Nicotine from cigarettes may be affecting how the brain sends pain signals.

Chronic back pain is a common medical condition in the United States, it is estimated that 8 out of 10 Americans will have this condition at least once in their lives. Back pain is so common that it is the main reason for many workers missing work, and the second most common reason for visiting a doctor’s office, as stated by the American Chiropractic Association.

Everyone knows that smoking cigarettes can cause various kinds of health risks, such as cancer, heart disease, and other respiratory conditions. However, not a lot are aware that it can also cause chronic lower back pain.

Recent studies have shown a connection between back pain and smoking. Smokers are three times more susceptible to developing chronic back pain than non-smokers.

How Does Smoking Cause Back Pain?

According to the records of the Rheumatic Diseases, the nicotine from cigarettes may be affecting how the brain sends pain signals. At first, it tricks the body into feeling good, as it triggers the release of chemicals like dopamine – another reason why it is so addictive. However, this very same substance in tobacco disrupts the delivery of oxygen-rich blood to tissues and bones, decreasing nutrient and blood flow. This can cause degeneration in discs of the spine, resulting in lower back pain which could lead to osteoporosis.

Smoking is also linked with slower healing and fatigue, which are factors that make the pain more notable. Researchers are also investigating how smoking makes the pain worse for people with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other chronic pain conditions. Chronic pain care may already be needed at this point to help manage the pain.

Some researchers point out that certain behaviors developed by smokers, such as coughing and hunching down to find lost cigarettes, may also contribute to their back pain.

Can Quitting Help Relieve the Pain?

During studies relating smoking with back pain, researchers saw a dramatic drop in the brain’s circuit that is causing the pain in people who chose to quit smoking on their own volition. When they stopped smoking, their susceptibility to chronic pain is also reduced.

Aside from back pain, smoking opens you up to other health risk factors like heart disease and cancer. So whether you are experiencing back pain or not, it is still always advisable to quit smoking. If you’re suffering from chronic pain, visit us at Pain Stop Clinics for back pain treatment to help ease your suffering.

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