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Pain when sneezing (back, neck, arms)
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Pain when sneezing (back, neck, arms)

  I am a 24 year old male. I am 5'11" and 255lbs. I am a former football player and experience extreme pain in my neck, shoulders, and arms when ever I sneeze. The pain in my neck is located around my shoulder blades and in my arms it hurts on the top of my fore arm and my bicep, and occasionally on the top part of my hand. It is starting to get extremely painful and I am not sure what I should do or what is causing it. ANY help would be greatly appreciated. I have done several Google searches but with no luck except people with similar problem, but few answers. Thanks in advance.

-tw00
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29 Comments Post a Comment
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387767_tn?1345875627
Is the pain ONLY when you sneeze?  Or do you have pain in these areas other times?  Also, do you exercise or lift weights?  I know that my son, who is 21, had a lot of problems in the neck, shoulder and arm areas from weight lifting.  He had to cut back and use lower weights.

I would say to just check with your doctor.  Maybe you are somehow jerking your head when you sneeze and that hurts you.  You could also try an antihistamine, something like Claritin, to stop the sneezing.
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682891_tn?1226696230
The pain only happens when I sneeze. I use to lift weights, but haven't in about 2 years or so.
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387767_tn?1345875627
Wow, that is strange.  Then I would say try to control the sneezing.  Do you have allergies? Maybe get that checked out.  
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682891_tn?1226696230
Ok, so it looks like its my Radial Nerve ( http://classes.kumc.edu/sah/resources/handkines/nerves/radial.htm ) SO what I am wondering now is do I need to go get this checked on or is it something I just need to deal with, and get over it on my own. I am still young and if I need to do something I would like to do it now so there is less risk, potentially.

Anybody got a suggestion here?

-tw00
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Avatar_n_tn
OK, I turned 25 this last october... I played football for 6 years in school .  I am 5'10" and about 240lbs.. I also have THE EXACT SAME PAIN in my arms/hands/neck when i sneeze.  I have noticed that it has gotten progressively worse since around age 21 or 22... From my searching it seems that everyone with this problem has ONE thin in common, and that is that we all at one time or another played a full contact sport in our teenage years.. The evidence suggests we have all suffered some sort of nerve damage in our spines or base of our skulls... As for a solution, I have tried just about everything to no avail.  The only thing that scares me is that it does seem to be PROGRESSIVE.  So my question is, exactly how severe is this pain going to get?  Will this have any other ill effects as we age?  And, is there any way to cure this?
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620923_tn?1405964489
did ne of u get an MRI of ur brain, cervical spine, thoracic and lumbar spines?.....since u have been involved in a contact sport whenin u could have head butted someone and just the trauma of being tackeled....would suggest somepossibility of some kind of damage to the spine.I would suggest seeing a NS and  getting checked!!

Good luck
Godspeed
"selma"
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Avatar_n_tn
I just recently ended my football career as well.  I am 21 and had been playing small college ball the last two years, but because of back pain and neck pain i decided i wanted to be able to walk and turn my head when i got older, so i hung up the cleats.  I have just in the past few months or so began getting pain in my left arm when i sneeze.  its like a burning, numbing pain and is pretty bad, i almost have to stop whatever im doing for about a minute until it goes away.  this does seem like a trend in football players, and i actually had an mri on my cervical spine, with no disk herniation present.  i do however have a herniated disk in my lumbar spine, but i wouldn't think this could be related.  just thought id add another example to the list.  any more advise?  thanks!

derek
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 37 and I just started experiencing this sever pain when I sneeze. It feels like my veins are going to explode. I never played any sports. I was much thinner 5 years ago at 200lbs and now 40 lbs over weight  at 240lbs. I have bad cholesterol and I am wondering if anyone else has cholesterol problems. Maybe our veins are clogged and when we sneeze extreme pressure push the blood through the veins. The pain could be expanding veins due to a blockage.. Is this a warning of a potential heart attack??
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Avatar_m_tn
I also have the same pain and I it feels like sudden amount of pressure in my veins or arteries throughout my upper body. Lasts for about 15 seconds. I am 43 and about 40 pounds overweight.
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Avatar_m_tn
I came across the same pains today for the first time. Im not over weight never played football i cant stand the game. I dont weight lift im just an average joe. I was fine yesterday and sneezin due to a summer cold but today this sharp pain ripped thru the top part of my spine over my shoulder blades and arms and elbows. Fingers felt limp. after 15-20secs im ok again. Ive tried to stop sneezing before i do but dont seem to work. Will make an appointment with my GP and get him to check me out.

