiropractic manipulations. Sometimes chiropractic care can make a huge difference, but if the source of stress is on going chiropractic care will not fix it. Does that make sense?

  60. Lisa Martinez
    November 21, 2013 | 3:52 pm

    Wow…this was very helpful.
    I went to my primary care doctor with dizziness, head pressure and even pressure in my teeth. My family doc said my ear drum was absolutely “pushed” out and red though there was no fluid that would point to infection but she felt that my sinuses were the cause.
    Two rounds of antibiotics later… and I knew better…I have been still dizzy and very cloudy brained. The pressure in my ear is been on and off..
    on a whim I decided to go back to my chiro

    the back story? I had two whiplash accidents within a 6 month period. I was sent in for cervical MRI and CT scans to check for disc issues and I also had an MRI of the thoracic body looking for TOS. All clear for both issues…however and literally by the grace of G-d a benign tumor was discovered on my carotid artery. Of course it had to be removed.
    But the surgery re-compromised my neck…that was back in Feb…
    Issues start manifesting about mid Sept…but it took major dizzy to go to dr.

    You see where this is going?? I have not returned to my primary care doc for medical evaluation as my non force chiro feels that this is all SCM and TMJ related …the surgery compromised my neck and jaw in a huge way …and with whiplash to boot…I’m in big trouble. My chiro also has a partner who practices somatic release therapy…
    I have had several treatments and overall things are improving…but it’s been slow.

    I’m confident my chiro is right and that I don’t need to freak out that something more serious is going on..considering my history it makes sense. and I get moments of “reprieve”

    my major concern though is at night I will wake up often with the mastoid process literally burning and pulling…I sleep as directed on a rolled up hand towel ( physical therapy suggested) and I’ve tried a billion different pillows… my SCM is tight as heck…and are most of the muscles in my upper neck/shoulder blade etc.
    At times it causes numbness in my face…and a strange sensation at the top of my head.

    I’m just hoping I can get ahead of this issue at some point… I’m just trying to remain patient and stay focused.

    what types of pillows do you recommend or do you have any thoughts?
    Your website is fantastic.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      November 21, 2013 | 4:41 pm

      Wow Lisa that is quite a journey. I’m glad that Chiropractic has served you well. My thoughts?

      1. I think you need a functional medicine doc to look at some blood tests. There could be nutritional reasons for the very tight muscles/ numbness and dizziness . It would also show if there is any infections going on.

      2. If your current problems are structural the treatment should be working better. My hunch is that the treatment is not treating the problem but the symptoms of the problem.

      Does that make sense?

  61. Lisa Martinez
    November 21, 2013 | 6:34 pm

    Thanks. It does make sense…
    I just had another SRT treatment this evening with significant results ….I will still connect with my pcp to have blood draws. ..
    The carotid tumor surgery was very traumatizing physically and emotionally. … I have a five inch scar ftom my ear to my soft spot at the front of my nec cutting right through every muscle in the path…. so I suspect this will take some maintenance.
    Thanks for your work here!!

  62. Poppy
    January 16, 2014 | 11:56 am

    I can sleep for the first 4 hours of every night but for years now, I then wake with a headache, pain/blocked sinus (mostly RHS), and a pains in my neck and jaws. I press my neck on a ridge on our head board to try and massage sore points and these seem also to be connected to my sinus, but the doctors I have seen say there is not a connection from there to my sinus under my eye. When I am up, I am in less pain but totally energy less. I went to ent specialist who sent me to a TNj specialist and now I have a hard gum guard to wear at night. I have become aware that I do clench very hard and I also hold all my muscles tight. A suggestion was made to try Botox. My sinus are a huge problem though, esp in very dry conditions when they get dry but blocked and burning nostrils. My ears are a mess too. I am confused and never able to reach my potential.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      January 16, 2014 | 12:00 pm

      Hi Poppy,

      How long have you have the guard you wear at night?

  63. Cyndye
    January 22, 2014 | 11:54 am

    My sinuses have been acting up for years,I’m always stuffy but my nose runs. Lately my neck has realy been crackling when I move my head side to side or up and down, I have a dull headache on the left side base of my head and even my left ear has decided to join the party with a crackling noise.Do you think this could all be caused possibly by my neck being out of alignment or something? My neck has crackled for years after being in a very minor rear end collision but now it is bad and the head ache and ear thing are realy ridiculous. Otc allergy and sinus meds help a bit but it doesn’t clear up.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      January 22, 2014 | 11:57 am

      Yes Cyndye it sounds like you have a neck problem and as I wrote it can contribute to sinus problems.

