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Cranial release for headaches and sinus relief

Do you suffer from headaches or sinus congestion?

Looking for relief?

Talk to your healthcare provider to see if these cranial presses and self massage techniques are appropriate for your specific condition.

Mobilizing the cranial bones allows for the expansion of the skull, allowing the drainage of the sinuses.  This relieves the pressure on the mucous membranes, and the headache resolves. The following demonstrates how to mobilize the cranial bones. Before doing anything from any video or website, be sure to verify with your health care provider (hopefully that is one of chiropractors here at Drummond Chiropractic) to confirm that these stretches and presses are appropriate for your specific condition. 

Cranial press

cranial mobilization for sinus pain

To mobilize the bones of your skull, place your right hand on the front right skull bone (the temporalis bone) and your left hand on your cheekbone (the zygomatic bone, also known as the malar bone; Figure above). Then press your hands toward each other; your right hand presses up and in while your left hand presses down and in. 

This mobilizes the bones that make up the front of your head (the zygomatic, maxillary, temporalis, and other skull bones). This technique often results in the drainage of maxillary and frontal sinuses.

sphenoid bone for sinus relief

To mobilize the bones involving the deeper sinuses in the sphenoid bone, bring your fingers to your temples (Figure above) and press in with the right fingers, then press in with the left. This will wiggle the sphenoid bone (the bone outside of and behind your eyes) as well as release tension in the temporal muscle (which often helps tensions, sinus, and migraine headaches).

You can even try loosening the frontal bone (the bone that makes up your forehead) from the parietal bone (the bone that makes up the back of your skull) by pressing on the top of your head.

To mobilize the bones in the back of your skull and stretch the neck muscles (where tension can refer pain into your skull) place your left hand at the base of your skull on the left side, turn to the right, tuck your chin in, and press back with your head (Figure below). Press forward and up with your left hand to really lengthen the back of your neck. Repeat on the other side. 

Occipital press for sinus relief

Pressing against the back of your head not only stretches and strengthens the muscles in the back of your neck, but it also mobilizes the back skull bone (occipital bone).

This technique, when married with the temporal and zygomatic press (along with other cranial mobilization techniques), often helps relieve headaches (migraines specifically) induced by barometric pressure changes in addition to sinus pain relief. A mobilized skull helps absorb the change of pressure, whereas a rigid skull results in the pressure change compressing the brain and its vessels.

You may find tender spots around the orbits of your eyes.

orbital press for sinus relief

If you do, press on them for three breaths (Figure above), giving yourself a type of acupressure treatment for sinus pain.

You may also find tender spots along your cheeks.

sinus pressure point for sinus relief

If you do, press on them for three breaths (Figure above), giving yourself a type of acupressure treatment for head (sinus) pain. This also moves the cheekbones (zygomatic bone) away from the nasal bones just enough to allow the maxillary sinuses to drain.

Jaw tension can mimic sinus pain.  

Pterygoid muscles are used every time you talk, chew, and swallow (typically thousands of times a day). Combine this with the fact that these muscles are typically never touched, let alone massaged, and you can see why these muscles are very sensitive to touch. Usually massaging these muscles results in the trigger of the tear reflex.

If you are not located here in Bloomington, Indiana, find a healthcare provider like us, who is proficient in massaging pterygoid muscles to see if relaxing these muscles helps your sinus pain. If it does, have your healthcare provider show you how you can massage them yourself.

jaw pain mimicking sinus pain

You can also massage the muscles on the outside of your jawbone (Figure above) to see if it relieves your headache. 

These muscles on the edge of your jaw are called the masseter muscles. Massaging these muscles can also help alleviate a head (sinus) pain. Try simply rubbing the meaty part of the jaw to see if it helps your sinus pain. 

If you find any tender spots along your jawbone (Figure above), see if pressing on them for three breaths helps ease your head pain.

To see a demonstration of a self-massage technique to work on trigger and pressure points on the neck, face, and head, visit my YouTube channel:


If the points continue to be sore, you can repeat this up to three times, several times a day. 

You may experience immediate relief from your sinus pain after working on such pressure points.  Sometimes, it may take a couple of days before you notice the improvement.

Again, if your sinus pain is not responding to your treatment, or if it is worsening in any way, see your healthcare provider (hopefully that is one of us here at Drummond Chiropractic).

Again, you do not have to suffer with sinus pain or congestion.

We can help!

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Drummond Chiropractic, 
Your Sinus and Headache Experts
565 N Walnut St
Bloomington, IN 47404

(812) 336 - 2423

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