27/02/2013 Gavin

Smoking your way to lower back pain

Yes, it’s official: giving up smoking will help you to recover from lower back pain more quickly.  A recent study published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery found that smokers reported more lower back pain, and that stopping smoking helped them to recover faster than those who continued to smoke.

We’ve known for a long time that smoking is associated with an increased risk of chronic lower back pain, and a general increase in pain.  This study adds weight to the case for giving up smoking if you hope to recover from lower back pain.

It’s believed that because smoking affects the health of the small blood vessels around your body, there is a decrease in nutrition to the discs, joints, muscles and other structures resulting in a more rapid degeneration.  Lower back pain is associated with hypertension, atherosclerosis (furring of the arteries) and heart disease – all of which are more likely if you smoke.  So no surprise – smokers are at more risk of lower back pain.

Smoking is also linked to chronic pain generally, so apart from it being good for your heart to avoid cigarettes, it may lessen your day to day pain as well!