I have had a cough for almost 3 weeks now. It produces constant mucus, that is always white and very very thick. I often go into coughing fits, where I cannot stop for a matter of minutes. It is as if I have extremely thick saliva, and am constantly choking. At times I have a congested nasal passage, it seems like a nasal drip. About 6 days ago I developed severe upper back pain. I am trying to figure out if the cough & back pain are related. I am a 21 year old female who doesn't do much heavy lifting or working. Since the cough began 3 weeks ago, I have actually just been resting in bed or on the couch. I thought that the back pain was due to sleeping positions. Since I have been sleeping normally though, the pain has not gone away. When it started, I only felt it when I coughed. It was a stinging pain that covers my entire upper back each time that I cough. Now it is always present, but much more severe when I cough. I don't have health insurance, so I'm trying to figure this out on my own!
Figuring out the cause and being able to take care of it may not be the same. This cough most likely is the result of a viral infection. It can follow the exact course you have described. The cough itself or the virus may have inflamed the nerves in your chest wall causing the pain. However, an infection of the lining of the lung can also cause severe pain. You can start with simple anti-inflammatory medications. However, if this does not work and/or the cough is persisting, a physician visit is definitely your best next step.
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