Darren - Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire
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Avatar_n_tn
All i can say is i had a cold for a few day, but even before i had this cold, every time i sneezed. my upper back and lower arns hurt so much that all i want to do a roll up in a ball and hope it will end soon. i study Taekwondo for years, im health, but maybe 26 pounds over weight. I just want it to stop. if there is an answer out there that someone might have other then disc issues or that im holding in my sneeze which im not I would be very happy to hear form U. Im just so tired of the pain that if it wont stop it could effect my job.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am 34 and I too have been experiencing EXTREAME pain when I sneeze. The pain is always in my biceps up into my shoulder and across my chest which then radiates to my trapezoids. I only ever experience this pain when I sneeze, but when I do it is severe enough to stop whatever I am doing so that I can deal with the pain. I like many others I have seen here played football, basketball and spent many more years in martial arts. Further I used to power lift on an extreme level for many years on and off. I haven’t been to the gym in about a year due to continuing education and a L5 injury that never stops nagging. My heart rate and BP are within normal ranges, not great, but definitely not bad. I am probably about 15 to 25 lbs. over weight, nothing extreme. I know pain, I can take pain, my threshold is far greater than most anyone I know, as is normal with guys like us here on this site. Despite this, I must admit that the pain i get from a sneeze worries me greatly. I will visit my doctor soon and try to relay any useful information. Please, anyone, please do the same.
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Avatar_f_tn
Im 27 former football football player ex powerlifter martial arts wrestler. I've had these symptoms for years but in the last week they have gotten so bad i literally fall on my knees when i sneeze. Im probably 20lbs overweight now due to not going to the gym as often. I Hate to say it but im actually afraid to sneeze. I hope we can figure this out
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Avatar_m_tn
I am a 41 year old and played high school and college football. I ended my college career with a bad hit damaging my c3,4 and 5 vertebrae. In my 20's the pain was only in my left arm when I sneezed. My 30's began to expand to shoulders. Now in my 40's the pain shoots thru my entire upper back concentrated most strongly in shoulder, spine and lats. The pain has become almost unbearable when I sneeze, to the point that I literally fall to my knees in agony with large sneezing. Dropping items is common if holding them during a sneeze. It feels like electrical short circuit and bone pain. I am trying find anyone that has similar issues and may have a doctor or specific field of medicine for me to visit. Any reports, books or information would be great.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am an 18 year old guy who has been suffering from the same thing. I played football freshman year in high school but have long since lifted a weight. This pain started about a year ago when I would sneeze. At first it was just a quick, sharp pain around my shoulder and upper arms that would go away after a few minutes. It is now extremely painful! The pain stretches from my shoulders and neck to my waist and even my legs and in my hands too; the pain can last for up to 15 mins. It is so bad I have to stop everything I'm doing to deal with the pain. I even had to pull over once while driving because it was so painful. I don't know what to do  and could really use some answers, can it get any worse?!?
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Avatar_m_tn
Have the same problem. Please read this.
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/arm-pain-after-sneezing.html
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Avatar_m_tn
I am 31 years old. I have this same problem usually when I sneeze. I can't really recall it ever happening on the left side, it is usually on the right side. And also, it does not happen every single time I sneeze. It does happen often though. I played football and wrestled in high school, but I am pretty sure that this problem is not related to that as I have never had a neck, back or upper arm injury. I have broken/severely sprained my right hand four times and one time broke many of the meta tarsals and meta carpals in my right hand in an accident.
My wife seems to think that the problem could be related to clogged arteries, as she was a nurse at one time. I have not been checked out, and am not sure if I will be able to any time soon. If I do get it checked out, I will post on here what I find out.
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Avatar_m_tn
Here is some input from a neurosurgeon that is pretty interesting:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/Don%27t+ignore+back+pain+after+a+sneeze/1/71713.html

I am a medical student with this problem. I think what he explains in the article makes sense, but it probably doesn't explain everyone's pain. In my case, it doesn't involve the distribution of any specific nerves. I am wondering if it could also be caused by vasospasm or a sharp increase in intravascular pressure during the sneeze in people with atherosclerosis.
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1326416_tn?1370930601
The post is about 5 years old. I doubt anyone is monitoring it anymore! I do the same thing sometimes, especially if I have some relevant info. to share. i learned to look for the hourglass next to the name and date, it indicates an older post.
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Avatar_m_tn
also a football player. 22 years old. only injury i can remember having was at a opening kickoff, i always was the fastest one, the first to make contact. i not so sure what happened, but i BELIEVE i put my head down and next i know i was standing next to the coach on the sideline getting instructions on what to do next. also remember snot bubble on the sideline. maybe this helps maybe not. just my 2 cents. hopefully an answer. or cure even lol it hurts to sneeze. oh by the way, this happened freshman year. i played 3 more years after this. without incident (to me anyway =D)
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Avatar_m_tn
Im 32 / male / 180cm / 90kg / 12% BF

Never been over weight.

