Can Sinus Infections Cause Neck and Joint Pain?

By Stephen Chandler, MD |19 November 2021|

If you have ever had a sinus infection, you know that you might feel all kinds of different pains and aches to do with the infection. You might have headaches or you could experience pain behind the eyes. A less common symptom of sinus infections can be neck and jaw pain. This leads to an incorrect diagnosis of the issue in some patients because this symptom is not always associated with sinus conditions.

If you have neck and jaw pain, you might have a sinus infection, and here’s why.

Neck and Jaw Pain Due to Sinus Infection

The sinuses are air-filled spaces inside your skull. These spaces are located behind the forehead and eyebrows, on either side of the bridge of your nose. These spaces are directly in front of the brain. When these cavities get infected or injured, they can cause all kinds of pain and suffering until the infection or injury is corrected.

Sinusitis can also lead to these kinds of discomforts even when an infection is not present. For those who suffer from consistent problems with their sinuses, jaw pain and neck pain are not uncommon symptoms. The roots of the teeth are connected to or located very close to the sinuses in some parts of the skull and this can lead to jaw pain. When jaw pain is present, neck pain can follow.

Always be sure that you do not disregard neck and jaw pain as possible signs of a sinus infection. The sinuses can lead to all kinds of radiating pain and you should not disregard these symptoms as possible identifiers of a sinus condition. Even if you are not experiencing more traditional sinus infections or sinusitis symptoms, you might still have a sinus infection if you are having pain in your neck and jaw.

Sinus neck and jaw pain are usually worse in the morning but they can be uncomfortable all day long. You should be concerned about any pain that does not respond to pain medication as this can be a sign of a very serious condition.

Diagnosis of Sinus Infection

Your doctor will look for tenderness in the nose and face. They will look inside your nose and make their diagnosis based on this physical exam. You might also be asked to come back to the doctor for an endoscopy where a thin flexible tube is used to look at the deeper parts of the sinuses. A CT scan might also be used to help diagnose your condition.

It is possible that you might need to have surgery to correct more serious sinus infections or problems with the sinuses that have led to recurring infections.  Your doctor will be able to verify that your head and neck pain is related to your sinus condition and not to another problem that requires attention. This is an important step to take if you are experiencing symptoms like neck and jaw pain.  These could be signs of a more serious condition than a simple infection.

Dr. Stephen Chandler is a practicing Otolaryngologist in Montgomery, Alabama and Clinical Director of Sandler Scientific, LLC, manufacturer of CompleteRinse®. To schedule a visit with Dr. Chandler call 334-834-7221 Learn more at Complete Rinse is available on Amazon and at