Why is going upside down giving me nosebleeds?
October 31, 2021 4:08 PM   Subscribe

YANMD, but perhaps you are someone who does inversions and can shed some light on what is happening during mine? I regularly do headstands as a part of my yoga practice, and after recovering from a cold, I have had nosebleeds the two times I’ve done them since. What might be causing this?

Basically what it says on the tin. I had an awful cold for two weeks that kept me out of my yoga studio, and resumed my yoga practice in studio and at home last week. The first time I attempted a headstand (with good form! Ive been doing these for awhile now with no problems!) post cold I got home and noticed blood on my sports bra; blew my nose and sure enough bloody snot came out.

I chalked this up to my recovering sinuses and decided to wait until I felt 100% better before attempting one again. I do feel better! So today while practicing at home I tried one at the end of my practice. It felt great, but once again when I finished I realized my nose was bleeding.

I can’t recall the last time I had a nosebleed; I’ve never suffered from them regularly. I do however have persnickety sinuses and a history of sinus infections.

Wondering if there is any anatomical explanation for this, or if I ought to be running to my doctor ASAP. Any insights appreciated!
posted by nancynickerson to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
 
Best answer: Being upside-down increases blood pressure in the head, which is not as well designed to be at the bottom as it is at the top of the body. Higher than normal blood pressure sometimes causes small blood vessels to burst. The nasal cavity has plenty of small blood vessels close to the surface. Your cold caused inflammation and irritation in your nose, making the vessels more likely to bleed when you blood pressure goes up.
posted by pipeski at 4:39 PM on October 31, 2021 [1 favorite]


Best answer: pipeski has it, but in addition I would say, no, you don't need to be running to your doctor. Leave the headstands out of your routine for a few weeks before trying it again. Although your cold has abated, it can take some time for all those nasal tissues to get back to normal at the micro level.
posted by beagle at 4:47 PM on October 31, 2021 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Thank you both so much! That makes perfect sense, and I will stay right side up for now; it was a beast of a cold so it’s not surprising that there is still some healing to be done.
posted by nancynickerson at 4:56 PM on October 31, 2021


Also irrigate your nose a bit to help it heal - a saline spray will be enough, or something with ectoin. I don't have to do headstands to get nosebleeds after a bad cold, and both of those help me a lot.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 12:28 AM on November 1, 2021 [1 favorite]


My kid has lots of nose bleeds, particularly when the air is dry she has a cold etc. The doctor recommended over the counter nosedrops based on oil. (Coldistop - a German brand since we live in Europe).
posted by Omnomnom at 4:59 AM on November 1, 2021 [1 favorite]


I use nasacort to help with these issues. It doesn’t have alcohol in it, so it doesn’t dry my nostrils out. Talk to your doc about it.
posted by oceanjesse at 10:22 AM on November 3, 2021


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