Coughing: Can Myotherapy Fix a Chronic Cough

Well I bet you thought treatment for coughing was out of the scope of Myotherapy. Think again!

Coughing is a reflex.

Coughing is a reflex that involves skeletal muscles everywhere. In your neck, back, throat, abdomen. Is it that surprising that manipulating these muscles might reduce and often resolve the symptom of chronic coughing?

A chronic cough story.

Edith gets a cold. Coughing and sneezing for all of June. Finally after enough rest and daytime television the body beats the virus and she can get back to life.


Although the illness has resolved there is no virus active. Although she feels strong and alert again, she is still coughing.

It will pass she says to herself.

Three weeks later. Still coughing frequently. Back to the doctor. The doctor confirms what they both knew. There is no virus. There is no reason for this cough. He has no answers except to suggest it might be asthma? Asthma has not been a problem in the past, why start now?

Three months later…

Still coughing.

What is happening?

I have heard this story many times.

I have solved this residual cough symptom many times.

As I said at the start, skeletal muscles around the body assist in the coughing reflex. In some cases one or more of these muscles can develop a restriction that stays. The restriction is most likely a reflex that the brain is telling the muscles to perform but we won’t get technical here. Restrictions of this nature do not cause stiffness or pain, they upset function. The natural coughing reflex that these muscles assist with remains jammed on. Science is yet to explain exactly how this works physiologically. All we know is that we can identify and resolve the restrictions in the offending muscles.

Who is guilty?

Some specific muscles, in my experience, are often guilty of this. Namely SCM (Sternocleidomastoid), a muscle in the front of your neck. This muscle can also cause headaches, but it doesn’t have to, in order to make you cough incessantly. Read about it and see a diagram of it in this article on headaches.

Another muscle that can contribute is Rectus Abdominis. No I am not referring to a Greek god. (Although some of you may think you are one.) Rectus Abdominis is your central abdominal muscle. Where it anchors to your ribs and sternum it overlays your diaphragm. It too can be part of the cause of unexplained coughing. I often treat this muscle to resolve asthma like symptoms and breathing difficulties.

How to fix it?

Now assuming that your GP is as confused as you are, there is a very good chance that some skilled Myotherapy manipulation of the muscles I mentioned above will resolve your cough.

It usually only takes a few treatments.

Ahhh! Imagine uninterrupted sleep. (And Edith’s husband says, ‘Yes and amen!’)

If you have chronic coughing that has confused your doctor then give us a call.

For those with asthma, read my next article.

Stay warm in winter!


– Tim King