Spinal Cord Injury: Self-Assisted Cough
A strong cough is important to help clear the lungs of mucus. If you have a weak cough or a lot of mucus, you may need an assisted cough. If you have enough strength and balance, you may be able to do a self-assisted cough.
A self-assisted cough is done while you're sitting up in a bed or chair. If you are in a wheelchair, be sure to put the brakes on and use the seat belt. Wait 30 minutes after a meal before you do an assisted cough.
Use these steps to do a self-assisted cough.
- Wrap both arms around your belly, just below the rib cage.
- Lean back if you can. Take a deep breath and hold it.
- Cough. At the same time, quickly bend your upper body forward while hugging your belly.
Talk to your doctor before trying this. Some people shouldn't try an assisted cough. This may include those who:
- Are in pain.
- Have a chest or back injury, such as an unstable spinal injury or a broken rib.
- Had recent surgery.
- Have osteoporosis.
- Are pregnant.
Current as of:
February 13, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Nancy Greenwald MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Current as of: February 13, 2023
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Nancy Greenwald MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation