Coughing Causes Side-Stitch and Back Pain

This past week I’ve been dealing with allergies, sinuses, a post-nasal drip, and a HORRIBLE cough.  All the coughing has caused the muscles in-between my ribs to rapidly expand and contract, causing spasms all along my back and rib cage. Fortunately, this is easy enough to fix.

It may not seem logical, but there are spasms that are on the front of your body that causes a strip of pain right across the center of your back, and also your low back.  When you’re coughing like I have been doing this week, spasms form in the front, as I said, between your ribs.  Click on this link so you can see the charts and the referred area of pain, and then I’m going to explain how to self-treat these spasms.  TP Chart mid and low back1

I was having pain across the middle of the back and this morning so I checked, and sure enough, there was a spasm exactly where the red circle is located at the rectus obdominis.  There are other points in the same general area, and they will help you if you are feeling a side-stitch pain, which feels like someone is pushing a needle in between your ribs every time you breath in.

Slide your two fingers along the muscle between your ribs.  Start up toward your underarm area and press as you gradually slide toward your midline.   You may find several spasms. If you press in and it doesn’t hurt, there isn’t a spasm.  If you press in and it does hurt (you may even feel a bump), you’ve found a spasm.  Just hold the pressure for 30 seconds and then take a deep breath (which will stretch the muscle fibers).  Continue with your normal stretching routine.  If you don’t have a normal stretching routine, take a look at TriggerPoint Yoga, you’ll love it!

This simple treatment helped me today, and it’s helped a lot of people who have side-stitch pain, especially runners, or any endurance athlete.  If you know either an endurance athlete, or someone who has been suffering from bronchitis or a bad cough, please share this blog with him/her, it will really make a difference.

Wishing you well,



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