Sometimes a cough is a mere annoyance. Other times, it feels as though you can’t stop no matter how much you want. It often leads to pain in our body, especially in the back.

Since we can expect to suffer from 2 to 4 colds every year, it’s useful to learn how to relieve back pain from coughing. This way, you’re prepared no matter how often that common cold comes back.

Listed below are the key tips for back pain relief during an illness. Make sure to check them out to get the help you deserve!

Cough Suppression

The first step you’ll want to take is to find cough suppression medicine. If you’re experiencing a back injury, more coughing will only make it worse. At the very least, it will exacerbate your pain.

The right kind of medicine will prevent you from coughing as much and could even make your cold feel tolerable.

To make this effect more effective, keep high-quality cough drops near you at all times. If you feel a coughing attack coming on, unwrap one right away. It’ll aid you in minimizing that coughing attack so that it doesn’t cause you further pain.

Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is a curse when you’re coping with pain from coughing. Your body continues to ache because the tissue is inflamed and needs help to calm down.

NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, combat your inflammation and ease your current pain levels.

Take care that you don’t take too many of these pain relievers at one time. Follow the instructions on the bottle and track the hours between doses.

If you feel nauseous after taking NSAID meds, try taking them after eating something. This often helps calm the stomach and makes it easier to handle.

Ice and Heat

Another great way to aid in reducing inflammation of the back muscles is to apply an ice pack to the area. The cold temperature helps swelling reduce and relieves pain.

On the other hand, heat can help relax tense muscles. The key thing to remember is that you don’t want to use heat if you sense inflammation. Stick to ice until it goes down.

When in doubt, only use ice during the first few days of your injury. Then switch to heat pads. When using either method, keep them in the affected area for 20 to 25 minutes at a time.


The best cough-suppressing medication can’t prevent you from ever coughing again. If your cold is severe, coughing will happen more than you might like.

If you’re managing pain during a cough, make sure to try and stabilize yourself during a coughing fit. Brace yourself against a table, counter, or headrest. Instead of curling inward, try to arch your back to keep from impacting the injury.

It feels awkward at first, but by focusing on stabilization, you’ll give your injured back the best chance to heal as quickly as possible.


It’s not easy for your body to recover from any kind of illness or injury if you don’t allow it time to rest. If you force your body to continue its normal routine, it’ll use up valuable energy. It’s better to dedicate that energy towards recovery.

Resting also allows your back to heal and aids in pain management.

It’s not always possible to get time off work or to step away from your responsibilities. However, it’s vital to take whatever time you can spare to rest. If necessary, contact a doctor to get a few days off work so that you ensure you recover without any problems.

Lumbar Support

For most back injuries caused by coughing, the lower back is the focus. This is often due to poor lumbar support during day-to-day activities, which the coughing exacerbates.

This is why lower back support plays a large role in dealing with pain from coughing.

A useful tool is a rounded, long, and thickly-padded pillow that’s easy to transport. Look for one that’s recommended by spine doctors to ensure you’re getting the right kind of pillow.

Bring it with you everywhere you can so that you have the support you need at all times. No matter if you’re at work or in bed, support your lower back with this pillow.

This added support will brace your back when you next cough, and will guide the healing process so that it’s as painless as possible.

Gentle Stretches

This step you’ll want to avoid until you’re beginning to feel a little better. Stretching the muscles will help relieve pain and coax the back to heal well.

Don’t push yourself too much too fast. The stretches should be gentle and slow, made with small movements until you heal even more.

If you feel pain from any movement, stop right away. You may only end up hurting yourself more if you try to push through the pain.

Listen to your body and react accordingly. Even a small amount of stretching can make a big difference when done with care.

See a Doctor

If your back injury doesn’t improve at all in a few days, you must seek out a spine specialist. Another reason to book an appointment with a doctor is if you have a severe fever, fainting spells, or the pain is so intense that you can’t function.

If you deal with pain while coughing every time you have a cold, it’s good to bring this up with your doctor as well. There could be some underlying condition affecting you.

Along with a specialized doctor, you’ll work to find the answers and solutions together.

Know How to Relieve Back Pain From Coughing

Learning how to relieve back pain from coughing is a huge asset. When those tips and tricks aren’t enough, or it’s a recurring problem, make sure to seek out a professional spine doctor for help.

The Advanced Spine Center includes top surgeons recognized by the New Jersey Monthly Magazine and more. We specialize in helping our patients with their road to recovery every step of the way.

Contact us to set up an appointment to begin the journey towards a pain-free spine!