How Smoking May Lead To Low Back Pain
Everybody knows that smoking is bad for your health. We know that it can increase your risk of heart disease, it can lead to respiratory conditions and that it can increase your risk of cancer. One thing that many people do not know is that smoking can also be a contributing factor that leads to lower back pain.
Lower back pain is one of the most common ailments among adults. For some, it may be only the occasional soreness and stiffness, and for other people, it is a chronic issue that may even result in some level of disability.
When it comes to developing problems with pain in the lower back, there can be several potential causes and contributing factors. Things like injury, degenerative conditions, poor posture and repetitive stress are all widely known to cause and contribute to problems with pain in the lower back. Over the last 10-15 years, researchers have started to uncover links between lifestyle choices like smoking and an increase in problems with lower back pain.
One study published in the American Journal of Medicine helps to demonstrate this link. In this paper, researchers performed a meta-analysis of past research that showed that smokers are 31% more likely to experience low back pain when compared to non-smokers. Additionally, the data also suggests that quitting smoking can reduce your risk.
Smoking can increase the risk of lower back pain in a number of ways. To start, smoking has been linked to various conditions that can cause or contribute to joint pain. As a further point, smoking has been shown to inhibit the flow of blood to different parts of the body, and this affects the ability of oxygen, nutrients and the body’s natural healing chemicals to reach the joints and the spine. This reduced blood flow can increase the risk of disc degeneration, and that will result in back pain.
It has also been shown that a long-term smoking habit can affect the way that the body handles pain. For people that have been smoking for many years, the body becomes more sensitive to pain, and this is going to aggravate any pain issues that are associated with lower back problems. Smokers tend to have higher levels of pain-causing chemicals in the blood, and there is research that suggests that smoking affects the way that the brain manages pain.
If you are a smoker, there are few things that will do more to improve your health than quitting smoking. You’ll be healthier, you will live longer and you will feel better. If you are experiencing pain in your lower back, quitting smoking can help to reduce the pain, but there is more that you can do. Exercise is one way to improve your health and reduce back pain, and you could also consider chiropractic care.