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Why Does My Lower Back Hurt When I Cough

What Are The Symptoms Of Back Pain

How Coughing Causes Low Back Pain (and what to do about it)

Most people have experienced back pain sometime in their lives. The causes of back pain are numerous some are self-inflicted due to a lifetime of bad habits. Other back pain causes include accidents, muscle strains, and sports injuries. Although the causes may be different, most often they share the same symptoms.

Symptoms of back pain can include:

  • Persistent aching or stiffness anywhere along your spine, from the base of the neck to the tail bone
  • Sharp, localized pain in the neck, upper back, or lower back — especially after lifting heavy objects or engaging in other strenuous activity
  • Chronic ache in the middle or lower back, especially after sitting or standing for extended periods
  • Back pain that radiates from the low back to the buttock, down the back of the thigh, and into the calf and toes
  • Inability to stand straight without having pain or muscle spasms in the lower back

Treatment For Back Pain

If youre based in the London area, we are specialists in treating back and neck pain. We have a range of technology based treatments to help reduce inflammation and heal the problem from the source of the problem. Many solutions given for back pain dont take into account the underlying cause of the problem often poor posture and seek to mask the symptoms. Painkillers and injections are both examples of masking the true underlying problem, and dont take into consideration the patients spinal alignment, which may continue to cause an issue that gets progressively worse over time. At The Mayfair Clinic, our process begins at the initial consultation. A thorough examination, followed by X-rays if required allow us to create a full picture and analytical view of your spine. We look at the angles of your spine, as even a small deviation from normal for a spine angle can cause the spine to degenerate faster and cause problems later in life. You can learn more about how the angles in your spine can be changed on our YouTube video here.

Yes Coughing And Sneezing Can Increase Back Pain

Have you ever coughed or sneezed and experienced sudden back pain?

Most people dont realize how important their back is for performing basic tasks. Pain in your back can stop you in your tracks. There are times when back pain is due to a simple strain of a muscle and other times when the condition is more ominous. If you have back pain when you cough or sneeze, you should seek the advise of your family physician or set up an appointment with a chiropractor. Our team offers free consultations.

Coughing and sneezing affects the position of your body and can create strain and tension. If you feel lower back pain when you cough or sneeze, you may have weakness in the lower back. Pain in the neck could be from a need for proper alignment. Getting the proper diagnosis leads to the proper treatment. Theres another thing that can get worse when you cough and sneeze and thats a rib subluxation. For more information see our article here.

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Back Pain Related To Long Covid

Of the millions of people who have become sick with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, a sub-set have seen their symptoms persist for months with no end in sight.

Pain has been a dominating symptom in Long COVID sufferers, with many becoming disabled and having to give up their jobs because of it.

Back pain had been identified as a symptom of those with Long COVID the long haulers, as some call them back in 2020.

So far there is no specific advice on how to deal with back pain related to COVID-19 compared to any other back pain, and gentle exercise and stretching have been suggested.

The Anatomical Reasons Why

What to Do if Coughing Causes Lower Back Pain

When people cough, we tend to go into flexion. Thats because when you cough, your abdominal muscles engage. These muscles are flexors of the spine.

So when you cough because theres some junk in your lungs, your abs engage to help expel it, and they pull your spine forward into flexion.

Because of this, its not surprising that low back pain from coughing is more likely to be an issue for people with flexion dysfunction and because flexion dysfunction is the most common type of low back pain, coughing is a common aggravator.

Its also an issue for folks with compression dysfunction because any strong muscular contraction in the torso will probably add to the compression forces and cause symptom aggravation.

But if youve got extension dysfunction, a cough might actually give you some relief! As your abdominals fire and pull you into flexion, it can relieve some pressure off your aggravated disc or ligament and may even ease the pain.

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The Reason You Have Back Pain When Coughing And Sneezing

Your back moves when you perform basically any task at all. When you cough or sneeze, there is increased pressure inside the disc which can cause back pain. This is called intradiscal pressure. If you also have pain down your leg, or if the pain in your leg increases when you cough or sneeze, this is a more serious problem. In this case, you should contact our office and we will schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Ready To Address Your Back Pain

The University of Maryland Spine Network can help you put your pain behind you. With convenient locations throughout the state, the UM Spine Network is home to the region’s leading spine surgeons and specialists that can help you identify the source of your pain and put an end to it for good.

Put an end to your back pain. Find a spine specialist near you.

In This Section:

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What Can Cause Back Pain When You Sneeze

A voilent sneeze can trigger a variety of muscle, bone, and nerve problems, like:

Herniated disc

A sneeze, cough, or other action may cause the inner disc material to push against a nerve and spark a sudden pain.

