Medically Reviewed By:
Mary K. Polinard, BSN, RN, CNOR
Although the sinuses are located around the nose, a sinus infection can result in widespread pain that extends beyond the nasal cavities and face. In fact, some people experience sinusitis neck pain while having an infection of the sinuses, which can be very painful and make daily activities more difficult and uncomfortable than usual.
This article aims to answer the question, can a sinus infection cause neck pain, and explores the condition of sinusitis neck pain. It will also describe the symptoms of this condition and suggest treatment options for a neck pain sinus headache that won’t go away on its own.
Common Sinusitis Symptoms
Sinusitis occurs when the nasal passages become swollen and inflamed, which causes an interference with mucous drainage. It can be difficult to breathe during a sinus infection, and individuals may experience thick mucus discharge that is greenish or yellowish in color. Beyond just the nose, symptoms of sinusitis may include headache, earache, aching in the teeth, fatigue, fever, and neck pain.1,2,3
Can a Sinus Infection Cause Neck Pain?
Neck pain is a possible symptom of sinusitis when sinusitis affects the sphenoid sinuses. This type of infection is present behind the eyes can also result in ear pain and aches in the region at the top of the head.1,3 This happens less commonly because the sphenoid sinuses are least likely to be affected by sinusitis.3
Symptoms of Sinusitis Neck Pain
The symptoms of sinusitis neck pain are often also accompanied by pain on the top of the head and in the ears. When the sinuses are inflamed, pain typically occurs in multiple areas in the region of the head, neck, and face. The pain is often the worst in the morning and is accompanied by loss of smell sensations, fatigue, low fever, runny nose, coughing at night, sore throat, and puffy eyes.3
Treatments for a Neck Pain Sinus Headache
Sinus pain and pressure that also includes symptoms of a stiff neck or neck pain may require medical attention. This is especially true if the symptoms include a fever of over 103 degrees Fahrenheit or if a person experiences confusion or severe headaches as well.3
It is also often necessary to use a nasal decongestant to relieve swelling and pressure when a person has sinusitis. These are available over the counter and are usually taken orally. Nasal steroids, saline nasal sprays, and antihistamines can relieve this type of discomfort as well upon the recommendation of a medical professional.2,3 Staying hydrated helps mucus drain more effectively and can aid in symptom management, while warm compresses may also provide some relief.2
Acute sinus infections should resolve themselves within two to three weeks, while chronic sinusitis may last longer than this amount of time. If at-home treatments are not relieving neck pain and sinus headache, it is possible that another medical condition or chronic allergies are causing the symptoms to persist. Fortunately, many cases of sinusitis will go away within a few weeks without the use of antibiotics.3
Vanquish® is indicated for tension headaches. If you have a cluster headache, sinus headache, migraine headache or any other type of headache you may want to consult a doctor.
References for Understanding Sinusitis & Neck Pain: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options
2. Harvard Health Publishing. Acute Sinusitis. Retrieved on August 24, 2019 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/acute-sinusitis-a-to-z.
3. Healthy Women. Sinusitis. Retrieved on August 24, 2019 from https://www.healthywomen.org/condition/sinusitis.