  64. Michelle
    January 23, 2014 | 11:24 am

    Hello. I have been having on and off sinus and neck problems since October. In October I had the worst cold/sinus infection of my life. I was extremely congested and had horrible neck and shoulder pain on my left side only. I went to the doctor twice for it, but since I was showing signs of improvement each time, I was never given an antibiotic, just a nasal spray and told to us a decongestant. She also did a thyroid ultrasound because I have had one in the past because my thyroid feels slightly enlarged. Both ultrasounds came back fine, showing a normal size thyroid and no nodules. They did see a swollen lymph node on the left side, which they thought was from the cold and probably causing some of my neck pain. The neck pain went away for a while, but returned about a month ago. The pain is still on the left side and is radiating down into my left shoulder. Again, I have sinus drainage and a bad cough. I’m coughing up lots of mucus. However, my nose is not running at all. I have been using the nasal spray (as my doctor suggested back in October if I had trouble again) and taking decongestants. I think they are helping some, but the neck and shoulder pain is so bad I’m having to also take ibuprofen to help with that. It feels like my muscles are aching and I just keep rubbing them. My kids also have colds and coughs, so I know that we have some sort of sickness. I’m just not sure why I’m having this on again off again left side neck and shoulder pain. I have even had some noticeable swelling on the left side of my neck. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I hate to go back to the doctor when I’ve already been twice for the same problem. Wondering if I should see a ENT or after reading this a chiropractor? Thanks!

    • Dr. Kilcup
      January 23, 2014 | 11:34 am

      Hi Michelle,

      Sounds like you are having a terrible time! A couple of things.

      1. I want to caution you about using the nasal spray. The sprays can create problems. A quick google search on that will inform you.
      2. You need to seek out a good chiropractor. You will thank me!

      What color is the mucus you’re coughing up?
      Do you have a fever?

      • Michelle
        January 23, 2014 | 11:42 am

        Thanks for the quick response! No fever. The mucus is yellowish-green. So do you think it’s a sinus problem causing the neck and shoulder pain? Or a neck problem causing sinus problems? What’s “throwing” me right now is that my kids have the same symptoms, chest congestion and bad coughs, no fever, but they do have a runny nose. They of course aren’t complaining of neck and shoulder pain.

        • Dr. Kilcup
          January 23, 2014 | 11:52 am

          Happy to help!

          Michelle sounds to me like you have two problems. You have a neck problem. It is causing all sorts of problems including making things like a sinus problems. Sounds like you have a upper respiratory tract infection that has a bacterial component. Seeing a MD would be a good idea to get that looked at. If you do require antibiotics be sure to read my article on what to do after antibiotics.

          If your children have the same mucus as you do get them looked at.

          Why you don’t know have a runny nose and your kids do is just one of those things that keeps me humble. Getting your kids tuned up be a chiropractor is a very smart thing to do. Life is hard on kids. Keeping their spines working right is important for good spinal health as adults.

          Let me know how it goes and sign up for my monthly-ish emails. I focus on things you usually don’t learn about through traditional sources.

          • Michelle
            January 23, 2014 | 12:08 pm

            One last question, could a respiratory infection cause shoulder and neck pain? Or do you believe that is unrelated?

          • Dr. Kilcup
            January 23, 2014 | 12:17 pm

            Michelle if there is a fever then yes body aches and pains will be common. The coughing from a upper respiratory tract infection is very violent and often cause neck and back problems.

            Based on your history I am very confident that you do have neck and back problems that a good chiropractor will help and bring you a lot of relief.

  65. Michelle
    January 23, 2014 | 12:32 pm

    Ok, thank you, I appreciate your response and advice!

    • Dr. Kilcup
      January 23, 2014 | 1:03 pm

      You’re very welcome! Please let me know how things turn out.

  66. John
    February 3, 2014 | 11:07 am

    Please would you offer an opinion.

    I had polyp surgery nearly three years ago, and to be honest I don’t feel great. Due to complaining of sinus trouble recently had another MRI scan and FES camera and two consultants sat me down and told me that (a) Polyps have not returned, and (b) a tiny perforation in septum is not causing my symptoms.

