Exercises and other activities help to reduce the symptoms of nasal polyps. Although severe nasal polyps can be treated through surgery, however, symptoms of mild to moderate nasal polyps can be managed in various ways.
Best Exercises For Nasal Polyps
Nasal polyps are the outgrowths from the lining of the nasal cavity. The condition may be caused due to chronic inflammation due to allergic reaction or infection. The patient with nasal polyps may experience symptoms like nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, recurring sinus infections and snoring. Exercise is one of the important methods to cope with the symptoms of nasal polyps. If the nasal polyps are small, and only mild symptoms are experienced, then the symptoms may be managed without any treatment. This may also include regular exercise. Exercise improves the stamina of the body, boosts the immune system to fight against disease and increases the breathing power of chest and nose. The exercise can be either the cardio exercise or muscle strengthening exercises1. Following are some of the exercises recommended to relieve the symptoms of nasal polyps:
Breathing Exercise. Breathing exercise helps improve the blood circulation to the brain and other body parts. It also helps in reducing the symptoms of sinusitis and nasal congestion. Yoga is well-known for breathing exercises. The name of breathing exercises done through Yoga is known as pranayam2. Bellow breath of bhastrika is the breathing exercise recommended for managing the symptoms of nasal polyps, particularly sinusitis. Sit in a relaxing position. Take a few deep breaths through the nose to relax the body. Now start the below breath by exhaling at high speed in short bursts. Initially, exercise should be done by exhaling 10 times and the number can be increased to 30 within a few days. It is to be noted that this exercise should not be done in pregnancy.
Cardio Exercise. Nasal polyps results in the swelling of the nasal cavity. Cardio exercises help reduce this swelling and inflammation. Cardiovascular exercises result in the release of excess adrenaline that causes the blood vessels to contract3. This mechanism helps in reducing swelling. Cardio exercises include running, brisk walking, cycling, and swimming. Exercise also helps in improving the functioning of the lymphatic system that plays an important role in infection and inflammation.
Muscle Building Exercise. Muscle building exercise generally involves weightlifting, stretching, and yoga. Various Yoga position helps improve the symptoms of nasal polyps. It is to be kept in mind that exercise may not be able to remove nasal polyps but may improve the quality of life by alleviating the symptoms to a greater extent. In a standing forward bend or uttanasana, which helps reduce nasal congestion, the patient may bend on the chair with the feet apart. This position can be maintained for two minutes. Another yoga position for improving nasal polyp symptoms is legs up to the wall pose or viparita Karni, that helps increase the efficacy of chest for increased breathing4.
Best Activities For Nasal Polyps
Apart from the exercise, various other activities can be done to get relieved from the symptoms of nasal polyps. Following are some of those activities:
Saline Rinse. Saline rinse is an effective method for clear up the mucus and alleviates nasal congestion5. Saline solution is in the form of a spray or with the help of Neti pot is used to rinse the nasal cavity. Being a hypertonic solution, the saline solution clears off the mucus and other debris from the nasal cavity.
Steam Inhalation. Steam inhalation may also help in clearing the nasal congestion1. Steam inhalation may be more effective if essential oils such as eucalyptus oil or peppermint oil are used in the water for inhalation.
Balanced Diet. Balanced diet helps to fight against the disease1. It will help in improving immunity and prevents the recurrence of the disease.
Exercise for nasal polyps includes breathing exercises for increased breathing stamina, cardio exercise to reduce swelling and inflammation and muscle strengthening exercise to reduce nasal congestion.
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