Smoking your way to lower back pain

/, General, Myth-busting Low Back Pain/Smoking your way to lower back pain

Smoking your way to lower back pain

By |2013-02-27T10:59:05+00:00February 27th, 2013|Causes of Low Back Pain, General, Myth-busting Low Back Pain|Comments Off on 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!


About the Author:

Clinic Director and Osteopath. Gavin graduated as a Gold Medallist in 1991 and is now a Vice Patron of the British School of Osteopathy. Co-author of “The Back Book” with Gavin Hastings OBE in 1996, he has an MSc in The Clinical Management of Pain from the University of Edinburgh, and is currently working on a new book. He's passionate about helping to move people as far from illness and pain as possible, and in January 2015 set himself the target of helping a million people get a better back.