//Back pain caused by sneezing? What happened?

Back pain caused by sneezing? What happened?

By |2019-03-12T21:11:45+00:00March 12th, 2019|Causes of Low Back Pain|Comments Off on Back pain caused by sneezing? What happened?

If you have back pain caused by sneezing, have you any idea what happened? As an Edinburgh osteopath and an author of 2 books on low back pain, I can give you a few possibilities… But first, let’s deal with why sneezing can be so hazardous for your lower back.

Why is sneezing so dangerous?

Sneezing involves quite a powerful contraction of your abdominal muscles.   These muscles wrap right round you and connect into your lower back through the thoracolumbar fascia.   The fascia connects to your lumbar muscles and vertebrae.  When you perform a sudden powerful contraction of these muscles, there’s a strong pull on your lower back.  It also increases the compression of the lumbar vertebrae and discs.  If you bend forward suddenly at the same time, you are stretching your lower back AND contracting the muscles suddenly.  NOT a good combination.  And it can certainly lead to back pain caused by sneezing.

What does sneezing damage?

The most common outcome would be a pulled muscle.  This will be instantly painful, and will slowly settle (if you do the right things), over 2-3 weeks.

At the other end of the spectrum, you can prolapse a disc sneezing.  I’ve included a video below on sciatica and sneezing.  It gives a bit more detail on this topic and how that happens by way of a disc prolapse.

There are a number of other possibilities, but these tissues probably account for most back pain caused by sneezing.

How do I avoid back pain caused by sneezing?

Be careful.  When you feel a sneeze coming on, be careful NOT to lean forward as you sneeze.  Do NOT try to stifle a sneeze. This will lead to more strain on your lower back.  If you’re lying down, stay lying down. If you’re sitting up , then try to slide your bottom forward in the seat so that you are slumped.  But maintain some support in the small of your back.  And if you are standing up, do NOT lean forward.  Best to lean back very slightly to sneeze.  Oh, and remember to cover your nose and mouth with a hand, then wash your hands!

If you’d like to see an Edinburgh osteopath about your pain, you can book an appointment online, or just email info@active-x.co.uk.

About the Author:

Clinic Director and Osteopath. Gavin graduated as a Gold Medallist in 1991 and is now a Vice Patron of the British School of Osteopathy. Co-author of “The Back Book” with Gavin Hastings OBE in 1996, he has an MSc in The Clinical Management of Pain from the University of Edinburgh, and is currently working on a new book. He's passionate about helping to move people as far from illness and pain as possible, and in January 2015 set himself the target of helping a million people get a better back.