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Coughing, sneezing and neck and back pain

Posted by in Neck Pain Causes |

Mark Perren-Jones from the Haven Spa and Health Clinic

I decided to write this article because I had a client in the clinic last week who had ‘put his back out’ the last two times when he was sitting on the toilet. He said that he was sitting there and had the urge to sneeze and as he sneezed he felt a searing pain in his lower back which put him in agony for many days.

I told him that firstly his back was probably rounded or slouched as he sat on the toilet which already strains the ligaments and puts a backwards force on the discs. It’s the same as what happens with the neck vertebra and discs (for more please read “why does my neck hurt?”) when in bad posture. So his ligaments were already straining, his discs were already under strain as well and then he sneezed which put enormous intra abdominal force against the back as well and ‘bang’, his back could take no more.

Heres the secret: when you have to cough or sneeze-adopt good posture (an inward arch in the lower back) and sneeze or cough upwards. This will take the pressure off the discs and you will save your back. A sneeze comes out at 100mph and the saliva can travel 5 feet so remember to cover your mouth!

Now here are some facts about sneezing from that you just have to know!

By the way, if you say the word LAMP or CUCUMBER before you are about to sneeze it can stop you from sneezing.

  • Experts say that you cannot or one is incapable of sneezing while at sleep.  In this stage, certain body neurons and reflexes indicators are not stimulated and therefore cannot send the required signal or signals to the brain;
  • Contrary to the myth that your heart stops beating when you sneeze, a scientific study further shows it actually does not.  The sneezing process does change your blood flow and the rhythm of your heartbeat but does not necessarily stop functioning for a certain amount of time;
  • Various beliefs, superstitious or not, were the root causes why the words “Bless you” is uttered to a person who just sneezed (related article titled “Why do we say Bless You after a sneeze?” dated August 28, 2008);
  • Photic sneezing’s shortened name is the “ACHOO Syndrome” (Autosomal dominant Compelling Helio-Opthalmic Outburst);
  • How fast does a sneeze go? 100 miles per hour;
  • And the spray of either saliva or any other particle that goes with it reaches up to five feet;
  • A sneeze is also triggered when one actually plucks his or her eyebrows.  There are certain nerves located in the face that connects to our nasal nerves that could create an impulse that enables one to sneeze;
  • The person who holds the longest sneezing streak of being able to sneeze almost every minute was England’s Donna Griffiths.  Her usual day was spent entirely on sneezing.  She actually spent the 978 days of her life sneezing;
  • Doctors say that suppressing a sneeze can be dangerous.  It can further lead to problems like facial emphysema and other face and neck related discomforts;
  • You cannot possibly sneeze with your eyes open;
  • Doing some techniques with your nose sometimes do suppress a sneeze; and,
  • Saying “lamp” or “cucumber” repeatedly after sensing a sneeze to be coming, delays or stops it from happening.

And please for sanitation and other “sneezing purposes”, always make it a point to carry a tissue or a hanky.