Reduce back pain by quitting smoking

Patients with severe back pain who quit smoking report less pain than patients who continue to smoke

quit_smokingI came across this interesting research produced by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and could not wait to share it.

For years, research has shown a link between smoking and an increased risk for low back pain, intervertebral (spine) disc disease, and inferior patient outcomes following surgery.

A new study, published in December 2012 Journal of bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS), also found that smokers suffering from spinal disorders and related back pain, reported greater discomfort than spinal disorder patients who stopped smoking during an eight-month treatment period. At the time of entry into the care, patients who had never smoked and prior smokers reported significantly less back pain than current smokers and those who quit during the study period.
A comment from the study author, Glenn R.Rechtine, MD, University of Rochester Department of Orthopaedics, “We know that nicotine increases pain. In this study, if you quit smoking during treatment, you get better. If you continued to smoke, there was statistically no improvement, regardless of the treatment you had. Smoking is bad for you. Basically, the likelihood to improve your care – surgical or non-surgical – was dramatically decreased if you are a smoker.”

Although this article may not be of particular relevance for you if you are not a smoker, it definitely provides some food for thought.

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