Studies Show Cigarette Smoking Causes Chronic Back Pain

You have probably experienced back pain. At one point or another, everyone has. Have you ever asked yourself whether your smoking has something to do with your back pain? You should have.

Smoking Hurts Your Back

It turns out that cigarette smoking has a direct influence on many aspects of your health. Back pain is just one of them.

How does smoking influence your back pain? It does so in the same way that it influences all other aspects of your health. Cigarette smoke contains toxic chemicals that affect your joints in a negative way.

One of my previous summer jobs involved lifting heavy items. Somehow I found lifting with my legs a hard concept to grasp. As a result, I ended up getting the nickname “Grandpa” that summer.

During that period, I experienced normal back pain, which I earned through hard work and stupidity. My pain went away when I finally changed the way I lifted stuff.

Chronic back pain is completely different. It doesn’t go away quickly, and you usually end up taking painkillers to control the pain.

The Search for Relief

Like smoking cigarettes, taking prescription painkillers has many negative side effects. One of the major issues associated with prescription painkillers is the risk of developing a strong addiction. Moreover, even with strong medication, only about 58% of chronic back pain sufferers get the relief they desire.

You may say that your nicotine addiction doesn’t have any influence on your pain. It may actually feel like cigarette smoking decreases the intensity of your pain. In general, though, cigarette smokers are more likely to lead unhealthier lives. Could this just be a coincidence?

You are like a hostage with Stockholm syndrome. You have gotten used to being a hostage, and you like your kidnapper-the cigarette. Smoking doesn’t add anything positive to your life, but you grasp at straws to justify your nicotine addiction. You know that you should quit smoking cigarettes if you really want relief. The relief that you feel when you smoke is just a distraction.

Cigarettes ARE the Problem

Smoking a cigarette allows you to switch focus for a few minutes. Your back pain doesn’t decrease in intensity, and it doesn’t go away. You have tricked your mind. If you don’t think about the pain, you don’t feel it. But it is still there.

Cigarette smoking is a major factor in the development of chronic back pain. More specifically, it is a major cause of hypertension and coronary artery disease, which negatively influence back pain.

Researchers conducted a study during which they monitored over 1,300 people for more than 50 years. The study followed 1,337 physicians, who graduated from Johns Hopkins University. The oldest participant was monitored for 53 years. This long-term study showed that high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and other blood circulation issues played major roles in the development of chronic back pain.

Cigarette smoking has a devastating effect on the whole body. The circulatory system is no exception. The aforementioned study showed that, when all other variables remained the same, cigarette smoking was a major factor in the development of chronic back pain. The implications are very clear-if you want to get rid of your back pain you need to quit smoking cigarettes right now.

Smoking Impairs Your Ability to Heal

Every time you move, you damage your spine a bit. Your body constantly repairs this damage. When you smoke, your body makes available fewer, lower quality materials for these repairs. That is how smoking causes your back pain.

The study described above proved the existence of a connection between chronic joint pain and smoking. Another study determined how and why occasional back pain, which we all feel, develops into something that endures for weeks, months and years.

Nicotine addiction influences the development of chronic back pain in another way. Pain is not something physical. You can’t touch, taste or see it. Rather, your brain gets signals and interprets them.

Smoking Alters Your Brain

Smokers are three times more likely than nonsmokers to develop chronic back pain. How and why does cigarette smoking have such a strong, negative effect on your back? Smoking affects your brain’s addictive behavior and motivated learning connections. By strengthening these connections, smoking plays a major role in the development of chronic back pain and chronic pain in other parts of your body.

A strong connection between the two brain regions called the nucleus accumbens and the medial prefrontal cortex influences your resilience to chronic pain. Smoking makes the connection between these two parts of the brain stronger, thus impacting your susceptibility to developing chronic pain.

You Can Fix It

This damage is not permanent even if you have smoked for decades.

Researchers saw a dramatic drop in this brain connection among smokers who quit smoking cigarettes. Their vulnerability to chronic pain decreased. This means that that the damage was not permanent. Similarly, if you quit smoking, you can reduce the intensity of your chronic back pain.

You must first quit smoking if you want to eliminate your chronic back pain.

Nicotine Is Poison

This is one reason why quitting with the assistance of nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine gum, patches or other nicotine-containing products) is not as great as ads would have you believe. In order to reduce the pain in your joints, you need to eliminate all nicotine consumption. Nicotine promotes unhealthy brain connections, damages nerves and reduces your body’s ability to mend itself.