    My symptoms are a constant feeling of ‘flu with fatigue’ aches, sinus ache, feeling of fluid in ear and general sinus discomfort (no mucus). Even when I eat a get a build up of sinus pressure!

    But the most alarming symptom is that when I bend down and or put my head on both sides of pillow I feel not only pressure building but a lot of air type bubbles seem to release over a second or two. In fact if I do the trick whereby you close off both nostrils and attempt to unclog ear presure (like on a plane) I can then squeeze parts of my neck muscles and loads of air releases in little bubbles – presumably unitl it’s gone when it stops. I have seem chiros for over two years and this has not been resolved. My life is miserable.

    But I do have an awful lot of issues with neck tension and tight muscles in all the usual spots over the neck. In fact when I press on the SCM muscle I often instigate that bubble releasing sensation and noise.

    I really would welcome and appreciate your thoughts.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      February 13, 2014 | 8:48 am

      Sorry for the delay John. There just isn’t enough time in a day!

      Your story is amazing, I have never heard of one like this. Did the docs say if the perforation in the septum could be fixed?

      Where are the bubbles when you hear them?

      • John
        February 14, 2014 | 1:07 pm

        Hi Dr.Kilcup

        Thanks for the reply.

        The doctor saw the perforation as not in need of repairing and he steadfastly claimed that it was too small to be causing any problem – he was adamant it did not need repairing!

        The ‘bubble sound’ feels exactly like a series of air bubbles releasing in quick succession. it happens if I tuck my chin in and down; when I lie on my side in bed; when I massage various parts of my neck, particularly the SCM and muscles at the base of my skull. I do have tight muscles – of that there is no doubt.

        I have had this all put down to anxiety and stress – which I accept but I do feel something is not right.


  67. sumi
    February 12, 2014 | 2:48 am

    Dear Doctor,

    I have sinusitis quite from a very long time and had to undergo surgery(FESS) 8 months ago as it got really severe.Recently, I caught up with severe cold followed by fever and severe neck pain &stiffness and also ringing sound in ears.So I went to my ENT who is right now treating me with nasal spray and nasal drops which has given me some relief. I have an other 15 days dose of nasal spray to use. But there is no change with the ringing sound in my ears and neck pain(sides). Also I get noise while I swallow food ? I am worried please help.

    Also, I am on vitamin D supplementation as it was too low…

    Please help


    • Dr. Kilcup
      February 13, 2014 | 8:54 am


      What is it that you are worried about? Are you wondering if the treatment is working?

  68. Donna
    April 14, 2014 | 10:17 am

    Dear Doctor,

    For the past two years I have been suffering from a very strange and intese pressure in my head, mainly in my sinuses. At first I thought it was a dizziness, but not as thought everything was spinning, and I did not feel like I would fall over, but just a very intese pressure. I have since come to suspect, through the help of a chiropractor and a massaget therapist that it has something to do with my neck and back. It all began a little over 2 years ago, when I had intese pain at the base of my spine, right around my tailbone. It ended up being the ligaments around my tailbone. About 3 months after this was corrected is when my issues began with the pressure in my head. Most of the pressure is right across the bridge of my nose and extends across my cheeks. I do have scoliosis, and the chiropractor has told me that my C7 is out of alignment and you can feel it being pulled way over to the left side of my neck, I also know that my muscles are extremely tight throughout my neck, the base of my scull and all the way down my back. My problem is that no one seems to be able to tell me what is causing this and how to deal with it. Have you ever heard of anything like this? And do you have any suggestions? I am currently seening a chiroprator once every two weeks, a massage therapist once a week and go for accupuncture once every two weeks. I have been doing this for about 6 months. I do see an improvement, but it is still a huge issue in my life.
    Thank you for your time.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      April 14, 2014 | 11:28 am

      Hi Donna,

      I’d have to say that my initial impression is that this is not a neck problem. When I see patients in which their sinus troubles are being caused by their necks we see pretty quick improvement. Within 2 weeks the problem is much better or gone.

      Have you seen an EENT doc or someone to examine this?

