Can Coughing Cause Pulled Muscles?

Many of us may not be aware that coughing may result in pulling of muscles. Actually, when we cough we put immense amount of strain to the muscles of the body depending on the severity of the coughing spell, especially cough that is hacking and uncontrolled. This causes severe pressure on the muscles during the process of coughing which may result in pulled muscles.

The muscles most likely to get pulled from coughing are the muscles which are already strained due to any other reason but normally it is the chest muscle and the abdominal muscles that get pulled as a result of coughing.

Back muscle can also get pulled due to persistent coughing spells. In some instances when the coughing is extremely severe even the muscle fibers can get torn which can cause severe pain and discomfort due to Muscle Pull from Coughing.

Symptoms of Pulled Muscle from Coughing

Some of the symptoms of Pulled Muscle from Coughing are:

  • Pain and discomfort every time with a cough at the site where the muscle has pulled or strained
  • The severity of the pain tends to vary depending on the severity of the muscle damage
  • Pain and discomfort when the pulled muscles are used for any other activity and tend to worsen with activity
  • The area where the muscle is pulled tend to get swollen and is tender to palpation
  • Having trouble breathing if the chest or abdominal muscles are affected due can be a symptom of pulled muscle from coughing
  • Worsening of pain with bending or twisting

Treatment for Pulled Muscle from Coughing

There are several treatments that one can employ for treating pulled muscle from coughing. Some of which are:

Ice Pack: Applying ice pack is the best way to calm down inflammation and swelling and also soothes the pulled muscle from coughing. One can take few ice cubes in a towel and apply it on the affected area for 15-20 minutes three to four times a day. It should be noted that ice should not be applied directly on the skin as it may cause blisters to develop.

Protection of the Pulled Muscle: Once you identify that you have pulled a muscle from coughing then it becomes prudent to protect the muscle from further damage. In order to do this, the individual has to be careful when moving so as not to aggravate the condition and further damage the muscle.

Rest: It is important to limit bending or twisting activity at least for a couple of weeks to allow the muscle to heal. Resting and staying away from any strenuous activity is the best way to allow the pulled muscles to heal faster.

Treat Cough: In the meantime, the individual needs to take treatment for cough as once the coughing stops the pulled muscles from coughing will automatically receive rest which gives them time to heal quickly.

Compression Wrap: Applying a compression wrap can also allow the inflammation to calm down along with swelling that persists in the area of the muscle pull. If the chest or the abdominal area is affected then a wrap can be applied to the chest and abdominal area. It should be made sure that the wrap is not wrapped too tightly as it may cause difficulty breathing. This can be done till the coughing is under the control so as to allow the pulled muscles from coughing to heal.

Elevation: Elevating the pulled muscle is the best form of treatment but this may not be possible when the chest or the abdominal muscles are pulled. For this, the patient can take a couple of pillows and place them and prep the abdominal or chest part of the body up so that the muscle is allowed to heal. The patient can also try lying on the opposite side of where the muscle is pulled so as to allow the pulled muscles from coughing to recover fast.

Avoidance: There are certain lifestyle habits and activities that one needs to avoid for treating pulled muscle from coughing. The patient needs to avoid any form of running for at least a couple of weeks, stay away from alcohol abuse, avoid applying heat to the pulled muscle, and avoid any kind of massage.

Medications: Apart from taking the steps mentioned above, supplementing it with medications for both cough and muscle pull can help. For the cough the patient can try any over the counter cough syrup or may consult with a physician who can give the best medication depending on the cause of the cough.

Once the cough is treated then the pulled muscle gets adequate rest and recovers sooner. Patient can try NSAIDs in the form of ibuprofen or Tylenol to calm down the pain and inflammation. It is recommended to consult with a physician before embarking on any medications for treatment of pulled muscle from coughing.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: July 13, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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