Lower Back Pain When Coughing: Causes, Treatments, And More


Have you been experiencing excruciating pain in your lower back while coughing? You might want to get it checked for underlying health conditions. Usually, coughs are not painful as they are only caused by colds and flu. But, when it continues for more than two weeks, then it requires medical attention.

It is necessary to understand both dry and wet coughs are signs of respiratory issues and can be treated with medications and home remedies. But having lower back pain when you are coughing means something serious.

In this blog, we are going to discuss the link between coughing and pain in the lower back, its causes, treatments, and some tips to avoid it. So, if you are someone who is experiencing lower back pain while coughing, or know someone who is then this blog is for you.

What Causes Pain In Your Back During Coughing?

Experiencing back pain is more of a muscle strain, muscle spasm, or soreness in the muscles, not a respiratory issue. Yes, there are times when coughing can make you sore in the chest, ribs, or stomach. But pain in your lower back is on another level of coughing. Here are the possible reasons why your lower back is hurting because of the coughing:

Pain In Your Back During Coughing

Muscle Tension

When you are coughing, your whole body is moving, including your back. You will notice your shoulders and body leaning forward. Therefore, coughing makes your back hurt, so when you cough, you may start to experience back pain.

Intervertebral Disc Herniation

An intervertebral disc herniation is the herniation of one of the soft discs in the bones of the spine. This can be very painful. You may have trouble standing upright, and coughing often makes the pain worse. If you think you have a herniated disc, you should consult your doctor as soon as you need treatment.

Torn Ligaments

A severe cough can sometimes cause the ligaments in your back (tissues that connect joints) to stretch or tear; this is called bone. If your back is swollen or bruised, or if your muscles are tightening on their own (cramping), you may have a fracture.


You may experience back pain due to an injury or accident. This pain will increase its intensity when you cough. If you have back pain, be sure to call your doctor. They will be able to assess the damage and recommend appropriate treatment.

Degenerative Conditions

Degenerative conditions can cause pain in the lower back when coughing. This pain will gradually get worse as the disease progresses.

Degenerative conditions that can cause back pain include:

Nerve and Spinal Cord Disorders

Nerve or spinal cord disorders can cause back pain when coughing. Conditions include:

  • Sciatica
  • Spine stenosis
  • Herniated disc
  • Disc rupture
  • Infections such as osteomyelitis
  • Osteoporosis

Other causes

There are many causes of back pain. Other causes of back pain when coughing include:

Treatment And Tips For Lower Back Pain When Coughing

Here are some treatment options and tips to reduce lower back pain when you are coughing:

Replace Your Mattress

If you have a mattress that is more than 5 to 7 years old, it may be time to replace it. Try a firmer or softer mattress, depending on your back preference. One of the symptoms of an old mattress is sagging in the middle or where you sleep.

Stress Relief

Stress, whether physical or emotional, often causes stress on the body. If stress is caused by the cough itself, try to rest instead of fighting the cough. You can reduce your stress with breathing exercises, writing, and other self-healing techniques.

Use Support When Sitting

Many jobs require sitting for long periods. When you sit down, you may find yourself leaning slightly toward your computer screen. Ideally, get up and move before you start feeling pain in your back. Even standing helps, and there are ergonomic chairs and workstations that you can benefit from.

Supportive Shoes

Your feet support your legs, and your legs support your back. Wearing uncomfortable shoes can hurt your back. When looking for shoes, choose ones with arches, and support and make sure they fit properly. Walk around the store and see how they feel. Check the soles of your shoes for cushioning.

Exercising Correctly

Overuse injuries can occur when you exercise too much or incorrectly. Let the body relax to avoid overuse and remember to use proper technique and equipment. Always warm up and stretch before participating in any activity. Drink sufficient water and try to avoid exercising in extreme heat. Otherwise, you may develop muscle strains that can cause back pain when you move sideways, including coughing.

Get Trained 

Some people have jobs that require a lot of lifting, bending, pulling, and pushing. If this applies to you, make sure you receive proper training on how to perform these exercises in a way that supports your body. Also, consider whether you can adjust your workplace to make things easier or avoid strain on your back.

Past Injuries

If you have had a back injury in the past, you will be more likely to be injured. Work with your doctor to get back to your health. This will include specific exercises and awareness of warning signs.

Other treatments

Other treatments for back pain include and use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, medication, and braces.


Treating your cough and lower back pain can help you live vivaciously and without any medical interference. Try to incorporate exercise, a healthy diet, and sufficient sleep in your routine to avoid underlying health conditions. You can also visit the doctor once a month for a complete check-up to avoid any mishaps.

If you have been experiencing back pain and you suspect one of the mentioned causes can be a part of it, then you should try reaching out to your healthcare provider. Discuss the symptoms and follow the prescribed medicines and dosage to get rid of the pain and cough.

Dr. Jun Ren is a dedicated and experienced registered dietitian and nutritionist who is committed to helping people achieve their health goals through personalized nutrition plans. With a passion for promoting healthy eating habits and preventing chronic diseases, Dr. Ren has been able to assist numerous clients in improving their overall quality of life.

Leave a Comment