Letting out a sneeze can offer instant relief, but sometimes, sneezing continuously or violently could affect other parts of your body, causing back pain and muscle strains. You may be wondering how something that happens in the nasal region can affect your back. Well, here’s the science behind it.
‘Bless your back’
A violent sneeze could cause various forms of muscle, bone and nerve problems, according to Healthline. Getting rid of irritants in your nose and or throat by sneezing could make these problems worse if you already had them.
The health and wellness website explains that inasmuch as the back is made up of strong muscles that support upper body movements such as lifting and sitting, they are quite vulnerable to strains and injuries.
Sudden awkward movements, like a violent sneeze can also trigger back pain that lasts a few seconds or much longer. And it’s not just your back muscles that are at risk. When you sneeze, your diaphragm and intercostal muscles — those in between your ribs — contract to help push air out of your lungs.
Apart from back pain, sneezing forcefully could also strain chest muscles and 'injure ligaments, nerves, and the discs between your vertebrae', Healthline states.
Sneezing best practice
As it is impossible and highly frowned upon to try to suppress a sneeze, there are some things you can do to get the relief you get from sneezing without hurting your back or other muscles in your body. Chiropractors at AICA Jonesboro say you might want to stand on your feet when you feel a sneeze coming rather than sitting or slouching. This, they explain, reduces the impact on your spinal discs.
Some people believe there is an additional benefit to standing, leaning forward, and placing your hands on a solid structure like a table or counter. This further reduces pressure on the spine and back muscles. You can also stand against a wall with a cushion on your lower back.
You might want to see a doctor if the pain gets unbearable after a couple of hours.