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Arm Pain After Sneezing

Strangely enough, arm pain and sneezing can be linked to each other. Different people experience different types of pain when this happens; some feel pain and loss of sensitivity in their elbow and some have a pain that arcs across their shoulders and down their arm. The arm pain usually doesn't last for longer than a few seconds, but it can sometimes last for minutes and can move down the arm to the fingers.

For some people, the sensation they get after sneezing is a tingling in the chest and arm. For this reason, some people relate the arm pain from sneezing to heart problems. The pain in this case usually stems from the neck and travels down the arm to the fingers, which is similar to the pain experienced due to heart diseases. However, these two conditions are not connected in most cases, as arm pain while sneezing is usually caused by back problems rather than anything to do with the chest.


Medical experts say that arm pain, experienced after or during sneezing, is caused by a trapped nerve in the back, arm or neck. This pain can also possibly be caused by vertebrae dislocation and other problems of the spine. Sneezing can cause an increase in the pressure placed on the displaced vertebrae, affecting the nerves in the arm too, causing the arm pain to occur at the same time as the sneezing.

Certain back and neck injuries can weaken the spinal column. This structural deficiency usually goes unnoticed until a sudden action (like coughing and sneezing) occurs and jostles the affected bones or tendons, causing pain to radiate through the back and shoulders and down the arm.

When we sneeze, the muscles in the upper back tense up. During particularly long bouts of sneezing or during fairly severe sneezes, the muscles can contract intensely and may lead to muscle strain. This in turn causes the muscles to ache as they try to restore themselves and this ache can also radiate to the arms.


Treatment very much depends on the exact cause of the arm pain. For persistent cases of arm pain while sneezing or after sneezing, a doctor may be required to examine the problem and determine the cause. Once the doctor has determined where the pain originates, how often it occurs and how long it lasts, they can make an accurate judgement on the cause and will prescribe an appropriate course of treatment.

Under doctor's supervision, pain relief medication can be taken to alleviate the pain caused by a trapped nerve. Strained muscles or inflammations can be treated with cold or warm compresses. Sufficient rest is also advised to aid the healing process.

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