Question: I recently had a chest cold and was sneezing rather violently and felt
severe low back pain. Can coughing cause low back problems?
Answer: Coughing involves increasing the intra-thecal pressure within your spine and discs. This means that when you cough a strong yet short increase in the downward pressure on your spinal discs occurs. Under normal circumstances, in a healthy individual, this temporary increase in pressure is not a problem. Pre-existing spinal or disc weakness, instability or degeneration precludes the back to potential irritation even with a simple cough. Many patients don’t realize they have a spinal problem until their cough occurs which initiates their pain or symptoms.
The more violent or persistent a cough, such as days or even weeks of coughing episodes, the more likely a person will aggravate a pre-existing condition. These long-term coughing attacks can wear down the muscles around the diaphragm and back. Spasms can occur from muscle fatigue and create serious back pain even in a formerly healthy individual.
A random cough that gives you severe back pain should be checked out by your chiropractor immediately. Symptoms of back pain are not random occurrences. Symptoms are the final episode and protective mechanism of the body yelling out to get help and pay attention. Ignoring a spinal pain condition can lead to more permanent injury and prevent appropriate care. Your chiropractor can examine you and determine if your pain is secondary to your cough and determine whether the pain is muscular or spine related. Early intervention with gentle specific chiropractic adjustments can help your back pain and may assist you in getting rid of your cough.
Quote of the week: “The most important thing about goals is having one.” –Geoffery Abert