Muscle strain

Sneezing can put excessive pressure on the muscles in your back and cause a spasm of pain.

Vertebral compression fracture

For people with severe osteoporosis, a sneeze or simply climbing a few stairs can cause a VCF.


A sudden sneeze can put pressure on sciatic nerve and cause shooting pain and numbness down to one or both legs.

When Back Pain Requires Immediate Care

Why Do I Have Low Back Pain With Coughing or Sneezing?

A condition called malignant spinal cord compression may develop in some people who have lung cancer that spreads to the spine. These symptoms include worsening back pain, weakness in the legs, and sometimes loss of urinary or bowel control. This is a medical emergency, and immediate treatment is needed to prevent complications such as paralysis.

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Common Causes Of Back Pain When Coughing

In most cases, back pain during coughing that persists with each cough is a sign that there is an underlying problem with the spine being exacerbated by the motion. The best way to address this is to treat the problem with the spine itself. While many issues can cause pain during a cough, there are some specific conditions that are most often linked.

Why Does My Lower Back Hurt When I Lift My Right Leg

Sciatica. Sciatica is pain caused by compression of the sciatic nerve. This is the nerve that runs through your buttocks and down the back of your leg. Sciatica is usually caused by a herniated disc, bone spur, or spinal stenosis compressing part of the sciatic nerve.

What is a positive leg raise test?

The examiner gently raises the patients leg by flexing the hip with the knee in extension, and the test is considered positive when the patient experiences pain along the lower limb in the same distribution of the lower radicular nerve roots .

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What To Do About Lower Back Pain

We know that a muscle may be strained or a disc may be herniated, but it is important to determine what is contributing to the pain in your back.

  • It may be time to replace your mattress, which is usually recommended every 5 to 7 years. If your mattress is sagging where you sleep, thats a clue to replace it.
  • Stress is also a reason for pain anywhere in your body, so consider techniques that will help reduce your stress levels. Breathing exercises, exercise, and hobbies can help alleviate some of your stress.
  • If you are a computer person, consider using an ergonomic workstation and ensure you have plenty of back support.
  • Make sure you are exercising and stretching properly before any activity.
  • Use supportive shoes that fit your foot type and consider improving your posture throughout the day as well. You may even benefit from a pair of orthotics that will help support your feet.
  • It is also important to stay hydrated throughout the day to ensure your body can function as it needs.

Not All Back Pain Is The Same

Lower Back Pain When Coughing: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention

In the US, back pain affects 75 to 85 percent of all adults. And like many of the patients who eventually make their way into Ascent Chiropractic know, getting the correct treatment to alleviate back pain can be a frustrating and challenging task, for both patients and healthcare providers.

Back pain is way too often treated as a single diagnosis. In fact, the term back pain really isnt a diagnosis at all, but rather a description of a symptom. Treating all patients that present with back pain the same is like prescribing antibiotics to every patient with abdominal pain. Just as there are many conditions that lead to abdominal pain, there are many distinct causes of back pain.

If you can identify whats specifically at the root of the problem, you can customize a treatment plan to address the cause instead of simply managing the symptoms. Matching the diagnosis to the treatment plan is crucial to correcting whats causing your back pain.

Unfortunately, accurately diagnosing the root of a musculoskeletal problem is a surprisingly rare skill.

Studies have shown that in 85-90% of cases primary care physicians are unable to identify an exact cause of back pain. More often than not, this results in prescribing painkillers, anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxers to manage the pain, or scheduling a cortisone injection and sending the patient on their way instead of trying to fix the cause of the problem.

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Sedentary Lifestyle And Working From Home

The pandemic has confined many of us to our homes, with millions of us working in cramped conditions not ergonomically designed to ensure healthy backs. Even when people havent had to work at home, they have been less mobile on the whole and many of us have spent more time sitting down than at other times in our life.

A study from Malta of 388 people found that 30% of people had experienced chronic back pain pre-COVID-19 compared with 49% experiencing back pain since COVID-19 emerged, with the majority of the latter claiming that they never experienced back pain before the pandemic.

Its not clear from the research whether the scientists recorded which of the participants had actually ever had COVID-19 or not, but the correlation between more frequent back pain after the start of the pandemic has been seen across the world, from Italy to Brazil.

It is possible the cumulative effect of bad posture and extensive sitting down is finally manifesting in peoples bodies.

