When you cough, do you ever feel a sharp pain in your back? Do you know why it’s happening? As you cough, you may notice an acute pain in one or more areas of your back: the upper back between your shoulders, the middle back, or the lower back. Is all of this pain going to be treated the same?
Maybe. Or, maybe not. There could be many factors involved since we have so many different parts in our backs (muscles, nerves, spine, lungs, kidneys, and more).
REASONS FOR THE WORSE LOWER BACK PAIN WHILE COUGHING
- Let’s look at a little bit of research over here. Our back contains our spine, whose vertebrae are divided into seven in our neck, twelve in our upper back, and five in our lower back. Each of our middle vertebrae has a set of twelve ribs attached by ligaments and joints. It is known as the “costovertebral joint” because it connects the vertebrae with the rib. Further, the upper back muscles are linked to the ribs.
- When the upper back muscles contract forcefully (while coughing), they can cause excessive pressure to the spine and ribs. It causes pain in the back that gets worse when you cough, sneeze or laugh.
- Back pain can be caused by increased pressure in the spinal canal caused by a forceful cough or sneeze since your back muscles hold your spine in place. This discomfort can even be caused by yawning, overextending, and laughing.
- Repeated coughing, as a result, strains your muscles. In some cases, severe, forceful coughing can cause small hernias or even fractured ribs. But that is a rare occurrence. Muscles are usually responsible for back pain caused by coughing.
WHY DOES COUGH LEADS TO BACK PAIN?
Coughing is a way to expel mucus, dust, smoke, or other unwanted substances from the lungs. By coughing, your body pushes air out of your lungs to help eliminate those irritants. A hard cough, for example, could cause you to end up with pain when you breathe, move, or cough again. As a result, you feel pain in your back when you cough.
CAUSES OF BACK PAIN WHEN COUGHING:
Back pain can be caused by quite a few different factors when coughing. Find out how to determine when to visit a doctor by looking at these four common causes.
~ MUSCULAR STRAIN: As you cough, your entire body moves, including your back – your shoulders may hunch up, and you may start leaning forwards. As a result, coughing can strain your back, resulting in lower back pain. In addition to taking NSAIDs, resting your back for one or two days, avoiding positions and postures that aggravate the pain, and using a cloth-covered ice pack, you can promote recovery. However, if the symptoms do not subside within 4–6 weeks, they should consult their doctor.
~ SLIPPED DISC: Herniated or slipped discs are caused by a bulge of soft tissue between the bones in your spine. Occasionally, disk herniation can cause tingling and numbness down the legs and in the lower back. When a disk herniation is severe, indulgence can occur both in the bowels and the bladder. It is often excruciating – you may not be able to stand up straight – and coughing usually makes it worse.
~ TORN LIGAMENT: Sprains can sometimes be caused by a bad cough that causes a ligament (tissue that connects joints) in your back to stretch or tear. A sprain can cause your back to become swollen or bruised or your muscles to tighten on their own (cramp).
~ MUSCLE SPASM: Coughing may cause the muscles in your back to tighten and not relax. Muscle spasms or cramps cause this condition.
PRECAUTIONS FOR LOWER BACK PAIN CAUSED BY COUGHING
Take the appropriate precautions when you cough or sneeze can prevent lower back pain. Here are some tips to consider:
- Maintain a straight back. Instinctively, many people hunch forward while coughing or sneezing. Due to this, disc pressure inside the spine increases significantly. So, if you’re coughing or sneezing, take care to keep your back in its natural arch.
- To decrease the compressive effect on the spine, you could also place your hand on a firm, flat surface while coughing or sneezing.
Here are some more ways to reduce back pain when coughing or sneezing:
- Take rest – Resting your back does not mean staying in bed for weeks. By this, it simply means avoiding the activities that cause or intensify your back pain. You may experience worse back pain from too much bed rest. If you want to get the best results, don’t lie down for more than a few hours at a time.
- Maintain an active lifestyle– People suffering from lower back pain are the most likely to benefit from staying as active as possible. Active living keeps muscles, ligaments, and tendons strong and healthy due to increased blood flow. People suffering from back pain should consider walking and swimming as great exercises. In addition, you can do much great yoga poses to stretch your back muscles, such as the half-pigeon or legs up the wall.
- Maintain a healthy weight- Overweight people are more likely to suffer from back pain. It makes sense if you think about it; carrying weight around makes your muscles weak and strained. The reason is that additional pressure is placed on spinal discs, muscles, and ligaments. Adding regular coughing and sneezing to the mix causes chronic back pain. The loss of excess pounds could make a significant difference in your back pain and overall health. To achieve this, exercise regularly and eat a balanced and portion-controlled diet.
- Lumbar Chair Support- In the lower spine, the lumbar region is naturally curved. Lower back pain occurs when the lumbar is pushed forward, frequently done when coughing and sneezing. To prevent long-term back pain, you can use lumbar chair support. By using these cushions, you minimize strain on your lower back and potential pain and stiffness. It may even correct your poor posture, which may be the cause of your back pain, with long-term use.
- Cold therapy- It has long been known that ice can ease inflammation and pain. Cryotherapy, or cold treatment, constricts the blood vessels and contracts the muscles to reduce swelling and pain signals. After coughing, sneezing, or physical activity, you can ice your back when it’s actively hurting. The back will obtain the best results by applying an ice pack for fifteen to thirty minutes at a time.
The two most common causes of back pain:
1. Unsupportive mattress: You should probably replace your mattress if it’s older than five to seven years. Depending on how firm or soft you want your mattress to be, you should choose the right one. To keep your back strong and pain-free, it is imperative to sleep well at night. Having an old and unsupportive mattress can lead to back pain due to the inability to align your spine while you sleep. If you are not getting enough sleep, then there can be a negative impact on how you feel during the day.
2. Stress relief: Bodily stress is often caused by emotional or physical stress. The coughing itself can cause stress, so relax instead of worrying about it. As a result of stress and anxiety, many people become sedentary, practice lousy posture, and do not eat healthfully in ways that affect their back health. If you have emotional stress, try to reduce your stress levels by practicing breathing exercises, journaling, and other forms of self-care.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT LOWER BACK PAIN WHILE COUGHING
ANS. While coughing, muscle contractions cause pressure in the spine and rib cage. Cough led to lower back pain.
ANS. Yes, as many people hunch forward during coughing. So, disc pressure inside the spine increases significantly, which leads to lower back pain.
ANS. No, as the kidney pain is more profound and more painful. The kidney cause pain in the sides of the upper back.
To relieve and prevent further pain and distress, we recommend taking good care of your backs, practicing good posture, and practicing good body mechanics daily. In case you don’t experience any improvement within two weeks, make sure to see your doctor. For instance, if you suffer from numbness, weakness in your legs, or bowel or bladder problems on a long-term basis. Then, you should seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of these symptoms.
In addition, if you have chronic coughing, you should see your doctor. Understanding and treating the cause of your cough can reduce discomfort and improve your overall health.