Sinus issues may cause neck pain…but only under a specific circumstance, says an ENT doctor.

For this article I consulted with Dr. Stacey Silvers, MD, of Madison ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery in NYC, who is board certified in otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat).

“Neck pain cannot be from sinus problems unless you additionally have sinus symptoms,” says Dr. Silvers.

Typical Sinus Related Symptoms

Sinus symptoms classically consist of a headache (that often feels like a stress or tension type of headache), pressure or aching behind the eyes or across the forehead, nasal congestion, and, says Dr. Silvers, facial pressure (a common symptom of sinus problems) or discomfort in the upper teeth.

“You would not have isolated neck pain with the sinuses as a cause with no other symptoms,” says Dr. Silvers.

So if your only symptom is an ache in your neck, then you need to keep seeking out the cause.

Other Sources of Neck Pain

“Neck pain can be muscle, bone or nerve related,” adds Dr. Silvers. “Our necks are very sensitive and can be sore with stress, sleeping funny and even holding our heads in an awkward position after a while.

“Anything that causes chronic pain elsewhere in the body can also manifest itself in the neck based on how we carry ourselves and how we sleep.”

A new exercise can cause isolated neck pain, such as tilting the head upward during the exercise, which pulls at the frontal neck muscles.

A muscle spasm or a persistent ache from the exercise can result later on in the day.

Persistent neck pain with no explainable cause (such as from prolonged bending of your head backwards from belaying your climbing partner) warrants a visit with a doctor and likely an MRI, as the pain can be caused by a pinched nerve or other problem.

An NYC expert in ear, nose and throat care, Dr. Silvers has been named among America’s Top Physicians and Surgeons in facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology numerous times since 2003.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. 

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