Smoking cigarettes damages your back because it damages your body and alters your brain. Decreasing the amounts of toxic chemicals you consume while continuing to consume nicotine might lead to some improvements in how you feel. However, you will still be addicted to nicotine and continue to strengthen those brain connections.

In order to make chronic pain a thing of the past, you must stop consuming nicotine, be it in the form of cigarettes, cigars, vaporizers or patches.

Simple Ways To Avoid Common Causes Of Back Pain

Back pain is one of the world’s most common health problems. According to the World Health Organisation, it is also in the top 10 diseases and injuries accounting for disability-adjusted life years (number of years lost due to ill-health). It can affect people of any age, potentially affecting their work life and general well-being.

Fortunately, there are some simple techniques that you can use to avoid the common causes of back pain. This article will identify those techniques and explain how they can also reduce the level of back pain you are currently experiencing.

What are the common causes of back pain?

The human back is a complex system of muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments. These components must work together to support the body and enable movement. The spine also contains cartilage-like pads which are called discs. They provide cushioning between the components of the spine. Problems affecting any of the components of the back can lead to back problems. The most common causes of back problems include:

Physical overexertion

Incorrectly picking up very heavy items or repeatedly bending over can strain the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the back. Pain from overexertion can occur quickly or take many months to appear.

Injury

Back pain is often caused by an injury from an accident. The most common accidents that cause back injuries include car crashes, collisions on the sporting field, and falls. These injuries might include ruptured discs, broken bones, and torn ligaments or tendons.

Medical conditions

A variety of medical conditions can cause back pain, including osteoporosis, cancer of the spine, sleep disorders, kidney problems, arthritis, and sciatica. In some cases, these conditions cannot be cured, so the pain they cause can only be managed.

Ruptured or bulging discs

The discs between each vertebra in the spine can sometimes rupture or change shape. When this happens, more pressure is placed on the nerves in the back, potentially causing back problems.

Poor posture

Having poor posture can eventually contribute to pain in the back and may even cause long term damage.

How to avoid the common causes of back pain

Seek chiropractic help

Obtaining chiropractic treatment is one of the most effective ways to reduce back pain. A chiropractor is a medical professional who is trained to identify and treat musculoskeletal problems of the human body. They can identify the root causes of your pain and suggest treatments that address them.

Some of the ways that a chiropractor can help you avoid causes of pain include:

Ensuring your spine is correctly aligned Chiropractic treatment involves alignment of the spine and other joints in the body. Correcting the alignment of your joints will prevent premature wear and can reduce the likelihood of pain occurring.
Identifying any issues with your posture Chiropractors can diagnose and correct postural problems that cause back pain.
Diagnosing any serious underlying illnesses or injuries causing back pain Chiropractors can also identify other serious health problems that may potentially contribute to pain like ruptured discs and sciatica.
Sleep on your back
When you are sitting down, walking, running, and lifting objects all day, your spine can become compressed. Laying down on your back gives your spine a chance to recuperate, reducing the likelihood of back pain.

Exercise more

Exercise that strengthens the core muscles can be very useful for reducing or avoiding back pain. The core muscles are the muscles found in the abdominal region and lower back. If these muscles are well developed, they will take strain off of the ligaments and tendons in the back which can reduce pain levels. Having a strong core also reduces the risk of a back injury occurring.

Get a good pair of shoes

If you are on your feet for long periods, purchase a high quality pair of shoes that fit your feet well. This will ensure that your body has a stable and well-balanced base that supports your legs and back. It will help you avoid back problems associated with ligament, muscle or tendon strains.

Have regular massages

Massages can help to relax the muscles in your back and increase blood flow. This can help you remain flexible, preventing pain relating to sore muscles and ligaments.

Have medical problems diagnosed

If you have unexplained back pain, it is a good idea to see a doctor. They will be able to run tests to check your overall health and identify any health conditions that may be causing your pain. Your doctor may also help you identify health problems before they worsen and cause even more pain.

Practice good ergonomics and improve your posture

Good posture involves standing, sitting, and moving in a way that reduces the amount of strain on your body. When you exhibit good posture, your joints will be well aligned – reducing the risk of injury or wear-and-tear on the joints in the back. This reduces the risk of long term injuries occurring which cause back pain.

Dr Robert Finn D.C. qualified as a chiropractor over 25 years ago from t