Pulled Muscles from Coughing

Pulled muscles or strains is a muscle injury which causes the muscle fibers to overstretch and tear. Most of us conceive that strains are mostly experienced by athletes only. But, did you know that most of us could suffer from pulled muscles from coughing? Yes, cough is such a strenuous activity which has an impact on the muscles of our body as well. Coughing can especially strain the muscles in the abdomen and the chest, and when it prolongs it can even tear the muscle fibers (very minor though).

Pulled Muscles from Coughing – What are the Symptoms?:

Let us look at the symptoms of coughing with pulled muscles-

  • Upon coughing, one would experience a sharp pain at the site where he/she has pulled the muscle, which is both annoying and discomforting.
  • Depending on the tear that the muscle fibers have suffered, the intensity of the pain would also range from mild to severe.
  • The pain would worsen upon flexing the affected muscles.
  • The region of the pulled muscles would be tender to touch accompanied by swelling and stiffness.
  • In case, the abdominal or the chest muscles have suffered a serious injury, even breathing would become painful. Especially, when the muscles contract, the pain would be excruciating.
  • Chest and abdominal muscles strains caused by coughing can also make it very difficult to bend or twist the body.


Although the term ‘muscle fiber tear’ can sound to be fearsome, treatment at home suffices for healing the problem. For this to happen, you should rest yourself properly. Rest would ensure that the injured muscle fiber does not strain any more, there by giving it a chance to heal quickly.

  • In order to alleviate the swelling caused by the pulled muscles, elevate your abdominal region to heart level by placing a few pillows underneath. Coming in level with the heart would control the swelling.
  • Keep applying ice packs (for not more than 15 minutes) over the region where the strained muscles are. This will keep the inflammation down.
  • Most important of all, you should take steps to control your cough. Seek your doctor’s advice with regards to the best cough suppressant.
  • NSAIDs can be used if the pain becomes really severe.
  • If the symptoms of pulled muscles from coughing do not tend to recede with the above techniques within 2-3 days, then refer to a doctor immediately.

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