View Full Version : Sneezing after surgery

06-01-2010, 03:06 PM
Has anyone else noticed it's hard to sneeze after surgery? I'm eight wkd post op and everytime I feel a sneeze coming on I kind of seize up. Then I can't sneeze. This could be mental more than physical because I don't want to strain or hurt anything. Just wondered if anyone else went through this.

06-01-2010, 04:49 PM
Has anyone else noticed it's hard to sneeze after surgery? I'm eight wkd post op and everytime I feel a sneeze coming on I kind of seize up. Then I can't sneeze. This could be mental more than physical because I don't want to strain or hurt anything. Just wondered if anyone else went through this.

Maybe it's because you don't want to sneeze? It wasn't exactly comfortable right after surgery. Sneezing and coughing were torture for me MONTHS after surgery. It felt to me like it put too much pressure on my not-yet-fused spine. Now, more than a year and a half later, whenever I sneeze or cough I don't have any problem at all.

dolores a
06-01-2010, 05:22 PM
Hi Laura, I agree with Debbe, I was afraid to sneeze, cough, laugh when I had my surgery. Even now I just had minor surgery and it hurts to do all that, you just want to try to suppress it because you know it will be uncomfortable

06-01-2010, 07:15 PM
So, does it get better with time? If so, when? Now that you mention it, yawning, laughing, coughing all are strained as is the sneezing.

dolores a
06-01-2010, 07:28 PM
Oh sure it will ease up more and more each day as you heal, I remember the sneezing especially because I had my surgery in June, just in time for allergies, and now with this minor surgery I just had, I'm sneezing from the allergies also, though it does not hurt as bad.

06-01-2010, 07:34 PM
Hey Laura - you described my experience exactly. I feel like I am going to sneeze and i so don't want to, it goes away.
Last year my husband had a heart attack and during his recovery if he had to cough or sneeze he would hold a small pillow hard to his core. That is what I do hold a small pillow to my chest and hold tight and then it takes the pressure off the back. It seems to work. Just have to keep it handy.
I too hope this gets better as the muscles relax.
Hope the rest of your recovery is going well.

06-01-2010, 09:08 PM
Yes, I agree the pillow works. I remember after 6 months I think I had only sneezed a total of 12 or 14 times--I counted. Seems silly now but I was scared of sneezing especially. Janet

06-01-2010, 09:29 PM
Hehe....I held in my sneezes for a while also as it hurt...same thing with laughs and coughs. However I've found that once I stopped trying to fight them and just sucked it up it got easier quickly....to the point where I'm sneezing quite a few times a day due to alergies, and while it doesn't feel normal, it's just minor discomfort and I'm not worried about it anymore.


06-01-2010, 09:59 PM
I couldn't sneeeze at all for weeks...its as if my body knew it wasn't a good idea!

06-01-2010, 10:40 PM
So, snuff is NOT an appropriate convalescent gift after spinal surgery, I gather! :D

Love you guys...

06-02-2010, 03:54 AM
Laura - that's exactly how I feel. It hurts like heck when I sneeze. I'll try the pillow next time like others suggested. Whenever I sneeze it's always followed with an "OW" :)

06-02-2010, 07:22 AM
Hahaha!!! Well, I sure am glad I asked this question about sneezing. At first I thought, "no, these guys will think I am crazy!" But then I remembered who I was talking to....we are all a big family here and the support, advice and encouragement is just amazing! Love you all!!!! By the way...9 weeks ago today was my big date with Dr. Lenke!!! :)

06-02-2010, 10:48 AM
I don't think I sneezed for 6 months after my surgery and I still hardly sneeze at all. The most amazing thing is that my seasonal allergies seem to have completely gone away since the surgery -- I used to get severe attacks of nonstop sneezing once a month or so and now, nothing. Weird, but I'll take it!!!!!!

06-02-2010, 11:21 AM
Yes, the sneezing is tough right after surgery. It does get easier...

"Sneeze-ow" sounds right Lynette.

Reminds me of anti-bark shock collar for dogs. "Woof-ow"... After about 100 "woof-ow's", batteries need replacing.....LOL


06-02-2010, 08:19 PM
Ed - you always make me laugh out loud - you are hilarious!!!

06-03-2010, 10:08 PM
Laura, I didn't want to sneeze, cough, it was hard to laugh and my biggest fear was vomit. Always thinking ahead:eek:. If anyone was sick, I told them not to come by, and if someone did slip in, when they left, the bleach wipes came out.


06-04-2010, 12:05 AM
Every time I sneeze now, I think of - AFTER. It's all a matter of prep. I certainly have to make sure my house is less dusty, and maybe I'll have to get another electrostatic whole house air cleaner . That worked great even when my son's asthma was awful.

06-04-2010, 05:57 PM
Hey Radiogirl....9 weeks? Are you serious? Can't be - wow! Congrats to you!!! I can't believe it!!! Time flies (I wouldn't say it's been fun, though). Although we seemed to have survived - wondered sometimes (okay - many times). Hahaha!!!!! When is your postop appt?

PS: I've sneezed very few times - hurts like the devil, but I just let it go rather than try and fight it. Not sure if that is what I should do or not. Not too many pillows laying around at work at my computer.

06-06-2010, 11:46 PM
I've just realised in past few days that everytime I'm about to sneeze I take a few breaths and it just doesn't happen. Coughing and laughing are very uncomfortable too. It's good to hear everyone else has the same problem..I can't wait to have my first proper sneeze... Hehe

06-07-2010, 08:29 AM
The day after surgery, the Physios came in to my room to commence rehab. One of the first things i had to do was cough and it was not allowed to be a ahem..one, it had to be a real like strong cough. I had to do this hourly X 3 to keep my lungs clear. I actually got used to it - i just made sure that the meds were not wearing off at the time! I must say though, that the sneezing thing, i did exactly what everyone else did - breathe a few times - and then it was gone!

06-07-2010, 09:00 AM
Sneezing is no fun right after spinal surgery! It is weird how when your body senses pain, those sneezes just seem to disappear! I don't think I really sneezed a real sneeze for a few months after surgery.

Before I had my gallbladder out I wasn't able to sneeze - the pain was knifing under my ribs and I just couldn't sneeze it was that painful. For 6 years I didn't sneeze. When I finally got rid of the GB, 2 weeks after surgery I sneezed for the first time and I nearly cried because it felt so good! :D

In time the back pain will subside and your body/muscles will relax enough that you'll be able to sneeze as well as ever!

06-07-2010, 11:36 AM
This might also be related to sneezing. I am 2 1/2 months out from surgery and am having trouble with deep breathing and yawning. I feel like I cant just take a really deep breath. It seems to catch in the area of my osteotomy. I am weaning out of my brace, so I notice every little thing now because my muscles are still oh so weak!

06-08-2010, 10:56 AM
I couldn't sneeze for 3 months post-surgery! I was afraid it would just be too painful and too much force on my fusing spine. 14 months later...no problems.

06-09-2010, 08:45 PM
I am 5 weeks out of surgery and I sneezed tonight and OMG did hurt. I do not know why I forget that I had spinal surgery. I am wearing a brace. I had to hold on to the wall and just stood there for a while until the pain went away