Back Hurts When I Sneeze: Causes & Remedies

Why Does My Back Hurts When I Sneeze?

Sneezing is a normal common reflect action, whether it is a response to cold or reaction to a dusty environment, we all sneeze almost every day. But, feeling hurt at your back when you sneeze is rather not normal, however, it is not uncommon. Discover why this happens by taking a minute to go through this article.


Sneezing is the act of eliminating air as a reflex that is caused by an irritation in the nose. Sneezing involves some muscle movements, like the chest muscle, abdominal muscle, and the muscles of the back of your throat. Sometimes, a violent sneeze can give you a sudden spasm of pain in your back and even strain your chest muscles.

The pain you may feel at your back when you sneeze may be because of how sudden and unexpected the sneeze comes, causing your muscles to get tensed. The tension and muscle movement during a sneeze can cause a painful contraction of muscles.

Sometimes, those violent sneezes can cause an injury to your ligaments, nerves, and discs between your vertebrae, leading to the formation of a herniated disc from ongoing wear and tear. The formation of a herniated disc is one major cause of the pain you feel in your back when you sneeze.


Your muscle, bone, and nerves are triggered whenever you sneeze violently, especially. Causes of the hurt you feel at your back when you sneeze can be as a result of any of these factors:

HERNIATED DISC: When the soft jelly-like substance inside the disc is pushed through a hole in the exterior and pressed against nearby nerves or the spinal cord itself, a herniated disc is formed. When a herniated disc is formed, it does not cause any form of pain. When you sneeze, cough, or do anything that would require the inner disc material to press hard against a nerve, you will feel a sudden sharp pain.

MUSCLE STRAIN: This is a tear or stretch in a muscle, also known as “muscle pull”. This condition can cause you pain in your back when you sneeze if the muscle affected is at your back. Sneezing can add pressure to the already stretched or torn muscle, causing a spasm of pain.

SCIATICA: The sciatic nerve is the widest and longest nerve in your body. It extends from your lower spine down through your pelvis and then branches down your legs. Sciatica is the damage done to the sciatic nerve, which caused both back and leg pain. A violet sneeze could send a sharp pain to and legs.

VERTEBRA COMPRESSION FRACTURE: VCF occurs when part of your vertebra collapses. It is common among people with osteoporosis. For people with severe osteoporosis, a sneeze can cause their vertebrae to compress, initiating back pain.


Like we have said, sneezing is a reflex action, so we can’t see it before it happens, nor can we stop ourselves from doing it. You might want to try to hold your sneeze in, probably so that you don’t have to feel the pain that follows. Do not do this, because you might be causing more complications. The simple way to deal with a back that hurts when you sneeze is to try to get yourself to a natural position, whether you are standing or sitting.

The most preferred position is the standing position. The force on your spinal disc is reduced when you are in a standing position. Lay off any strenuous task for the day, and should the pain persist after a day or two, take note of the area where you feel it and report to your doctor or physiotherapist.


There are simple home remedies that you could use to help you with your back pain when you sneeze:

– Ice application: Using ice to ease back pain when you sneeze can be effective. You can do this a few times a day as it helps to reduce inflammation of the area.

– Using heat: After a few days of treating your back with ice, you could try placing a heat pack on your back for 20 minutes. This is so that circulation is improved to help tighten your muscles.

– Maintaining a proper posture: Practicing a good standing and sitting position can help with reducing the pressure or strain on your back. When standing or sitting, try keeping your shoulders back and not rounded forward.

– Using over-the-counter medication: Medications like ibuprofen or naproxen can help you manage the pain and reduce inflammation.

– Mild stretching: You don’t want to do anything too tough so you don’t add more pressure to your muscles, so performing mild and simple stretches like overhead reaches and side bends may help ease your back pain and muscle tension.

– Massaging: Massaging a tense muscle is a way of loosening it up and a study found that massaging could help reduce back pain.

If after you’ve tried all these and pain persists or even gets worse, you should seek medical help immediately.

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