How To Prevent Low Back Pain When Coughing Or Sneezing

When you are about to sneeze or cough, it is important to quickly make a fist and put it over your belly button, then place your other open hand over your fist. Push inwards and hold it while you cough or sneeze. This technique increases the intra-abdominal pressure, helping to counteract the increased disc pressure when you cough and sneeze. Do not turn your head when you cough or sneeze, as this may injure the discs in your neck.

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Now Say Goodbye To Back Pain When You Cough

That nagging back pain when you cough, whether it be upper or lower back is often caused by a muscle strain. These muscle strains can come about for a number of reasons: repetitive, awkward movements, poor posture, inactivity, and even the action of coughing.Take care of your back and practice good posture and body mechanics every day to get rid of and prevent further pain and distress.

Meet the AuthorShannon is a nurse practitioner with an array of clinical experience. She is particularly passionate about health promotion and disease prevention. When she’s not nurse practitioner-ing or writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, and yoga. You can check out her blog at

What Is A Disc Prolaps

Coughing and lower back pain

A spinal disc herniation, or herniation of thenucleus pulposus , occurs when part of an intervertebral disc bulgesout it is most commonly seen in the lower back or in the neck . The bulging of the disc causesit to be pushed against the nerve root. The nerve root may becomeirritated or trapped causing problems around the nerve root andresulting in pain that radiates to the leg.

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What Are The Symptoms Acute Bronchitis

The following are the most common symptoms of acute bronchitis. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Back and muscle pain
  • Watery eyes
  • Wheezing

The symptoms of acute bronchitis may look like other conditions or medical problems. Talk with a healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

What To Do If I Have Back Pain While Sneezing

Its difficult to ask to engage your core for every sneeze.

Simple way to do is gently try and get back to a neutral sitting or standing position. If the pain persists beyond the sneeze, take note of where it is. You might also want to take it easy on that day and stay away from vigorous physical activities. See a doctor or physiotherapy for medical help if the symptoms never get better.

As usual, I hope you have learned something from this article that can help you in your life. Feel free to drop us a text if you have questions. Do check out our page!.

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Why Does It Hurt When I Lift My Right Leg

A groin strain is an overstretch or tearing injury to the muscles of the inner thigh or front of the hip. Groin strains make walking, lifting the knee, or moving the leg away from or toward the body difficult and painful. Groin strains can occur from overuse of the muscles, or from a sudden contraction of the muscles.

Why does my back hurt when I extend my leg?

Sciatica refers to back pain caused by a problem with the sciatic nerve. This is a large nerve that runs from the lower back down the back of each leg. When something injures or puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, it can cause pain in the lower back that spreads to the hip, buttocks, and leg.

How do you tell if lower back pain is muscle or disc?

The lower back and neck are the most flexible parts of your spine, and theyre also where most herniated discs occur. While pain in your mid-back may be related to a disc, its more likely caused by muscle strain or other issues. Your symptoms feel worse when you bend or straighten up from a bent position.

How do you get rid of lower back and leg pain?

Alternating heat and ice therapy can provide immediate relief of sciatic nerve pain. Ice can help reduce inflammation, while heat encourages blood flow to the painful area . Heat and ice may also help ease painful muscle spasms that often accompany sciatica.

Why Do I Get Lower Back Pain When Coughing

Erase My Back Pain

One of my Spine Control customers recently emailed me with this question and I wanted to address it because its a common issue for people who are dealing with low back pain.

Its frustrating when youve been making progress and are feeling good, only to have a coughing fit set back your progress and flare up your back pain symptoms.

Before we can really understand the why of this question, weve got to understand that there are different types of back pain with different motions that can exacerbate pain.

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Cold And Heat Therapy

Targeting back problems with temperature-controlled therapy can be effective for a variety of ailments.

Cold therapy, from ice packs to cryotherapy, constricts the blood vessels and contracts the muscles, leading to a reduction in inflammation and associated pain. Applying an ice pack for 15- to 30-minute intervals can not only alleviate existing pain, but also be used as a preventative mechanism.

When muscle knots and spasms are a concern, heat therapy can help by widening the blood vessels and increasing circulation. A heat pack or a warm bath can help the muscles to relax and encourage blood flow and healing of any injured body parts.

Fix Your Posture: Stand Up Straight

Many of us tend to have poor posture for a number of reasons: looking down at our phones constantly, typing at a keyboard all day, or craning our necks.Also sitting for prolonged periods of time puts a lot of strain on the neck and shoulder muscles which leads to decreased circulation and inflammation.Try to keep your spine in good alignment when sitting or standing. And if you are sitting for prolonged periods of time, make sure you get up and move around and stretch a bit at least every hour.

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