Don’t let Coughs and Sneezes Cause You Pain!



You’re feeling miserable after having the splutters for a few days and low and behold – not only do you feel like poo but now you’ve got some rib, neck and back pain as well! Coughs and sneezes can also reek havoc on our pelvic floors as well. So we get hit by a triple wammy.

So – what can you do to help yourself?

The obvious is not to catch a cold! Take care of yourself – drink and eat well to stay hydrated and keep your immune system strong – eat the right foods to strengthen such as  Vitamin C and have good hygiene practise with hand washing and avoiding those with coughs and colds!

Now – if you’ve already got the dreaded lergy and have had the cough for a while – be aware that constantly coughing and sneezing will cause you to develop poor posture.

We end up :

  • huddled under a blanket hunched shouldered and forward with the  head
  • the chin pokes forward as we cough or sneeze so straining not only our neck but our shoulders and traps
  • our pecs get tight due to that hunched over posture
  • abdominal muscles and rib muscles get sore due to repeated coughs

All this creates a downward force on our pelvic floor which can in turn produce weakness leading ultimately to a bladder issue – and mild bladder leakage.


Help yourself! – Try and correct your posture so you get a stretch going to also counter act the negative effects of the body falling into flexion.

If you have a foam roller – use that – if not use a big beach towel and roll it up lengthways:

Pec stretch palms up


For adding in a hip stretch  – do the same stretch just on the floor with your legs out long to stretch your hip flexors.

Stay in that position and try to just breathe easy – expand the lungs get some air into the depths ( coughs allowing) and get the chest and upper airways working with relaxation of all the accessory muscles that help us breathe.

This will limit the tightening and shortening of muscles so we dont end up in a little ball and minimise the chest back and neck pain we may get with a cold!





About Saree Hewlett (135 Articles)
Saree has 20 + years as a physio, training in the UK and completing her Masters in Manual Therapy in Perth, UWA. She has integrated Pilates into her practise having trained in the Polestar method and currently owns and runs two Studios in Perth's Northern Suburbs. A previous international Artistic Skater she understands the needs of sports people and also those suffering from chronic pain and reduced function - we all want the same thing - to be the best we can be! She is married with two active young boys!

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