Still smoking? Back pain may be a reason to quit says a new article
Despite many attempts to limit the freedoms of smokers by limiting many of the places they can actually smoke, taxing them with a hefty sin tax as well as making smoking much less fashionable, many people continue to smoke. Some new information may now give smokers another reason to quit; back pain.
While not sure of the mechanism, apparently, lower back pain is more common in smokers. While it is an addictive habit, now more than ever, if you smoke and have lower back pain, you have an even greater incentive to quit.
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Non-Smokers Report Less Back Pain
Most cigarette smokers report that they smoke to relax and relieve anxiety. Unfortunately, as we all know, “stress relieving” smoke is wreaking havoc in the body. What you may not know is that cigarette smoke is also increasing back pain.
•See Does Smoking Cause Low Back Pain?
The Oxford Journal on Rheumatology hypothesizes that the reason for a higher of incidence of back pain amongst smokers is that smoking leads to malnutrition of discs, which in turn become more brittle and vulnerable to stress. Nicotine constricts blood vessels (known as nicotine-induced vasoconstriction), and can potentially cause changes to interior arterial walls and blood flow. More efficient blood flow may be the reason why the anti-smoking crowd has less back pain.
A study of 3,222 smokers and non-smokers conducted by the Division of Clinical Epidemiology in Montreal, Canada concluded that smokers have more frequent episodes of back pain than non-smokers, providing further evidence that quitting smoking is an important consideration for back pain sufferers.