If your cough
is weak and if it is difficult to bring up mucus or you know you have lots of
mucus, you need an assisted cough. In an assisted cough, another person pushes
on your chest to help you cough. An assisted cough is done while you are
sitting up in a bed or chair. If you are in a wheelchair, be sure to put the
If you have enough arm strength, you may be able to
help yourself cough:
Wrap both arms around your abdomen just below the
Take a deep breath and hold it.
throw your upper body forward over your arms while hugging your abdomen.
If you are pregnant, talk with your doctor before using a
self-assisted cough. Most specialists do not recommend using a self-assisted
cough for pregnant women, especially in the second and third trimesters of
Primary Medical Reviewer
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Nancy Greenwald, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.