Leg weakness is not a typical sinus infection symptom. However, people may experience general fatigue or weakness.

Leg weakness with a sinus infection may also be a sign of another underlying condition.

This article explores whether leg weakness can occur due to a sinus infection and other symptoms of a sinus infection. It also discusses treatments and when to consult a doctor.

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Leg weakness is not a recognized common symptom of a sinus infection. However, these infections can cause fatigue and general weakness. Fatigue can make a person experience tiredness, low energy, and weakness throughout their body.

In some cases, leg weakness or numbness with a sinus infection may indicate an underlying condition.

For example, a 2016 case report notes that a 69-year-old female with chronic sinusitis and asthma presented with weakness and numbness in the legs.

Doctors diagnosed Churg-Strauss syndrome, a rare condition involving vasculitis, which is an inflammation of the blood vessels. More recently, healthcare professionals have been calling this syndrome eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis.

Another condition that can cause both a sinus infection and leg weakness is granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA). Health experts previously called this condition Wegener’s granulomatosis.

GPA is a rare type of blood vessel disease that causes inflammation of the body’s small and medium blood vessels. This can damage the sinuses, lungs, kidneys, and other parts of the body.

GPA can lead to fatigue, numbness, and a loss of movement in the limbs. People may also experience joint and muscle pain. Around 90% of cases of GPA will involve an upper respiratory tract issue, such as sinusitis.

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is another condition that can cause weakness in the legs. A 2020 article notes that GBS has associations with viral illnesses and can cause progressive paralysis.

If a sinus infection is the cause of leg weakness, treating the infection may help resolve it.

Treatment for sinusitis may include the following:

  • applying a warm compress to the forehead and nose area to relieve sinus pressure
  • using a saline nasal spray or decongestant
  • breathing in steam from a shower or bowl of hot water
  • using pain-relief medications
  • taking antibiotics, if necessary

If an underlying condition is causing sinusitis and leg weakness, treatment will depend on the cause. For example, if vasculitis is responsible, treatment can include certain medications. Depending on the severity of vasculitis, medications may include:

  • over-the-counter pain medication
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines
  • corticosteroids
  • immunomodulators
  • immunosuppressives

In some cases, people may require medical procedures, or in rare cases, surgery, to treat vasculitis.

Symptoms of a sinus infection can include:

  • runny or stuffy nose
  • pain or pressure in the face
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • mucus, which drips down the throat
  • bad breath

If people have weakness in their legs with a sinus infection, it is best to contact a doctor. A doctor can check for any underlying health conditions causing symptoms.

People will need to consult a healthcare professional about a sinus infection if they have the following:

  • severe facial pain or headache
  • symptoms that improve but then worsen
  • symptoms that last for longer than 10 days with no improvement
  • a fever lasting more than 3–4 days
  • any severe or concerning symptoms
  • multiple sinus infections in the last year

The following are answers to common questions about sinusitis and leg weakness.

Can a sinus infection cause body weakness?

A sinus infection can cause fatigue as the body works to fight off the infection. This can make people feel weakness throughout the body.

Can a sinus infection cause neuropathy?

A 2021 case report details a rare case of neuropathy due to mild sinusitis. The sinus infection affected the maxillary nerve, which forms part of the trigeminal nerve, one of the cranial nerves in the brain. The person experienced facial pain and tingling sensations.

Can sinusitis cause muscle fatigue?

Sinusitis may cause general fatigue, but there is little mention of muscle fatigue due to a sinus infection.

Can sinus infection cause joint and muscle pain?

A sinus infection most commonly occurs due to a virus. Viral infections can cause pain throughout the body, including joint and muscle pain.

People may feel fatigue, weakness, and general body aches and pains with a sinus infection. These symptoms occur as the body works to fight off the infection.

Leg weakness is not a common symptom of sinusitis. Therefore, it is best to consult a doctor if people experience any numbness, weakness, tingling, or pain in the legs alongside a sinus infection.