Why Does Singing Hurt My Throat / Make Me Cough? The Most Common Causes And Solutions

why does my throat hurt after singing

You have just returned home from a Karaoke party with colleagues. And you ask yourself: “Why does singing hurt my throat?”

The cause may be because you sang too much, at too high notes, and too loud volume. You may also be singing the wrong technique or improper breathing.

There are many other causes that we will cover in the rest of this post. Also, if you suffer a sore after singing, you need to know how to treat it properly.

We’ll give you some tips to ease the pain and protect your throat.

Scroll down to see details!

Why Does Singing Hurt My Throat?

Before figuring out “Why does singing make me cough?”, it’s important to distinguish between muscle ache and voice trauma. Muscle fatigue may have nothing to do with vocal trauma.

If you only have pain in your muscles, it could be because you sing too much. Just let your throat rest for a few days, the fatigue will disappear.

If it’s a vocal cord injury, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Prolonged damage can make you lose your voice.

The pain may be derived from the following issues:

Sing Too Much Without A Break

Singing too much without a break can hurt your throat. Imagine the throat works in the same way as other muscles.

Our body is going to get tired after working for a long time. If you are not used to singing, the pain will come sooner. The reason is that you are forcing your throat to do improper functions.

Singing too much also dries your vocal cords out, making more friction. It’s recommended to stop singing and grease your gear before it gets worse. Rest your throat properly with warm water and lozenges.

Incorrect Singing Technique

The incorrect singing technique can be one of the causes that hurt your larynx. You may be trying to sing with a gorge without proper breath.

This habit will tension your larynx and squeeze the muscles in your throat. Voice abuse may permanently damage your vocal cords.

If you lack healthy vocal knowledge, consult a professional coach. They will tell you how to sing comfortably with the most natural vibrato from ventral breath.

Attempt To High Notes

If you’re singing in a higher register and louder volume, you’re exacerbating the pain. Everyone has their vocal range. Singing inappropriate songs will hurt your larynx.

To get the notes beyond your natural range, you need to open up your voice before singing. Start with low notes and slowly hit high notes.

In principle, you should hit the high notes leading from the nose and avoid pushing the voice on the larynx. Try not to sing high notes in your chest voice. You will need to face a tutor who will let you know how to have a higher voice properly.

Forget Drink Water Before Singing

If you have a sore while singing, remember if you drank water before singing or not. If you haven’t moistened your mouth, it will quickly dry out. Singing with a droughty throat increases friction, which damages your larynx.

Please hydrate our vocal cords before singing and whenever you’re thirsty. Drinking water also helps you relax and sing more comfortably.

Hydration is the ultimate and simple solution for you to take care of your vocal cords. The water will thin the mucus that lubricates and protects the vocal cords as you vibrate them.

Your body needs time to absorb and distribute water to the larynx. So, it will help if you drink water 30 minutes before singing.

Do not drink hot water because it will make your voice phlegm and stuffy. Hot drinks can also ruin your tone.

Eat Hard And Spicy Foods

Before singing, it is dangerous to eat hard foods, such as dry rice crackers and thick potato crisps. Food debris can get stuck in the throat and cause some abrasion in the pharynx, exacerbating pain.

Acidic foods like spicy foods, peppers, concentrated tomato, vinegar, and citrus fruits can irritate your larynx. Even mild allergic reactions may cause extra swelling in the vocal folds.

Inadequate Breath Support

Many people do not know how to correctly breathe when singing. Inadequate support will put extra pressure on your throat and cause you to become more stressed. This condition will strain the muscles, resulting in a sore.

Standing posture is one of the factors that affect the way you breathe. If you hold the microphone with your elbow raised, your back and shoulders begin to tense.

Another pinching factor is when you lift your shoulders, more often unconsciously. This position will not allow you to relax normally.

Moreover, it will turn your normal breathing into the upper one. Such a situation will not work for you.

The muscle tension process negatively affects the vocal cords, and rather it is because such an unpleasant situation occurs. At this time, the larynx is experiencing severe complications.

Learn to relax by standing up straight for good air circulation. You’re better off looking to a sound coach to learn how to breathe correctly while singing.

How Can I Treat A Sore Throat After Singing?