  69. Donna
    April 14, 2014 | 12:16 pm

    Hi Doctor,
    Thank you so much for your quick response!
    I have been to my family doctor several times. She has one all kinds of blood work, but everything comes back as normal.
    When my chiropractor applies pressure at the base of my skull (stands behind me as I am laying down and pulls my head towards her) it replicates the feeling of pressure across the bridge of my nose. I used to get very bad sinus headaches, but since starting with the chiropractor those has pretty much disappeared.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      April 14, 2014 | 4:23 pm

      Your welcome Donna. I enjoy helping people. You mentioned blood work that is good. Has anyone x-rayed, physically looked and done an MRI of your sinus cavities?

      • Donna
        April 15, 2014 | 8:19 am

        No, I haven’t had any work like that done. Although I have just finished having blood work done to rule out any problems there and then perhaps they will send me for an MRI. I think both my family doctor and the chiropractor are convinced this is coming from the muscles in my neck and back that are causing these symptoms, and my symptoms have improved, I was just hoping that after 6 months the symptoms would be gone. Could this be because of my scoliosis?

        • Dr. Kilcup
          April 15, 2014 | 8:59 am

          Donna in my opinion when a problem continues for this long it is foolish to assume anything. It very well may be that this is all connected to the neck, but when it has gone on this long there is also a good chance this could be something in the sinus cavity. You NEED to get a doctor to look into the cavities and go from there.

          Let me know what you learn!

  70. Nicole
    September 24, 2014 | 2:05 pm

    Hi. I do have allergies and use antihistaMines and rhinocort spray which are effective for runny eyes and clearing nose but ears are constantly clogged. After neck massage there is some unblocking of ears temporarily and right side worse than other. If massage behind right jaw get shooting pain right side of nose. Clogged ears driv

  71. Vicky
    November 22, 2014 | 7:03 am

    I’ve suffered with ‘sinus infections’ for over 2 years on and off.. plus headaches and beck aches. Numerous visit is to gp and entertainment and nobody can help. Awful pain in maxillary left sinus.
    Anyway made an appt to see chiropractor and started last week. I have a crooked neck and nerve damage and a very tight scm muscle. She’s started working on it and within a few hours of treatment my sinus is extracting so much discharge which feels like a great release of pressure… normal?

    • Dr. Kilcup
      November 24, 2014 | 8:28 am

      Hi Vicky,

      Sounds like your sinus infections were really a neck problem to me. Let me know how it goes!

  72. Mel
    November 30, 2014 | 4:21 am

    For the last 3 months I’ve had a blocked one side of my head and when I yawn it cracks had nasel sprays vicks sudafed etc .. Still hasn’t gone away

    From Australia

  73. Robin
    December 9, 2014 | 9:28 am

    Hi, for the past 6 months I have been having a strange problem I’ve never experienced before. From time to time (not often, maybe once a month), when I lean forward or tilt to one side, my left nostril drips a bunch of clear fluid. Sometimes a drpp or two, sometimes much more. I have an appt with my ENT, after reading online that it could be CSF. It dripped on my bedsheet once, and dried completely clear, if that means anything. I have had neck problems for years, so was wondering if it could possibly be related to the neck? Much stress after a divorce 3 years ago, so a very tight neck and shoulders. Thanks!

  74. Robin
    December 9, 2014 | 12:08 pm

    I should also mention – I also have a pretty severe case of tmj. Have had it for 10 years now. Yes, anxiety rides high with me, lol!

  75. Martin
    December 11, 2014 | 12:15 pm

    Hi All

    I thought I would return here and offer up some info.

    I have had sinus issues for a long time: at least eight years. I got so down that I developed depression and serious anxiety. I have had nasal polyp surgery and all sorts of massage and chiropractic to no avail.

    But I have always believed that my chronic neck muscle/shoulder/back tension is at the root of this and even to the point where when I touch certain muscles I kind of here a release of air bubbles in the sinus. I also have a tiny septum perforation.

    Three months ago I finally decided to seek out a real ENT expert and it cost me a fortune. Here is what he did/said.

    1. He looked in my mouth and declared me chronically dehydrated.

    2. He looked in my sinus passages and said you are chronically dehydrated and the perforation is nothing – no return of polyps etc.

    3. He said that he could do further investigations and make a lot of money but would not find anything wrong for near certainty.

    5. He said, and wait for it, an awful lot of patients turn up reporting with sinus problems when in fact it is being caused by NECK PROBLEMS.

    So, three months ago I set about drinking 2 litres of water a day and what a difference that has made. He said that it could take months and months for the body to truly get hydrated. He also told me to work on keeping my neck stretched and supple. This aspect I am not good at but what I have noticed is that on days that I don’t have stress or headach my sinuses are fine.

