Sneeze Injuries

You may recall in a recent post about a windsurf session here that I had said my new harness was uncomfortable. This resulted in some bruising and sore ribs.

Harness Injuries

Once off the water that day the soreness increased but still felt just like some strained muscles and bruising. I didn’t sleep too well that night as I just couldn’t get comfortable but the following day things eased up a little. Sleeping was still uncomfortable the second night as well but I got up early so as to get ready to go to work. Whilst sat on the sofa drinking my coffee I sneezed…

Sneeze Injuries

As I sneezed I felt a big popping and clunking at the bottom of my ribs and then complete agony. My entire side then went into spasm and locked me into a position that I couldn’t get out of. Pain levels were off the scale. I managed to text Anna on my phone asking her to come and help me. When she got there I was sweating like mad, pale, clammy and she was thinking of calling an ambulance.

After about half an hour or so of that it did calm down a bit and I regained control and I eventually with Anna’s help managed to get into a slightly more comfortable position on the sofa. That’s where I then stayed for the next couple of days. I was literally unable to move without complete agony. I had to pee into the bottle I use whilst camping and spent the night on the sofa as well. I just couldn’t get up.

I think it was ‘just’ muscle spasms, but maybe there was a dislocated rib as well. Even now, a week later I still can feel a clunking if I try to breathe a little deeper or if I twist or stretch. Now that I can touch it I also feel as though I can pop a ligament or something back into place – but only if I’m brave enough to exert a little bit of pressure. The memory of the agony is still too recent to touch it too much though.

Drugs Galore

As I still couldn’t move the second day after sneezing we did call the NHS 111 and then the GP. The doctors prescribed codeine, paracetamol, naproxen, diazepam, omeprazole and a laxative. Quite a concoction.

Drugs Galore
Drugs Galore

Also of note (and I apologise in advance for this), but I hadn’t had a poo since first injuring my ribs in the windsurf session. That in itself was a little odd as I’m usually a very regular and general poo several times a day. I hadn’t done so for two days before the sneeze so something else was obviously going on before the sneeze anyway.

The pain killers, anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants did start to do their job after a day or two. The diazepam seemed to help me at least sleep for an hour or two as well. I did only take that for two nights though as I didn’t like the sound of the possible side-effects.


I was a little scared to take the laxatives as I couldn’t get off the sofa! The last thing I needed whilst stuck on the sofa unable to move was a laxative – especially seeing as I was now significantly behind my usual toilet schedule! I did start taking them after a while though as the codeine is known for causing constipation as well.


I’m pleased to report that I can now get off the sofa. It was all very tentative to start with and I had to shuffle around the house but after a couple of days of relatively gentle mobility I’m now looking more like my usual self. I didn’t take any of the drugs yesterday and even managed to start doing some DIY around the house. It still hurts if I twist or put any weight on it and I certainly couldn’t do any exercise without discomfort but hopefully it is sorting itself out now. Sleeping is still a little uncomfortable as well. Turning over hurts when lying down however carefully I try to do it.

My toilet habits still aren’t quite back to normal. Actually, that’s a lie, they probably are more ‘normal’ than they ever were but they aren’t quite the same as usual yet.

Who’d have thought that a badly fitting harness and a sneeze could cause so much pain!!!

3 Responses

  1. Avatar forComment Author mum x says:

    I believe it, I didn’t have a badly fitting harness, infact I haven’t got any sort of harness, so it was just a sneeze that did it for me . It is unbelievably painful.
    Don’t rush back to your usual activities too soon .

  1. Thursday, October 29th, 2020

    […] restriction on our holiday was taken up a notch on Thursday last week when I injured my ribs when I sneezed! Following that I was unable to move from the sofa. So, things were downgraded from Malta to Wales, […]

  2. Friday, October 30th, 2020

    […] may have been confined to the sofa for a few days, but I was eventually able to get up very slowly and get to the window to take a look at the […]

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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