Studies in the United States and abroad have shown that osteopathic interventions can help CAID sufferers. In the case of sinusitis, osteopaths believe that the thick mucus produced in the sinuses is not adequately drained and the unequal pressure leads to pain. Because the nerves
responsible for the sinuses begin in the thoracic (chest) area and pass through the neck, these areas would be evaluated and treated for any dysfunction through manual manipulation. Sinus headaches are another area known to respond well to this type of therapy.
Some osteopathic techniques can be done at home and are meant to relieve obstruction and pain. One technique involves pressure applied directly with the thumbs over the frontal sinuses and is gradually increased and released in a rhythmic manner. The thumbs are then placed in the center of the forehead and are gently moved laterally toward the temples, and downward toward the cheekbones (6). This cycle is repeated 6-8 times. Next, one finger is placed at the brow directly above the nose (look for a small depression, called the supraorbital notch). Once located, pressure is applied with the thumbs, which are swept along the eye ridge laterally. This cycle is repeated 6 - 8 times.
The same technique is then applied to the maxillary sinuses. Pressure is applied over the sinuses with the thumbs beginning on each side
of the nose and pressing down while sweeping the thumbs along the maxilla (cheekbone). Then direct pressure is applied over the temples, with the area being compressed repeatedly in a gentle rhythmic motion.
If you are suffering from nasal congestion, place the thumbs on each side of your nose at the level of the bridge. Apply pressure alternately by each thumb moving down the length of the nose and sweeping laterally along the cheek. Although only one set of the sinuses may produce pain, the entire set of techniques should be performed to assist drainage as all the sinuses may be involved. I have also found osteopathic care to be helpful to many of my patients. I would recommend to those who are seeing an osteopath that they ask their practitioner to teach them the proper techniques for the pressure therapies I just described. To find an osteopathic physician, visit www. osteopathic. org.