    Anxiety and stress cause tension, which causes neck problems which cause sinus issues. That was his verdict. Oh, and drink water – lots of it.

    And also – habits can affect your sinuses. I kind of sniff a lot forcing air onto the membranes causing drying. This is linked to my anxiety but what habits could you be perorming without realsing what affect you are having on your sinus. What about sitting with your laptop on your knee for ages. I would guess that a lot of us are straining our necks and not realising the result of this equals a myriad of sinus symptoms.

  76. Robin
    December 12, 2014 | 8:11 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Martin. I have been told I am very dehydrated (yet I continue to drink coffee and avoid water), so this could very well be playing a part in my situation. Thanks Dr. Kilcup, I have used a neti pot, but it didn’t help me. It’s been a long time though, so maybe it’s time to try again. Thanks for the suggestions. I suffer from anxiety too, which only adds to the problems.

    • Martin
      December 15, 2014 | 12:47 am

      Hi Robin

      If you are very dehydrated then I urge you to sort this out. I treated myself to a nice 2 litre water bottle (why not get yourself one this xmas) and each morning I start drinking plain water and by the end of the day I make sure that I get through it. I find it easy now but at first it felt like 2 litres was an awful lot.

      I’m sure that being a chiropracter Dr. Kilcup will vouch for the detrimental effects that dehydration has on bodily function. When I was told I was dehydrated I came home and did extensive research on the subject and what I found was some compelling evidence of how ill you can feel without adequate water. But let’s face it; we all know that our bodies are largely composed of water and so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that a lack of it is going to show up in all sorts of ways.

      And I believe that dehydration can be remidied fairly quickly but it will take a fairly long time for your body to truly recover as cells regrow.

  77. MJ
    December 22, 2014 | 7:43 pm

    I’m so happy I found this site. I suffer with neck and shoulder blade pain. I also suffer from my sinuses. It is getting so bad that every night my nose gets so stuffed I can’t breath. During the day I can, but as soon as I lay down, stuffed. I also have bad allergies. I live in Arizona so the whether is extremely dry. I had my husband rub my neck and shoulders just now and I can feel the pressure in my sinuses easing up. I’ve also been having numbness in my pinky and ring fingers of my left hand which I know has to do with the ulnar nerve. Could this all have to do with my neck?

    • Dr. Kilcup
      December 24, 2014 | 8:33 am

      Hi MJ,

      Yes it could. I suspect that it could be a combination of things.

  78. Jay
    December 27, 2014 | 11:53 am

    I think you nailed it doc. I have caught on to this precursor to what I believed to be a cold or sinus infection coming on. I cannot pop my neck. Its really fool proof. My neck will pop pretty easily on a normal day. It becomes impossible when the sickness is coming on. The sinus issues aren’t relieved by the over the counter meds other than pain relief. I am going to search how to fix this problem now. I am glad to learn it wasn’t all in my head.

  79. Craycray
    January 6, 2015 | 11:12 pm

    Hi! I have been having a lot of headaches lately and have wondered if it has to do with my sinuses, I’ve had sinus pressure and problems with my ears hurting so I had a friend thats an audiologist look at them and he said, “there’s no fluid and they werent infected but the right ear was sunk in”. I have no other signs of having a sinus infection. Could the headaches be from my ears and lack of sleep (because I havent been sleeping well)?

