Why Does My Back Hurt When I Sneeze?

Some people feel back pain while sneezing. Read our response to “why does my back hurt when I sneeze along with the best treatment options.

Why Does My Back Hurt When I Sneeze?

A simple sneeze can sometimes leave you frozen in place as a sudden spasm of pain grips your back. You may be wondering what the connection is between a sneeze and back pain as you try to make sense of what just happened.

Sometimes the pain is caused by the sudden and awkward movement of a big sneeze. In some cases, a sneeze can cause a painful symptom of a pre-existing muscle or nerve problem in your back.

This article will look at the question, “why does my back hurt when I sneeze”? as well as what you can do to protect your back.

What Can Cause Back Pain When I Sneeze?

The questions: “why does my back hurt when I sneeze”, and what can cause back pain when I sneeze are similar. Now the response below:

A variety of muscle, bone, and nerve problems may be triggered by a violent sneeze or, if they are pre-existing, made worse by a sneeze.

1. Herniated Disc

In between your vertebrae, the stack of bones that make up your spine and surround your spinal cord, are tough, spongy discs. A spinal disc is tough on the outside, but softer inside.

A herniated or ruptured disc occurs when the soft, jelly-like material inside the disc pushes through a hole in the exterior and presses against nearby nerves or the spinal cord itself.

A herniated disc can be treated and doesn’t always cause pain. If you are living with a herniated disc, you may be able to get through your day with little discomfort.

But a sneeze, cough, or other action may cause the inner disc material to push harder against a nerve, sparking a sudden bout of pain.

2. Muscle Strain

A muscle strain, sometimes also called a “pulled muscle,” is a stretch or tear in a muscle. It is usually caused by some kind of activity, like twisting or lifting, or by overexerting your muscles during a workout.

When you have a pulled muscle in your back, it can be painful when you move, bend, or turn your abdomen.

Sneezing can also put pressure on the muscles in your back and cause a spasm of pain. In some cases, a particularly forceful sneeze can actually cause muscle strain.


3. Vertebral Compression Fracture

A vertebral compression fracture (VCF) occurs when part of your vertebra collapses.

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, it’s the most common fracture in people with the bone-thinning condition known as osteoporosis.

For people with severe osteoporosis, a sneeze or simply climbing a few stairs can cause a VCF.

For people with mild or moderate osteoporosis, usually, a fall or other type of trauma is necessary to cause this type of fracture to the vertebrae.

4. Sciatica

Your sciatic nerve is the longest, widest nerve in your body. It runs from your lower spine down through your pelvis, where it branches and continues down each leg.

Damage to the sciatic nerve is called sciatica. It often causes leg pain as well as back pain.

A sudden sneeze can put pressure on this tough, but vulnerable nerve and cause shooting pains and numbness down one or both legs.

When a sneeze causes sciatica symptomsTrusted Source to worsen, it could mean you have a serious herniated disc that requires attention.

Ways to Reduce Back Pain when Coughing or Sneezing

So, if you’re one of the many people who experience back pain when coughing or sneezing, be sure to try the following quick-fix tips:

1. Keep your Back Arched

When most people cough or sneeze, they immediately hunch forward, rounding their back. But this is one of the worst things you can do.

To reduce pressure in the spinal discs and prevent discomfort, make sure your back keeps its natural arch when you cough or sneeze.

2. Rest

Resting your back doesn’t mean staying bed-bound for weeks. It simply means taking time out of the activities that cause or exacerbate your back pain. In fact, too much bed rest may make your back pain worse.

For maximum benefits, don’t lie down for more than a few hours at a time, and never for more than two days.

Stay comfortable and reduce pressure on the discs and muscles by placing a pillow under your knees when lying on your back, or between your knees when lying on your side.

What Happens When We Sneeze?

When the inside of your nose tickles, a message is sent to the sneeze center in your brain. The sneeze center sends signals to the parts of your body that must collaborate to sneeze.

Your chest muscles, diaphragm, abdominals, vocal cords, and throat muscles all work together to allow you to sneeze and expel foreign materials from your nose.

It’s an involuntary action, similar to how you blink when someone puts his hand near your eyes.

What to Do if You Have Back Pain while Sneezing?

Sneezing is an involuntary action that cannot be stopped voluntarily. The simplest way to relieve back pain caused by sneezing is to gently move to a neutral sitting or standing position.

Note the location or site of the pain if it persists after the sneeze. Avoid strenuous physical activities and consult a physiotherapist or doctor if pain persists for several days.


In summary, this article answers the question “why does my back hurt when I sneeze”, by suggesting that pains, in this case, are usually caused by an already existing muscular problem. However, we urge you to kindly share this content on all social media platforms.

CSN Team.

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