Bronchitis isn't just a hassle – sometimes it hurts. The non-stop coughing and wheezing can cause the muscles in your midsection to clench over and over again throughout the day, perhaps making you a bit sore or maybe resulting in outright pain. That's especially true if you're dealing with a case of chronic bronchitis (as opposed to acute bronchitis) that lingers for weeks or months without lasting relief [source: National Institute of Health].
If a bout with bronchitis produces muscle pain in the chest, anti-inflammatory medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, may provide some relief. You may want to try aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. They may partially relieve coughing and its painful side effects [source: Ebbert]. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) doesn't have an anti-inflammatory effect and so may be less helpful. (Because of the risk of deadly reaction called Reye's syndrome, don't give aspirin to children; acetaminophen should be used instead.)
You may be able to pair one of these pain medications with an over-the-counter cough medicine that contains dextromethorphan, which is a cough suppressant. But before you do so, read the labels carefully and never mix them if you're uncertain that they're safe together. And remember that if you opt for an over-the-counter medicine that's meant to address numerous symptoms at once (like coughing and aches), they'll likely contain substances that you shouldn't mix with a separate pain reliever.