  80. denise tate
    January 8, 2015 | 9:46 am

    Hello can you help in march 2014 I had acute sinisitus my dentist gave me antibiotics but a week later it hadn’t improved I went to my Doctor who said it was muscular and didn’t give me any meds, my sinus especially on the right side is always blocked on a morning. in june 2014 I banged my head right at the very top of my skull and straight away it was tingling approximately 10 days later I awoke with a tingling and burning top lip and 3 white marking on my tongue, I went to my DR who gave me amitrypiline she didn’t know what the marks were but the tablets would help with the burning. I took them for about 10 days the side effects were horrendous I couldn’t wake up I came off them and when I did my tongue had started to burn really badly, I was referred to the Max fax at hospital who said it may be geographical tongue or burning mouth syndrome. I at this stage was given pregablin for neuropathic pain, as of today the whole side of my right face burns tingles the top of my skull burns my right eye feels dry my right sinus hurts so much and my mouth is burning constantly, because I have suffered with anxiety and depression in the past my Dr thinks its all in my head, these symptoms started well before the anxiety and depression its the pain which has caused me stress. After begging my Dr to let me be referred to a neurologist on our NHS in England the wait was so long so I went private I had to pay for a private consultation and an mri scan. The consultant says its likely to be post infective cranial neuropathy and had put the meds up im now on 500mg daily pregablin and that’s not working. When I wake on a morning the right side nostril is blocked infact it wakes me up because I cannot breathe, I have constant burning tingling in my mouth and the right side of my face my ear feels trapped and tingly event the tip of my nose tingles my top lip is now numb I don’t know if this is the meds, im really desperate now the consultant asked for swabs in my mouth because I still get the patches when I went back to see my Dr he wouldt swab because he said my mouth looked fine, can you please help me could this be coming from my neck or back and could a virus or infection last this long in the cranial nerves 6 months! I feel like I have had a stroke down my face even my right eye stabs with pain, I look forward to hearing from you

    • Dr. Kilcup
      January 15, 2015 | 10:48 am

      Denise I am so sorry for your situation. Unfortunately I don’t think it would be wise for me to try to give you recommendations. Your situation is very complex. I would need to physically examine you. Unless you are going to be in Phoenix AZ I am sorry but I’m not the doc for you. If I were in your situation I would look for a doc that practices Functional Medicine. This link might help you find one : http://www.functionalmedicinedoctors.com/index.php?action=search

  81. Vickie
    January 27, 2015 | 11:59 am

    Hi. I have been diagnosed with 2 bulging discs in my neck, C4/5 and C6/7. I don’t feel that whoever read the MRI, relayed the severity of the problem to my Dr. I was simply told I had 2 bulging discs, but was never told that they not only were bulging towards the back, but that they were also bulging around and to the front of my neck, thus explaining to me why I feel a “fullness” in my throat, or like I have a partially blown up balloon lodged between my vertabrae and throat, and pressing into my throat. This condition about drives me nuts, as it makes me feel like I have to be clearing my throat all the time, on top of always having phlegm come up from that process. I am currently doing Spinal Decompression, and when I am on the machine, I feel as tho my sinus’s are opened up thru the procedure. My Chiroprator feels that this treatment will take some time, in order to get that disc to come back around from the front to settle into place on the backside. Do you have any input on this and why I am having such throat issues. I appreciate your time. Thank You. Vickie

    • Dr. Kilcup
      January 28, 2015 | 10:41 am

      Hi Vickie,

      Without seeing your MRI it’s really tough for me to comment. Its a good sign that you feel better after the treatment. Im my experience it is very rare to treat even severe herniated discs longer than 3 weeks before the patient is pain-free. If the throat issues persist longer than 3 weeks after care I would suspect that there might be an additional problem.

  82. stephanie
    February 20, 2015 | 2:33 pm

    I have spasms in my neck often. I was told that i have a small spur and some disc degeneration. When my stretching doesnt work i use a cervical traction device at home. But sometimes before even useing much tension i have to stop because i get a hot flash and get very nauseated all of a sudden. What causes this?

    • Dr. Kilcup
      February 23, 2015 | 3:18 pm

      I don’t know for sure Stephanie but I won’t do anything that made a patient have hot flashes or experience nausea.

  83. Josh
    February 24, 2015 | 8:40 am


    I have been having a stiff neck when I wake up in the morning and continues throughout the entire day. I also have had a headache on the left side of my forehead that sometimes I can feel radiate to the back of my head. My neck constantly feels like it needs to be cracked, which then alleviates some of the pain (temporarily). The pain is not significant, but enough to bother me. I also have had sinus issues and underwent a CT scan that showed a slight deviation in my septum. The pain in my neck is mostly on my left side and I can “pinpoint” the exact location it hurts usually.

    I am wondering if this is something that you have heard of and any steps that I can take towards reducing the stiffness and pain.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Dr. Kilcup
      February 24, 2015 | 9:55 am

      Josh your problem sounds like on a good Chiropractic Doc could help you a lot with.

