Smoking Causes Back Pain

Low back pain condition is a common condition that is felt once by everyone during their lifetime. Do you people think about why we have back pain and what is the cause behind it?

In today’s topic, we focus on some interesting points that you never know.

You probably know that quitting smoking lowers your risk of lung cancer. But did you know that giving up cigarettes also reduces your chances of suffering back pain and other spinal troubles?

Low back pain condition is a common condition that is felt once by everyone during their lifetime. Do you people think about why we have back pain and what is the cause behind it? 

In today’s topic, we focus on some interesting points that you never know. 

You probably know that quitting smoking lowers your risk of lung cancer. But did you know that giving up cigarettes also reduces your chances of suffering back pain and other spinal troubles?

“Chauncy Eakins,” The MD, of a clinical Neuroscience institution says that quitting any nicotine-containing products like chewing and pipe tobacco, cigars and nicotine patches, and gum also reduces the chances of back pain.

“Studies have found that People who smoke are More likely to have Chronic pain and Not just back Pain”.

Researchers discovered that smoking history, hypertension, and coronary artery disease – all of which are risk factors for atherosclerosis, or narrowing of arteries – were significantly associated with the development of low back pain. Abnormal high blood cholesterol levels were also significantly associated with the development of Lumbar Spondylosis.

The Nicotine – Blood flow – Pain Connection:

Nicotine contributes to atherosclerosis or the narrowing of the arteries. Narrowed arteries restrict blood flow through the body, including to joints and discs of the spine.

“The Musculoskeletal system is an organ that requires nutrients, blood flow, oxygen, just like any other organ of the body.” He says impaired circulation accelerated degeneration of the disc, the soft tissue, and shock-absorbing pads between the bones or vertebrae of the spine.

The soft gel-like core of the disc breaks through the disc’s outer ring which causes disc rupture or herniation. This can put pressure on the surrounding nerves that cause pain.

“If you smoke, you can damage the blood vessels, which speeds up the degeneration of the discs and leads to disc herniation. Dr. Eakins says, “Stop smoking will help you to slow down the process of disc degeneration.

According to the newest studies, smokers are three times more likely to develop chronic back pain than nonsmokers. Smoking does not only affect the anatomy of your back but also can change the way the brain relates and responds to pain.

The effects of Nicotine on Your Spine

It is an addictive component of the cigarette and restricts blood flow to the spine, including the discs between vertebrae. Nicotine also reduces the rate of calcium absorption, which is necessary to grow new bone. With the decreased bone growth, a person who smokes is at risk of osteoporosis, fracture, and slow healing. They experience “Smoker’s cough”. The repeated coughing spells can also cause spine pain from repeated jerky motions of the neck and back with each cough.

How Smoking Affects your Brain

Alternately, there are two parts of the brain that communicate with each other during chronic pain – The nucleus accumbens and the Medial prefrontal cortex. These two areas of the brain “talk” to each other more during times of chronic pain. In the smoker’s mind, these two areas have a strong connection, demonstrating that those who smoke are more susceptible to experiencing episodes of pain. When people voluntarily stop smoking, communication between these two parts of the brain decreases. 

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