Have you ever coughed or sneezed and experienced sudden back pain?
Most people don’t realize how important their back is for performing basic tasks. Pain in your back can stop you in your tracks. There are times when back pain is due to a simple strain of a muscle and other times when the condition is more ominous. If you have back pain when you cough or sneeze, you should seek the advise of your family physician or set up an appointment with a chiropractor. Our team offers free consultations.
Coughing and sneezing affects the position of your body and can create strain and tension. If you feel lower back pain when you cough or sneeze, you may have weakness in the lower back. Pain in the neck could be from a need for proper alignment. Getting the proper diagnosis leads to the proper treatment.
Main Causes of Low Back Pain
There are several causes for lower back pain when you cough or sneeze. A herniated disc or a disc protrusion, sometimes called a ‘slipped disc‘ is a common cause. The disc is a strong ligament (that holds the bodies of two vertebrae together), containing a gelatinous material called the nucleus pulposus. Think of the disc as a jelly donut where the donut is the fibrous ligament and the jelly is the nucleus pulposus. This ‘jelly’ acts as a shock absorber or cushion to absorb the shock or walking, running, jumping, etc. At the Chiropractic Health Center of Bristol, Dr. Astrid Baldrich has been trained to diagnose and treat, disc problems non-surgically. If, for some reason, you don’t respond to care, our team works with expert neurosurgeons that can perform surgery if absolutely necessary.
Muscle Strains & Sprains
Muscle strains are a frequent cause of lower back pain. A muscle strain is where a the fibers of a muscle or tendon are torn or pulled. Muscle strains are easily treated with ice (initially), rest, and eventually using the muscle with mild stretches and exercises.
A sprain, is actually a mild or severe tearing of the ligaments that attach bone to bone. Sprains are worse than strains, and may take longer than a fractured bone to heal.
Both strains and sprains cause muscle spasms and both can cause lower back pain. Unless we are speaking of a sprain of a disc, low back sprains and strains, generally won’t cause an increase in pain with coughing or sneezing.
What to Do About Lower Back Pain
We know that a muscle may be strained or a disc may be herniated, but it is important to determine what is contributing to the pain in your back.
- It may be time to replace your mattress, which is usually recommended every 5 to 7 years. If your mattress is sagging where you sleep, that’s a clue to replace it.
- Stress is also a reason for pain anywhere in your body, so consider techniques that will help reduce your stress levels. Breathing exercises, exercise, and hobbies can help alleviate some of your stress.
- If you are a computer person, consider using an ergonomic workstation and ensure you have plenty of back support.
- Make sure you are exercising and stretching properly before any activity.
- Use supportive shoes that fit your foot type and consider improving your posture throughout the day as well. You may even benefit from a pair of orthotics that will help support your feet.
- It is also important to stay hydrated throughout the day to ensure your body can function as it needs.
How to Prevent Pain When Coughing or Sneezing
When you are about to sneeze or cough, place one fist over your belly button and the other hand on top of that…push into your belly to prevent your abdomen from pushing out while you cough or sneeze. Keeping your body stabilized during a cough or sneeze, is a way to counteract the increased disc pressure (intrathecal) when you cough and sneeze. DO NOT BEND OVER WHEN YOU COUGH OR SNEEZE.
The chiropractors at the Chiropractic Health Center of Bristol are the low back pain experts. We are trained to specifically diagnose and treat low back pain. A chiropractor is the best option when trying to relieve back pain and not wanting to take medications or have surgery. We also provide tips to help strengthen your back and to help prevent back pain in the future.
To make an appointment, call now at 860-583-4346.