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Relieve Sinus Pain Without Medication

By Paul Rothbart

Colds are not fun to deal with. Sinus pain is especially awful. Runny nose, pressure in the sinus cavities. The pain behind the eyes and throughout the head. It can be so hard to focus on work or anything important while experiencing sinus pain. The first instinct is to reach for medication in the form of decongestants or sprays. You do have to be careful with these. They cannot be used too often or for too long. In my younger days, I took sinus medication twice a day for several weeks and elevated my heart rate to the extent it required a trip to the doctor. Nasal sprays can be addictive and should not be used for more than three consecutive days. Fortunately, there are ways to clear the congestion and relieve the pain without using medication. Here are some of the more effective.


Drink plenty of fluids. Water is best but juices will work too. They will thin the mucus and allow it to drain. Coffee and alcohol should be avoided as they tend to dehydrate and will counter the purpose of fluids. It's a good idea to hydrate before sinus pain becomes a problem, especially in the colder months or if you are prone to sinus issues. 

Get Rest

Rest will help the body fight infection and recover more quickly. Get sufficient sleep and nap if necessary. It's a good idea to elevate the head with extra pillows to make breathing easier. 


Use a pot or bowl of warm water. Be careful that it's not too hot to avoid burns. Place a towel over your head and inhale the steam through the nose. This will open the nasal passages and relieve pressure. A washcloth or towel soaked in warm water can also be placed on the face. A hot shower can also be effective.

Flush the Nasal Passages

Use the time honored Neti pot, which flushes a salt water solution through the sinus passages. The fluid irrigates them and flushes out the congestion. This can be done weekly or daily as needed and many people find it to be an effective method of relieving sinus pressure. It is best to use distilled water.

Spicy Foods

This is not for everyone, but if you like it hot, eating spicy foods is very good for opening up and clearing out the sinus passages. Some hot peppers, a spicy sauce, or horseradish can be added to a meal. Wasabi is an excellent choice. If you like sushi, this is a great option.

Sinus pain is distracting and can be very distressful. Fast relief is a must. But before you reach for that over-the-counter medication and its potential side effects, try one or more of these non-medicinal options. They can clear the sinuses and relieve the pain in a completely natural and safe manner.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Universal City, Tex.

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