The Relation between Smoking and Back Pain
According to research studies, smokers have a higher risk for developing back pain compared to those who do not smoke. Back pain in smokers also tends to be more severe and radiate to the extremities.
How Smoking Affects Your Spine Health
When you smoke, toxic chemicals are released into your body. These chemicals enter your blood and will make the blood thicker and increase the chances of blood clotting. They also damage cells that line the arteries and other blood vessels causing them to narrow, reducing the amount of blood to various parts of the body including the bone. Improper nutrition to the bones can make them brittle increasing risk for osteoporosis and degenerative spine disease. Smoking also affects the body’s ability to heal quickly after injury and can lead to chronic back pain.
Smoking Cessation Methods
Smoking cessation methods your doctor may recommend include:
- Counselling (individual, group or telephonic): It mainly focuses on the hazards of smoking and the benefits of cessation and provides encouragement and support.
- Medication: Certain non-nicotine drugs when prescribed are effective for smoking cessation by helping with your cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
- Behavioural therapy: This involves counselling in problem-solving through a plan that helps get you through the cravings.
- Support groups: You will be asked to find a smoking cessation support group near you and attend programmes on quitting smoking.
- Nicotine replacement therapy: Over-the-counter nicotine replacement aids such as nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, sprays or lozenges are used. However, it works best when combined with behavioural therapy and a support group including family and friends.
Smoking cessation may involve a solo method or a combo treatment. No matter which method you choose, the key to successful cessation is spotting the triggers that make you crave smoking and trying to avoid them.
Believe in yourself and speak to your doctor who will help you choose the best method that works for you that you can stick with.
Benefits of Smoking Cessation
Smoking cessation helps your entire body as it ensures:
- Reduced or no risk of smoking-related diseases
- Decreased chances of early death (prolong your life)
- Improved overall health, vigour and wellbeing
- Less risk of infertility in women of childbearing age
- Better look, feel and quality of life