Does Smoking Make Back Pain Worse?

December 28, 2017

Do you smoke? Do you have acute or chronic back pain? Consider this. We are talking about a complication of smoking that you may heave never heard of. Smoking can cause back pain and it can aggravate chronic back pain.

A study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery included over 5,000 people who were treated for spinal disorders. Smokers who stopped before or after the treatment period reported greater improvement than those who continued to smoke.  In fact those who continued to smoke had no significant reduction in pain while those who never smoked improved the most.

The reason for the quicker recovery and the reduction of pain in the non smokers is thought to be that smoking increases inflammation and decreases blood flow and nutrient distribution to the spinal discs. Previous research has linked smoking to chronic pain disorders and especially back pain.

Do you still smoke? Do you need another reason to stop smoking? Hopefully not but if you do think of your aching back.


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Dr. Sanford L. Severin

Dr. Todd D. Severin

San Ramon, CA 94582 USA

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© 2020 by Sanford Severin, MD