Sometimes, back pain can actually caused by chronic coughing. The act of coughing can put a strain on the back and make it contract more than normal. However, when coughing isn't chronic, the pain is most often due to an issue with your back.
Lower back pain can have many causes. Some of the most common causes include:
Herniated disk. Disks are the cushions between the bones in your spine. A herniated disk (or ruptured or slipped disk) occurs when the softer part of the disk pushes out to the harder part.
Muscle strain. A strain can affect a muscle or a tendon. In the back, the muscle or tendon can get pulled, torn, or twisted.
Muscle sprain. A sprain affects the ligaments that connect bones at a joint. With a sprain, the ligaments get stretched or torn.
Muscle spasm. Spasms and cramps happen when a muscle can’t relax after contracting. The spasms can last seconds to over 15 minutes at a time. Sometimes, you can see the muscle twitch. The muscle can also be extra hard or look different than normal.
Reasons your lower back hurts and what to do
There are many reasons why you might have lower back pain when you cough. Some are easy to fix, while others might need medical attention. Here are some common causes of back pain and tips for finding relief:
Replace your mattress If your mattress is over 5 to 7 years old, it maybe be time to replace it. Try a firmer or softer mattress, whichever your back prefers. A sign of an old mattress is sagging in the middle or where you sleep.
Stress relief Stress, whether physical or emotional, often causes bodily stress. If the stress is caused by the coughing itself, try to relax instead of trying to fight the cough. For emotional stress, you can reduce your stress levels with breathing exercises, journaling, and other forms of self-care.
Use support while sitting Many jobs require sitting for long periods of time. When you sit, you may find yourself slightly hunched toward your computer screen or other point of reference. Ideally, before your back feels sore, get up and move around. Even standing can help, as well as having an ergonomic chair and work setup.
When you sit, keep your back against your chair. Your arms should be at a 75- to 90-degree angle when you’re sitting at a desk. Your feet should be flat on the floor. Use a foot rest if your feet can’t reach the floor. Exercise properly Overuse injuries can happen when you exercise too much too quickly, or if you exercise improperly. To avoid overuse, ramp up your physical activity slowly and make sure to use proper techniques and gear.
Improve your posture When you walk, look straight ahead and keep your head balanced above your spine. Don’t droop your shoulders. Step from heel to toe. Certain exercises may help you improve your posture as well.
Warm up and hydrate before exercise Before you do any physical activity, be sure to warm up and stretch. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid exercising in extra hot temperatures. Otherwise, you may experience a muscle spasm that could cause your back to hurt when moving later on, including when coughing. Get properly trained to avoid occupational injury Some jobs require a lot of lifting, bending, pulling, and pushing. If this is true for you, make sure you get properly trained on how to perform these functions in a way that supports your body. Also consider if you can adjust your workstation to ease or avoid strain on your back.
Manage previous back injury If you’ve experienced a back injury in the past, you may be more likely to get another injury. Work with your doctor to keep your back extra healthy. This may include special exercises and knowledge of warning signs.