After determining the cause of: “Why does my throat hurt after singing?” it’s time to treat it properly. It would help if you took immediate actions to prevent further damage.

Leave Your Voice Rest

First, you need to stop singing immediately. Trying to sing with pain will lead to more severe symptoms, including inflammation and bleeding.

It may take 24 hours to heal the vocal cords. Or you can take a longer break until you feel strong enough to sing again.

During this time, do not talk. Instead, we encourage gentle exercise and healthy eating.

Drink Warm Water

Drinking plenty of water helps lubricate the vocal cords and reduces friction. In particular, warm water has the effect of dilating blood vessels and reducing pain.

If possible, add some ginger and salt to warm water to hydrate your throat. Ginger and salt are two ingredients with antibacterial properties, preventing inflammation and healing the throat.

Specialist Examination

If you develop swollen, pain during swallowing and even a fever, it’s time to see an ENT specialist. Coming there, they will help you with a laryngoscopy to get more detailed monitoring.

The results will tell you the early signs of throat disease. Listening to your doctor’s advice also helps you reduce stress and ease your discomfort.

How To Avoid Throat Irritability When Singing?

The sore itself is uncomfortable, and for singers, it can even be a disaster. Usually, people make strange recommendations like gargling with soda, walking with prickly scarves, drinking whiskey.

However, they do not always work and sometimes even harm the throat. Here, we share tips and recipes from singers and phoniatric doctors.

Consult With An Experienced Vocal Coach

Work with a vocal coach to learn how to warm up and cool down your voice effectively. A good tutor will help you get rid of the habit of unnecessary jaw strain and poor posture.

It will take time to become proficient. Be impatient! Work up slowly with exercise to make the techniques a habit and start healthily using your voice.

It is best to face your trainer. He should watch how you move your neck, throat, and body. We do not recommend online training because it is difficult to see what you are doing wrong through the computer screen.

Practice To Properly Breathe

If you can’t afford to pay for a vocal coach, you can practice at home with some of the tutorials in this video:

In this article, we give you a few tips to start practicing right away.

  • Imagine your breath coming from your diaphragm, going through your throat into your head.
  • Maintains a steady flow of air and controls the amount of air that goes out.

When you apply these breathing techniques well, blood circulation increases and improves lung strength. A healthy breath will naturally vibrate your vocal cords without squeezing your throat.

Learn To Relax

It is no secret that overcoming such physiological problems is not easy. Rehearse your performance in front of a mirror while controlling your shoulders and arms in a relaxed position.

Always keep their shoulders down. The microphone is located so that the shoulders’ position does not depend on the movements of the hands.

The elbow joint is the imaginary boundary of the movement of the hands. Everything above it must remain motionless.

Exercise Before Singing

Whenever you feel stiff, try the following exercises.

Relax your neck: With gentle movements, turn your head in a circle, first to the right and then to the left.

Startup the mouth muscles:

  • Gently lower the lower jaw downward and then return it to its place.
  • Do the exercise smoothly.
  • Open your mouth as wide as possible and relax your muscles.
  • Pull your lips with a tube, move them left and right, rotate in a circle.

Move your tongue: roll up, take the shape of a bath, lift the sidewalls, and tip. Open your mouth, touch the tongue up to the upper palate away from the front teeth.

Rhythm, dance, fitness, sports are what will also help you. In general, do your best to learn how to relax your body! Breathe deeply and relax mentally.

Take Care Of Your Throat

It is not recommended to get carried away with coffee, strong tea, and alcohol. These foods dry out the throat. Hot and spicy foods, spices, carbonated drinks, nuts, crackers irritate the mucous membrane of the pharynx and larynx.

Air conditioners, dry air, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, endocrine, and nervous systems – All this can also cause chronic inflammatory diseases of the nasal mucosa, pharynx, and larynx.

And smoking and singing are completely incompatible. The voice is our calling card, an indicator of health and mood. Therefore, you must protect it.


We hope these tips are helpful for those who are asking, “Why does singing hurt my throat?“. Or you can see some other opinions in this video:

If you know any other interesting ways to overcome the sore throat and the unpleasant consequences associated with it, we will be very glad if you share them with us. You can leave a comment.

Thank you for reading!

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