A cough is a reflex action in humans as well as animals to clear their breathing track or throat from microbes, fluids, foreign particles, mucus, and fluids. The reflex action ejects the air out of the lungs. If Coughing persists for 3 weeks or more then, the doctor should be consulted as in few cases coughing can lead to further ailments such as back pain rom coughing which require treatment.

Few of the issues that can crop up due to continuous coughing are Headache, excessive sweating, dizziness, and backache.

Causes of Back Pain from Coughing

Causes of Back Pain from Coughing

  • Sudden back pain following coughing is often caused by muscle spasm
  • The cause of back pain that is radiating in lower leg during coughing is either disc bulge or disc herniation.
  • Back pain following coughing that is increased in intensity when individual bends backward is frequently caused by facet joint irritation
  • Rarely backache is caused by ligament tear that happens during coughing.
  • Severe back pain is caused by fracture of vertebra, spinous process or transverse process if individual is suffering with osteoporosis.

A backache is one of the most common issues that can be noticed in people who are suffering from coughing. Regular coughing can cause a lot of strain on your muscles which further leads to back pain from coughing. Coughing causes a lot of pressure on the spinal discs. If the discs are torn, then the pain can be severe. It is advised to seek a doctor if the pain is severe and persists for a long time.

Regular coughing can cause trauma in the bones of the spinal cord leading to back pain. A bad posture can further intensify the pain.

Symptoms of Back Pain from Coughing

Back pain from coughing can be minor in its intensity but still can be very severe in nature. Hence, one must watch out for the symptoms of back pain from coughing and seek professional help for the same. The symptoms of back pain are listed below which will help you identify if you are actually suffering from a back problem or not:

  • Unilateral or bilateral back pain following coughing caused by paravertebral muscle spasm is localize on side of spine.
  • Back pain cause by facet joint irritation or strain during bouts of cough is frequently radiates to back of thigh and buttocks
  • Back pain following coughing may cause tightness and spasms in muscles of lower back, hips, and pelvis.
  • Sudden intense back pain runs down the leg immediately following bouts of coughing suggests possible disc bulge or herniation.
  • Elderly individual suffering with osteoporosis may developed intense back pain following severe coughing because of fracture of vertebra or transverse process.
  • Difficulty in changing postures like standing up or sitting down or lying down
  • Severe pain while standing or sitting for prolonged hours.
  • Burning pain sensation in the lower back that can even lead to numbness.

Diagnosis of Back Pain Cause by Coughing

If you can relate to any of the above-mentioned symptoms, then it you should consult a doctor. The immediate radiological investigational study is necessary to diagnose the cause of pain. Symptoms like tingling, numbness and muscle weakness suggests possible nerve injury and should be evaluated immediately.

Radiological studies-

  • X-Ray
  • CT Scan
  • MRI
  • Treatment of Back Pain Cause by Coughing
  • Rest
  • Heat treatment

Pain Medications- Non-Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 15, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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