While lower back pain is often attributed to activities such as maintaining poor posture, lifting a heavy object, and falling, even a hard sneeze or coughing can bring on back pain by straining or pulling a muscle in your back. Fortunately, a chiropractor offers treatment options that can help ease the back discomfort that sneezing can induce or make worse.
If you already suffer from joint problems or a joint injury, such as a slipped disc, sneezing or coughing can cause severe pain in your lower back. The forward jerk that a sudden, hard sneeze can cause puts added strain on the muscles in your lower back, making a back problem you already have even worse. The pain you feel following a sneeze may be short-lived or prolonged. If pain continues or becomes severe, you may need to see a health care professional for treatment.
Other Symptoms That Can Occur
Activities that strain muscles in the back can lead to lower back strain, causing pain not only in your lower back but also in your shoulders, chest, and buttocks. Since the muscles in your lower back are connected to nerves that run throughout the body, you also may experience pain in your thighs and groin area when you sneeze or cough.
What a Chiropractor Can Do
A chiropractor generally manipulates joints to decrease muscle tension and spasms, allowing you to move more naturally without experiencing pain. Manual manipulation may involve the use of thrusting movements of varying speed and force to loosen tight tissues surrounding an inflamed or injured joint. Your chiropractor also may use a manipulation technique to move misaligned vertebrae of the spine back into position. Massage is another option for easing back pain and discomfort. It involves applying manual pressure to muscle tissue.
In addition to manipulation of the spine, a chiropractor may develop an exercise program to help you improve your posture, increase lower back flexibility, and regain range of motion in your lower back. Simple stretches reduce tightness and stiffness that muscle spasms can cause. When these spasms restrict your ability to move painlessly, you can do stretching exercises relax the muscles, increase blood flow to the area, and help strengthen the spine.
The exercises prescribed by the chiropractor may also focus on improving core strength and strength in your lower limbs. Since your core muscles support the weight of your body, weak abdominal muscles contribute to muscle strain and back pain. That's because your back muscles have to work harder to support your spine.
Your chiropractor may recommend that you press up against a pillow for added support when you sneeze or cough, as sudden, increased pressure in the spinal discs can cause back pain, especially if you have a herniated disc. Turning your entire body and not just your neck when you sneeze also reduces the risk of injuring your back muscles or vertebral joints from quickly twisting your neck to the side when you feel a sneeze coming on.
Contact a professional like Dr Rick J Jaminet PC to see if they have any more ideas about dealing with lower back pain.