  84. JB
    February 26, 2015 | 2:25 pm

    Hi Dr. Kilcup. I am wondering if my chronic sinus pressure is stemming from my neck. My symptoms: pressure behind forehead, nose, mildly behind eyes; tension in temples; severe creaking neck when head turned side to side (this worsens headache and sinus pressure); creaking also felt in sinuses; neck snaps a lot upon movement and often has an intensely loud hollow snap when head is brought back; normal breathing unaffected yet deeply inhalation through nose causes dry sinus crackling; tightness in throat; pressing anywhere in my head or neck magnifies pressure behind nose; dramatic temporary increase in nasal pressure upon swallowing. It is slightly better in the morning after lying down on side. I had whiplash in ’99, have a “neck forward” position, clicking jaw (TMJ?), sore shoulders with a severe “knot” in my right trap muscle, and recently went through the trauma of a death in the family. What I don’t have: mucous, runny nose, post-nasal drip, fever.
    Unfortunately, my symptoms are almost identical to spenoid sinus blockage which is associated with serious, potentially fatal complications. I am wondering whether I should go see a chiropractor or an ENT?

    • Dr. Kilcup
      February 26, 2015 | 3:09 pm

      JB why not see both? What you need are answers. It could be more than one problem.

    • daniela
      March 24, 2015 | 11:39 am

      This is me exactly even the hollow cracking of neck and the crackling sounds in neck and sinuses… Also all on right side…even my jaw muscles on right side is sore and when I massage it it feels like a stick the muscle is so tight..

      • daniela
        March 24, 2015 | 12:25 pm

        Just read about the sphenoid sinus blockage and I am very worried now… Could this new what I have??? Never heard of that before. I recently had a CT scan and the results came back as only having some sinus blockage on the left side and was told it wasn’t anything to be concerned about.. But it’s my right side that I have issues with.. I have anxiety and now reading this just makes it worse..I worry easily. Would the CT scan show if I had sphenoid sinus blockage at any stage???

        • Dr. Kilcup
          March 25, 2015 | 10:42 am

          Daniela that’s a great question for the doctor who ordered the CT.

  85. DEBBIE Richardson
    March 6, 2015 | 8:32 am


    I was wondering if anyone could help me. I have constant head pain to the front and top. Sometimes my ears also hurt. Also my nose is blocked and hurts as do my eyes. My head on walking and standing is awfull. Most often then not i also have nausea. Is this sinitus ?. Ive been tols can be migrains. As i also get pain to my neck.


    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 6, 2015 | 8:38 am

      Hi Debbie,

      You need someone to take a look at you to see what the problem is. It could be a sinus infection or an ear infection or both or something else.

  86. daniela
    March 15, 2015 | 9:56 pm

    So I have had a neck problem for ten years and seen a few docs who didn’t help or even say anything really so i just gave up and been living with it…I can’t stand it anymore its 24/7 and its taken its toll on me..I am miserable with constant pain. Vmy new doc sent me for a ct scan and it came back with nothing other than the left sinus a bit stuffed. I have cysts that were found by ultra sound in thyroids but no cause for concern. My pain is the right side of neck all the way to top of right side of head. Causing headaches eye pain sometimes ear pain and if I pull or use a qtip in ear clear fluid comes out sometimes. My right eye sometimes waters and my sinuses are sore even temples. When I massage my neck really hard I get temporary relief and its like I feel stuff flowing through the right side of head and nose will get plugged. When I can blow it it is clear. I also feel crunching when I massage right side of neck right beside the bone. I crack my neck several times a day easily and its temporary relief…. I just seen a physiatrist for the first time and got 5 needles in my neck to numb the pain. I felt like I was in heaven I can’t even remember a time I didn’t have this pain. As for the sinus flow and pain I just massage my face sinuses temples neck. And blow it out after it flows.. It has helped a lot but I have to do it all the time. I didn’t even have this sinus problem the whole time I had my neck issues. Still don’t know what the real problem is but for now the shots in my neck has left me pain free for almost a week. It can last up to a month the doc says. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will lol .. Then I go back for more numbing needles (yikes!)

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 16, 2015 | 9:36 am

      Daniela that is a fascinating story! If you don’t mind my asking what part of the world are you from?

      Thanks for sharing your story. I’m glad you are getting help.

      • daniela
        March 16, 2015 | 12:20 pm

        From Canada :)

  87. daniela
    March 15, 2015 | 10:04 pm

    My ear canal was checked and was perfectly normal and my nasal passage was a little inflamed during that visit… I am lost as to what is wrong.
    Doc also said my right side of neck muscles are really spasmed and the physiatrist said it feels like I have little hard balls on my neck ligaments that line the top of neck bones..

