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What to Do for Pain in Neck When Coughing?

What to Do for Pain in Neck When Coughing?

Many people experience pain in their chests when they cough, but your neck can hurt as well. If you experience neck pain when coughing, it’s important to determine the cause. Then you can seek the proper treatment. Find out what causes neck pain when coughing and what you need to do to make the pain stop.

Strained Muscles

It is possible to strain your neck muscles when coughing. If this happens, you will experience pain every time you cough until the strained muscles heal. You need to rest the strained muscles to promote healing. This can be hard to do if you are still coughing, but rest your neck to the best of your ability. Avoid moving your neck as much as possible so that the muscles can rest. During the first few days, ice the injured muscles and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. Your muscles should begin to feel better after a few days. Then you can apply heat to the area to soothe the muscles. Do some light stretching, so blood flows to the muscles.

Cervical Issues

Cervical issues, such as herniated discs, can cause pain when coughing. Cervical problems can lead to compressed and pinched nerves, which cause pain to radiate to different areas of the body, including the neck. You also might experience numbness and tingling in your arms and hands.  A selective nerve root block might be recommended to reduce the pain. Your doctor also might treat you with physical therapy to alleviate the pain. In some cases, surgery might be necessary, but that is the last resort. New York injury doctors prefer treating cervical issues conservatively when possible.


Neck pain when coughing can also be a sign of an illness. Viruses can make muscles sore and achy, and that can make even the smallest cough painful. This problem can get worse if you have a sore throat. Pain from a sore throat can radiate to the neck and become even worse during coughing fits.

It is important to know what type of virus you have to get proper treatment. If it’s simply a common cold, your body will heal on its own. However, if you have the flu, you might need medical attention. The flu can be fatal, so go to a doctor.

Neck pain while coughing can also be a sign that you have meningitis. This is usually accompanied by extreme neck stiffness. You need immediate medical attention if you have meningitis.

Do You Need Treatment for Neck Pain?

If your neck hurts every time you cough and you cannot find an at-home treatment that works, go to the neck injury doctor. Your doctor can use diagnostic tools to determine the cause of the pain. Then you will undergo treatment, so you stop hurting every time you cough. The treatment might include physical therapy and injections, or you might just need an antibiotic to kill a virus. Talk to your doctor to find out what treatment you need for your neck pain.