After the cold is gone, can the pain linger?
I led Walk With a Doc this weekend for my friend Dr. Lindsay Regehr over at Elite Chiropractic and Wellness. It was cold, but we had a solid group of about 10 intrepid people to come listen and walk around Southmoor Park together! Here is a copy of the talk (which I admit I rushed in the 18-degree weather).
A friend asked me whether you can pull a muscle from coughing. The answer is a resounding, “YES!” Coughing, sneezing, sniffling … these are violent actions that can be hard on your body and use muscles that you don’t normally use with such vigor.
One of the places you might not expect to feel sore after a cold is in your abdomen. Your diaphragm — the muscles that is the most responsible for expanding and contracting your lungs — gets a workout with a lot of coughing, or with those sniffles where you struggle to get your breath. I don’t usually do work on your diaphragm during a regular massage, but I absolutely can work on that area after you’ve had a cold.
You also might be feeling strain between your ribs. The small muscles between your ribs help the diaphragm do its work. When you cough a lot, they also become overworked. This is something a massage therapist also can loosen during a massage. I’ve had two clients in the past week, both of whom have been recovering from colds, complain of rib pain. This is totally normal when you’ve spent a lot of time coughing.
Your neck has probably taken a beating during this time. The muscles along the sides of your neck become overworked during coughing because they attach to your first and second ribs, which move up and down as your rib cage moves up and down and continually shorten as a result. Neck problems can create a cycle of headaches and overall body pain due to their attachment to the spine.