We’ve all heard about someone sneezing and hurting their back, and our first question is often, “How did something as small as a sneeze cause back pain?” While some sneezes can be rather violent, they don’t seem like they should be able to cause problems in the spine. However, if a person has osteoporosis in his or her spine, or has lost bone mass in a vertebrae, the motion from a sneeze could be what causes the vertebrae to crack. This break in the vertebrae is called a “compression fracture” and can be problematic for the affected person. At the Colorado Spine Institute (CSI) in Loveland, we can properly diagnose your spinal fracture and help you find the best way to care for your back.

Lower Back Strain

If you’ve been lifting heavy objects around the house, or your job requires you to move large items on a daily basis, you may be suffering from lower back strain. This means the muscles in your back are not as strong as they could be, and there could be tiny tears in the muscles and ligaments that provide support for your spine. When you cough or sneeze, these muscles may spasm or convulse, and the motion could be enough to cause an unstable vertebrae to crack. When that happens, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Our spinal specialists can help you understand what caused the fracture and when you can expect to resume normal physical activities.

Give Yourself Time to Heal

If you suffer a compression fracture following a sneeze or a cough, it’s important to give your body time to heal.
It is possible to treat a spinal fracture with medication and therapy, and in some instances, vertebroplasty may be required. Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that stabilizes a fracture, and could be the key to helping you heal. We’ll explain the entire procedure to you and help you decide if it’s the right course for your spine.

Living with a Fracture

It is possible to live a normal life with a compression fracture, and some are mechanically stable and cause little to no pain. However, it’s important to be aware of what you’re doing and how you’re moving when doing certain activities that put strain on your spine, as they can exacerbate your pain and cause further damage to the affected vertebrae. It’s also important to schedule regular appointments with your spine doctor so that he or she can check your back and see if there have been any changes.

If you’ve been suffering from back pain after a sneeze or a cough, don’t wait to have your spine examined. You may have strained a muscle or cracked a vertebrae, but no matter what is going on, it’s smart to have a certified medical professional examine your back. At our clinic in Loveland, we will make sure you’re comfortable and that you know exactly what’s going on with your spine.

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