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Back Pain (spasm) When I Sneeze Or Cough.

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I experience extreme back pain when I sneeze. I also get some pain when I cough, only not nearly as severe. I can't even laugh the way I normally do.
The sneezes aren't even full sneezes. They seem to be cut short when I then feel extreme pressure and tightness and back pain (spasms). The pain is located at around the middle to upper portion of my back.
I welcome any advice on how I can rid myself of this problem.

Thank you.
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First Helper kdfree
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replied October 10th, 2007
Active User, very eHealthy
What happens when you take a full breath and hold it? Same pain?
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replied July 5th, 2011
i have same pain, INCLUDING when holding breath. it's brutal. any ideas ?
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replied October 10th, 2007
When I inhale deeply and hold my breath everything feels pretty much normal. No pain in other words. I have no pain in my lungs either. Just the feeling of my lungs being full of air. Thank you for your response yogahoneybunny.
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replied October 10th, 2007
Experienced User
Sneezing and coughing always cause me pain when i have a back problem. Im 6'3 with bad posture so it happens a few times a year. I also notice that breathing in doesnt make it hurt...just quick actions like those listed.

"I experience" needs clarification. Is this %100 of the time? Your whole life? Since you tried moving an 800lb pallet without a jack(lol thats what i did). Give us some more info on how long this has been going on and think hard about anything you have done out of the norm recently.

If this is a life long issue go to zee doctor. If it is recent:

Spend time on your back. Put a pillow underneath your knees so they are slightly bent. Ice is good only if you are treating something recent..like hours or a day after. Warmth is good to help relieve the tension in the muscles, but BAD after a recent trauma. If a vertebrae is out, the muscles around it are not having a good time and are very aggravated. Try to only sit in normal hard wood chairs and press your back against it. Dont let yourself slump over.

My Aunt is a chiropractor for a pro baseball team and thats what she told me to do after I started having back pain. So yeah... I have more tips but need more info.
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replied October 11th, 2007
Thanks for your response WShep.
I have had the problem for about 3 months. It did not start off this bad. I was thinking that I injured myself by suppressing my sneeze (I did suppress my sneeze a few months ago). I can't think of any other reason why I have this problem. Thanks again.
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replied October 11th, 2007
Experienced User
OK so now we have a time frame. I am not a doctor and all this information is provided on a purely informal basis and is not meant to diagnose or treat any specific illness. Always consult a doctor before listening to me Very Happy

You are in the warmth phase of things. Long showers, massages, heat pads, LIGHT stretching, zero impact activities(swimming) or anything that promotes blood flow without causing you pain. For moments of intense pain or for times that it affect your day to day routine, try Ibuprofen. Its been a while so start small and see if it helps IE 100MG, take with food.

Find a local chiropractor that is accepting new patients. Go in for only an exam. I can get one for about $40 which is cheaper than going to a doc if you dont have insurance. Or if you are familiar with the practice, go in and see about getting an adjustment. Signs of a problem will be very easy for them to see. To go the extra mile, keep a journal and try to note the time/activities that cause it to flare up.
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replied October 12th, 2007
Thank you very much for your advice. I did try a hot bath with epsoms and happened to catch a sneeze after I was out awhile. The pain seemed a lot less and I am hoping that the heat did some good. I will keep up with the hot baths (something I never do--I'm strickly a shower guy)and let you know how it goes. Thanks again.
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replied March 7th, 2010
Sneezing and back spazms
I have terrible lower back spasma when I sneeze. Since it is impossible to just stop sneezing what would be the best position - standing and best position sitting / laying down to minimize the spasm?
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replied March 7th, 2010
Extremely eHealthy
hi smuga
have you been evaluated by a dr yet?
avoid being in bent or twisted position when you sneeze....if you are then stifle the sneeze.....pete
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replied March 7th, 2010
How do I "stifle" the sneeze?
Yes I have ruptured L4 and L5
Spazms are on left side only.
Morrning ones are the worst.
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replied March 8th, 2010
Extremely eHealthy
hi
when you feel the sneeze coming hold your breath and squeeze your nose shut....it takes a little practice. oh if you can bend knees a bit there will be less strain....pete
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replied July 9th, 2011
Hi all,

I have had back pain for over 10 years, on and off. There are functional issues going on but I will skip all those unnecessary details.

Sneezing and coughing are very forceful events. Just ask Sammy Sosa, a professional athlete who put his back out sneezing. Those things have put my back out too so for anyone susceptible, it is pretty brutal. It is because when we sneeze or cough, the natural motion is to move your head/upper body forward at a very fast rate of speed, which then transfers the force into the lower part of the upper body (i.e., low back).

You should get a complete physical and address the underlying issues (stretching, massage, chiro adjustment, etc.) but here are two effective tricks that I have found in helping this:

First, when about to sneeze/cough, brace yourself. Hold on to desk, wall, whatever. If sitting down, which is the worst position to cough/sneeze if you have a back problem, put both hands or at least on hand on your thigh and brace yourself. This will reduce the motion of your upper part of your body from moving too fast and too far forward.

Second, which is the MOST effective way and doesn't even cause any pain, is stand up, and sneeze UPWARD. That is right. Lean a little back and look up and sneeze. What that does is move your upper body BACKWARDS force, which then puts stress on your ABS, not lower back. Through MANY years of trial and error, I have found this to be the most painless way. Give it a shot and let me know what you think. Best,
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replied September 5th, 2012
back pain when sneezing
Have had this back problem now for about 6 months ( I'm probably guessing after I quickly put on 10-12kgs in the first 2 months) with sharp lumbar back pain when sneezing. Been holding out for some time but just came back from the doc who gave me Indocid to start with. hope this works (??). going back for a review in the next couple of days. hoping to seek a good chiropractor next.
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replied March 5th, 2013
Thank you so much to all those who have given tips here. I am having severe lower back pain for over a month now. I went to the chiropractor, had 5 Ayurvedic massages, and it has gotten better but still painful.

Lately I got flu, and the sneezing put my back to worst shape. While sneezing it is extremely painful and the pain doesn't go after that.

I am going to follow the tips here.

Thanks a lot everyone. Hope we all feel better and are relieved of the pain completely.
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replied April 29th, 2013
HELP!!!!! SHARP BACK PAIN
Hi all,

Having read some of the feedback here I wondered if someone could help? I have a sharp pain in the middle of my back to on the left. I am 6ft3 with poor posture. I too am experiencing sharp pain when I sneeze or cough hard. A light cough, or deep breathing does not cause any pain at all. I have been to the osteopath a number of times but this hasn't resolved the issue.

I did think i may have fractured a rib but have not had any impacts or knocks to my back so its unlikely but the sneezing hurts like a fractured rib would. Any ideas what this could be and how i can get rid of it as nothing seems to be working?
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