Relationship Between Smoking and Chronic Back Pain


The fact smoking is harmful to your health isn’t news, but did you know that it can worsen your back pain? Recent research has shown that smoking indeed causes back pain. Unhealthy lifestyle such as smoking, overweight, and lack of exercise hinder you back pain recovery process. Most chain smokers rarely recover from chronic back pain. Before complaining of chronic back pain that will not go aways, also check on your smoking habits.

Smokers are more likely to suffer from a severe backache than non-smokers. A warehouse worker can blame heavy lifting for his backache, and an office worker can blame his chair for the same. But if the two individuals are smokers, there might be a different explanation for their back pain. Backache is the primary reason for empty desks in offices and long lines in hospitals.

How Smoking Causes Back Pain

Smoking is the major cause of chronic back pain.


Researchers have different theories of how smoking causes back pain. Nicotine from cigarettes affects the way the brain sends pain signals. Smoking also destroys tissues in the lower back and other parts of the body. It also slows the flow and circulation of nutrients and oxygen to the muscles and joints increasing the rate of degeneration.

The main effect of smoking on the spine is that it contributes to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is when foreign materials accumulate inside the blood vessels. This causes low blood supply especially to areas that are fed by small blood vessels. The vertebrae and discs of the spine are supplied by these tiny vessels. Decreased blood flow reduces the spine’s ability to heal itself this leads to degeneration and possible chronic back pain. Smoking increases your chances of developing atherosclerosis related to back pain.

Related to the spine’s ability to heal is the role of a bone cell known as osteoblast. The osteoblast is a special cell that builds the bone tissues. Nicotine is a key chemical ingredient in cigarettes that causes addiction to smokers. However, nicotine also affects the activities of osteoblast. Reduced osteoblast activity means the spine can’t rebuild leaving it weak and vulnerable to injuries.

According to research, smoking interferes with pain medication as smokers require more medication to ease their suffering. It takes large doses of aspirin to both reduce and manage pain in smokers.

How to Quit Smoking


Quitting smoking is very beneficial for the treatment of chronic back pain. If you want to avoid or treat that chronic back pain but down the cigarette. Research shows that smokers three times more likely to develop back pain, and abandoning this habit cuts the risk. Quitting this harmful habit can be hard and tough especially if you are addicted. Here are some tips on how to stop smoking;

Choose the Day to Quit

Picking day the day to start the quitting process gives you time to prepare. Don’t choose a day that is too soon or too far preferably a fortnight. Avoid procrastinating as it’s a major hindering block for this process.

Family and Friends Support

Make them aware of the day set to quit and ask for their moral support. You likely to get moody and a little bit violent in the process, so warn them and apologize in advance. Let them know the ways in with they can be of assistance.

Prepare Yourself for the Quitting Day

Go through your house, car, and office getting rid of all tobacco and smoking paraphernalia. Assess your daily activities that triggers crave of tobacco, make strategies to avoid that urge or use a substitute for smoking.

Use Nicotine Replacement Products

Nicotine patches, gums, and inhalers are helpful in dealing with the craving. Get advice from an expert to get the best combination for your cravings.

Join a Support Group

A lot of people are going through the same problem in the society. Participate in a support group which helps you boost your morale and give you advice.

It’s a fact that smoking causes chronic back pain. Smoking affects your vital organs such as the lungs and heart, so it best if you only quit.


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