smoking and back pain

It is a well-known fact that cigarette smoking is the main cause of several diseases such as chronic respiratory diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart diseases, certain types of cancer, as well as premature death. But did you know that smoking could also be the reason for your aching back?

Smoking Causes Back Pain

smoking causes back pain

A new study conducted by the researchers from Northwestern University in Illinois found that smokers are more prone to chronic back pain, compared to non-smokers. It shows that smoking causes back pain by increasing brain activity that reduces a person’s ability to recover quickly from the symptoms. The study was led by Bogdan Petre of the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. [1]

In another study presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), researchers reviewed the rates of smoking cessation and related pain in more than 6000 patients who are undergoing treatment for spinal disorders. Relevant information on these patients were gathered for a more accurate result, including co-morbid depression, smoking history, and severity of symptoms. The results showed that those participants who stopped smoking reported a significant decrease in their symptoms while those who continued smoking had experienced no improvement. [2]

Aside from these two studies, another reason why smoking and back pain are linked is because of the nicotine content of cigarettes. According to Tae M. Shin, M.D., of St. Vincent’s Medical Centre in Los Angeles, nicotine increases the risk of degenerative changes and limits the blood flow to the intervertebral discs (which cushion the vertebrae). Cigarette smoking also reduces calcium absorption, which puts smokers at risk of fracture. [3]

Other Ways to Improve Back Pain

Below is a list of ways to improve your aching back:

  1. Avoid high heels.
  2. Avoid sedentary lifestyle.
  3. Exercise.
  4. Get enough calcium and vitamin D.
  5. Learn the proper way of lifting.
  6. Lose weight (if overweight).
  7. Practice good posture.
  8. Get chiropractic care.

Chiropractors do not just treat or cover up the symptoms. Instead, they focus on understanding the root cause of the problems, which makes chiropractic care the most effective and safest way to get faster and long-lasting relief. Visit Back Doctor Chiropractic Clinic in Chester or contact us to book an appointment.

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[1] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/284869.php

[2] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/257892.php

[3] http://www.everydayhealth.com/back-pain/7-bad-habits-that-cause-back-pain.aspx

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