Played contact sports from about 10 yrs old to 18 yrs old.

Been lifting weights since about 19 yrs old.
On and off every 6 - 12 months.
Havent trained in about 6 months.

I was just googling this as i have the exact same symptoms.

For the last few months, EVERY time i sneeze.
Severe ache / pain in the upper body.
Neck & shoulders down to upper back and chest.
Through upper arms down to hands.

Feels like every muscle has cramped to the point of breakage.

Most of those links above are broken.

If anyone has any input feel free to email me.

Wobzy.***@****
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Avatar_f_tn
You likely have a Chiari Malformation. Have an MRI to rule this out.
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Avatar_f_tn
Chiari Malformation. Get an MRI to rule this out.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am 21 not a sports player but played many diff sports in school, little bit football but.I did play a very hectic life in work and career. I just experienced the Same problem unfortunatel. Today I have a lot of cold and the body is paining extremely bad in the upper side. Just trying to control cold... Any suggestion. What to do?
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Avatar_f_tn
I found this, as I googled "Pain in neck and Shoulder when Sneezing".
This for me is a very new and odd symptom. As you'll here, I'm used to symptoms of things, but this took me by surprise. Although I am with the people above, please get an MRI.
I am not a footballer, and have played limited contact sports. I was a long distance runner and horse rider, well Show Jumper. Gave up the horses when I got pregnant 12 yrs ago. So no "dangerous" sports for me.
Horrendous head pains, flashy lights, sickness. MRI, Chiari 1 Malformation. Had brain surgery twice. Done, dealt with. Woop.
I'm now shaky, immobile, epileptic, in pain all the time etc. I have 2 spinal shunts. They found a Syrinx in my spinal canal after my surgery, which is the cause of my problems, NOT the Chiari. The Chiari was the cause of the head pains, dizzyness and fatigue.  the syrinx is causing all the rest.
Trust me when I say, you do not want to battle this too late! Mine is too late, and for that I am in a sorry state. It was my fault for digging my head in the sand and pretending that the Syrinx wasn't there, and things didn't happen to me for 5 years. But they do, and they don't go away.

I wish you all the best, and truly hope that none of you have Chiari or Syringomyelia :)
Love and Kisses Emma xxx
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Avatar_m_tn
I too have experienced this painful phenomenon on and off over the past couple years.

I am a 25 year old male. I have put on weight over the past couple years and am overweight. I'm not sure that is relevant, but many others have posted this as well. I also was a football player, but only in high school. That would be 7 years ago at the least. I used to lift weights a lot as well, but haven't done that regularly in at least a few years.

It comes and goes, but it just happened a few minutes ago, which prompted a Google search and finding this website. When I sneeze I (sometimes) get excruciating pain that runs through my arms from my shoulders to my wrists. I would pinpoint the pain more specifically to occurring in my joints at the shoulders, elbows and wrists. The pain usually lasts 60 seconds or so and is so bad that it sometimes causes me to cease whatever I am doing and just grit through it. Once gone, it's like it never happened. I ONLY feel this pain immediately after sneezing.

I have searched this before and read somewhere that a slipped disk could be causing this, as the violent action of sneezing causes the spine to compress and could be pinching the disk and therefore a nerve. I am not sure how much truth there is to this, and I have not visited a doctor about this...yet.

-Dusty
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Avatar_m_tn
I played football till i was 21,  a few concussions, and two back surgeries for ruptured discs in my lower back,  i am getting the same radiating pain after sneezing, starts in upper chest then radiates through shoulders down arms and into wrists,  wrists probably hurt the most from it,  I think its most likely caused from a disc still pressing on nerve endings or just damaged nerve endings from multiple surgeries.  I am going to call my neurologist that did my surgeries to inquire I will let you know what he says.
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Avatar_m_tn
Since this is one of the only places on the web that mentions these exact symptoms at the time I'm writing this.

I have similar symptoms. I sneeze and then I have terrible pain around my shoulder/rotator cuff and all the way down my arms that last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. I am also a 25 year old male. Played baseball in HS/Uni, did martial arts, and still lift weights. I am 6'3 240lbs.

I've had some tests done and it may be due to posture and muscle tightness in the upper back and shoulders. I've been doing a lot of foam rolling and trigger point stuff and it helps while I do it. But as soon as I stop it comes back and it seems to get worse.

I don't know if it's the fact that several of the posters had a big drop in activity levels and our muscles and nerves didn't adjust well but I hope someone figures this out soon.
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Avatar_f_tn
Gabapentin relieved my sneezing pain.
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