  88. Marriette
    March 19, 2015 | 9:14 am

    I ran across this site and figured it couldn’t hurt to get your opinion. My sinus issues started about 7 years ago. After a miscarriage I had a fever and headache that wouldn’t go away. During a trip to the ER and a CT for meningitis it was determined that I had a sinus infection. After months of antibiotics, physical therapy for tension headaches and a Dr thinking I was making it all up I had another CT to determine that I indeed still had an infection and it was determined that I needed to have surgery. Things improved for awhile. About 18 months later I had a huge sinus infection saw a different ENT because the first on was booked out three months. Another CT showed a sever infection along with some other issues and I had another surgery. After this surgery things improved but never completely went away. I would go to the Dr complaining of pain and pressure in my forehead and between my eyes accompanied with lots of thick green mucus down my throat. He dismissed it as seasonal allergies, which I didn’t think I had. Again I changed Dr. New Dr started out great, he ordered allergy testing, (which all came back negative) and had plans A B and C that we would try. Well after getting to plan C with no answers we did another CT (which I much later found out showed an acute infection on top of a chronic condition), he told me that I just needed to deal with it till I couldn’t any more and then we would go from there. Last summer I reached that point, we tried antibiotics, nasal sprays, nasal rinses and everything else he could think of. Finally he decided that it must be migraines. I decided to seek another opinion, new Dr looked at the CT and determined that I had an infection but there were some blockages that he could fix and I had yet another surgery. During surgery he did some cultures and found a resistant organism. A couple weeks after surgery symptoms returned and he prescribed antibiotics, toward the end of doses symptoms would improve for about a week or so, then they would be back. Had an appointment yesterday, he used a scope to look at my sinuses and said that everything he could see looked fine. So, my headaches and the daily green drainage was caused by something else. I left with the instructions to treat my symptoms with Tylenol or Motrin and an Antihistamine. If after two months things don’t improve we will rescan, because it is possible to have an infection in the maxillary sinuses or something with the ethmoid sinuses that he can’t see in the office. I am beginning to think that I’m making it all up, I’m on the verge of going crazy. Sorry for the novel, it’s been a long road.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 23, 2015 | 12:23 pm

      Wow Marriette! You are right that is a very long road indeed! Who are these docs who think you are making this stuff up? You obviously are having real infection issues. However your neck could be a negative contributing factor. Also I’m concerned about your intestinal health, which affects everything. After so many months of being on the antibiotics your good microbes get wiped out and it leaves your gut wide open to many problems. Most of your immune system lives in your gut and clearly your immune system is struggling. It might be time to widen your thinking about possible causes. If you haven’t read my articles, “What to do after antibiotics” and “Leaky Gut”.

      Thanks for sharing your story. I sincerely hope you are close to ending this novel!

    • daniela
      March 23, 2015 | 6:39 pm

      I feel like doctors think I am over exaggerating my issue or that they don’t really believe me! I felt helpless and just lived with it for years now i just can’t take it and started trying to seek help again.. Feels like another dead end to me and that I’m just going to have to get needles in my neck every month for my neck pain..they all seem to forget that my sinuses, eyes, and head all hurt daily only on my right side including the neck… I feel your pain! We are not crazy!

      • Dr. Kilcup
        March 23, 2015 | 6:49 pm

        Daniela have you ever considered finding a good chiropractor to help you with your neck? I think that if the needles provide some relief good chiropractic care ought to be at least as effective.

        • daniela
          March 23, 2015 | 6:57 pm

          I recently started thinking about that because I remember a few years ago at a festival there was a chiropractic booth where they sstand u in front of a mirror and used strings measured across the shoulders and hips to see if it is straight… Well my right shoulder for sure was higher than my left. But when I went to the office to see what could be done it was too expensive for me.. And gave that idea up.

          • Dr. Kilcup
            March 23, 2015 | 7:00 pm

            I thought chiropractic was included in Canadian healthcare coverage. I’m sorry that you are not able to try chiropractic care.

  89. daniela
    March 24, 2015 | 6:17 am

    Chiropractic isnt covered by OHIP a d the initial fee they asked for was $200 then..

Leave a Reply

Get more Honest, Excellent and Facinating Information that will HELP YOU!!!

We respect your email privacy