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Cherry Blossoms Vancouver: Pulled your back sneezing over these blossoms?

Updated: Mar 28

Cherry Blossom Sneeze

Cherry blossoms are a sight to behold, but for many Vancouverites, they come with a not-so-pleasant side effect: allergies. As these beautiful blooms paint the city in shades of pink, pollen fills the air, triggering sneezing fits and itchy eyes. However, what most people don't realize is that the force of a sneeze can wreak havoc on your back, neck and shoulders, leading to unexpected discomfort and even injury.

The Sneezing Whiplash When you sneeze, your body undergoes a rapid and forceful contraction of the chest muscles, followed by a sudden release of air. This can cause your body to jerk forward, putting strain on the muscles in your back and shoulders. If you already have muscle tension or weakness, this can be particularly painful.

The Physiotherapist's Perspective Just because the cause of your pain is a little silly, doesn't mean you are alone! During allergy season, physiotherapists in Vancouver see a surge in patients seeking relief from accidentally throwing out their back after a violent sneeze fit. The repetitive strain from sneezing can worsen existing issues or create new ones. To help ease discomfort, physiotherapists may suggest exercises to strengthen the muscles supporting your back and shoulders. They may also recommend techniques to improve your posture and reduce muscle tension.

Don't Sneeze Your Back Out: If you're experiencing back or shoulder pain due to sneezing allergies, don't suffer in silence. Consult with a physiotherapist who can provide the right treatment and care. With their help, you can enjoy the beauty of cherry blossom season in Vancouver without the fear of back pain spoiling the view.

Preventing Back Pain During Cherry Blossom Season:

While enjoying the beauty of cherry blossoms in Vancouver, it's important to take steps to prevent back pain caused by sneezing.

Here are some tips: A strong core can help support your back and reduce the risk of injury when you sneeze. Incorporate exercises such as planks, bridges, and core rotations into your routine.

Practice Good Posture  Maintain proper posture throughout the day to reduce strain on your back. Sit and stand up straight, and avoid slouching. Use Proper Lifting Techniques: When lifting objects, bend your knees and keep your back straight. Avoid twisting your back while lifting. Stay Active: Regular exercise can help keep your muscles strong and flexible, reducing the risk of injury. Incorporate activities such as walking, swimming, or yoga into your routine. Manage Your Allergies: If you suffer from allergies, consult with a healthcare professional to find the best way to manage your symptoms. This may include medication or allergy shots.

What Happens When You Sneeze: When you sneeze, your body goes through a series of rapid movements to expel irritants from your nose. The process begins with a deep breath in, followed by a sudden closure of the vocal cords and a forceful expulsion of air through the nose and mouth. This rapid release of air can cause your body to jerk forward, putting strain on your back, neck and shoulders.

How to Sneeze Safely: To reduce the risk of injuring your back when you sneeze, follow these tips:

Cherry Blossom Sneeze
  1. Lean Forward: When you feel a sneeze coming on, lean forward slightly to reduce the force exerted on your back.

  2. Use a Tissue: Always sneeze into a tissue or your elbow to prevent the spread of germs.

  3. Avoid Suppressing the Sneeze: Trying to suppress a sneeze can increase the pressure in your nasal passages, making the sneeze more forceful. Instead, let the sneeze come out naturally.

  4. Support Your Back: If you have a history of back pain, consider supporting your back with a cushion or pillow when you sneeze to reduce the strain.

By following these tips, you can enjoy cherry blossom season in Vancouver without the fear of throwing out your back.

Too Late, Cherry Blossoms Strike Again

Cherry Blossom Sneeze

If you've already pulled your back, don't worry, you're not alone. It can happen to the best of us, especially during allergy season. Here's what you can do to help alleviate the pain and discomfort:

  1. Rest: Give your back time to heal by avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain.

  2. Apply Ice: Apply an ice pack to the affected area for 15-20 minutes several times a day to reduce inflammation and numb the area.

  3. Take Pain Medication: Over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help reduce pain and inflammation.

  4. Use Heat: After the first 48 hours, you can apply heat to the affected area to relax muscles and increase blood flow.

  5. Stretch and Strengthen: Once the acute pain has subsided, gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can help prevent future injuries.

  6. See a Physiotherapist: If the pain persists or is severe, consider seeing a physiotherapist who can provide targeted treatment and exercises to help you recover.

Remember, it's important to listen to your body and not push through the pain. With proper care and treatment, you can recover from a pulled back and get back to enjoying the beauty of cherry blossom season in Vancouver.

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