I need some advice. I have a herniated disk at L4/L5, and I've had it for a long time (since 98, but not definitively diagnosed until 2002). It isn't constant, but it flares up every now and then. My last flare up was in 2002, and I had an ESI injection, and no more flare ups...until this past week.
I was home sick from work for 2 days last week with some sort of respiratory virus. You know, coughing, sneezing, a little achy, typical virus stuff. Well, I think my coughing aggravated the disk again. It's not shooting down my leg (thank God), but my lower back really hurts...especially going from sitting to standing, or turning over in bed. I'm also stiff, especially if I've been in one position too long (sitting or laying down). I can't bend forward at all really. I'm dosing myself on lots of Advil, because my doctor won't prescribe anything until she sees me on Monday, which is the earliest they could get me in. She says this is because I haven't been in since 2002. I told her well, that's because I haven't been sick or had any issues with my back before now. Grrr.
Anyway, I'm curious...this coughing thing has me thinking. God forbid, what if I got an even worse cold, with a really bad cough? How do I protect my disk when I need to cough?? Any advice?
Hi, I asked my chiropractor the same question before I had an operation, and his answer was " pray". I did get more helpful advise, which was to Not be sitting down, to slightly bend my knees to take the pressure and not to lean forward. This caused chaos when I needed to sneeze whilst driving.. I did actually make my back much worse once by sneezing whilst sitting down. I have since had an op, but i still worry when I have a heavy cold.Hope you get more advise. Good luck.
This might sound silly or at times impractical but If I know Im going to sneeze I brace myself using the stabilising muscles ( stomach) and place my back flat against something a wall if at work and I have time or the back of a seat when sitting - sneeing with bulging discs not good news
Just to throw my 2 cents in - I'm five weeks post op 3 level lumbar fusion - I caught the cold that is going thru my family. I have a back brace & I also am either lying down with knees bent, or standing and bracing myself against something. Been coughing & sneezing a lot today- haven't hurt myself yet.
Well done, great way to brace yourself. The other thing I learnt is not to try and block or stop yourself coughing and sneezing Kat, that will only make things worse and prolong the the feeling of "im about to sneeze"
Thanks for all of your suggestions! I'll have to keep them in mind for the future. I guess since it's been so long since I've had issues with my back acting up, I sort of "forgot". I had an ESI in 2002 and luckily, until now, I haven't had any flare ups.
I'll definitely remember to brace myself and tighten my abs if I need to cough or sneeze from now on!!! Hopefully a lesson learned.
A coughing fit is what started mine years ago. My back doctor told me to make sure I didn't bend over when coughing, which makes sense. I try to stand up straight when I cough and although it is hard, it is less severe on the ole back.