Are You Still Smoking?
It is said that everybody has at least one vice, but when it comes to smoking we are talking about a vice that is incredibly destructive not only to your heart and lungs as we traditionally think, but it is also very damaging to your bones and spine!
When it comes to conditions such as osteoporosis and compression fractures, the first thing that comes to mind is a calcium deficiency; however, did you know that a link has been made between those conditions and smoking?
And not only that, smoking has also been linked to vertebral disc disease, slow wound/injury healing and back pain.
Smoking Linked to Poor Spine Health
While it is not news that smoking and second hand smoke can cause cancers such as lung and pancreatic, virtually no attention has been given to link between smoking and the health of your spine.
Recent publication of SpineLine*, Dr. Paul Slozar, Dr. Richard Perkins, and Dr. Derek Snook did just that. They linked smoking to spine health by the connection of a condition called chronic spinal hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the spine).
What does this mean? Well, you know what happens when the brain doesn’t get oxygen; you have a stroke.
When there is a prolonged lack of oxygen in the body, tissues in the body begin to die. Cigarette smoking causes the same thing.
Every time to you inhale cigarette smoke, your oxygen level in your blood decreases.
It actually decreases the ability of the blood to carry oxygen; thus, it causes an increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and ultimately poor circulation.
To put it in plain language, cigarette smoking decreases the ability of the blood vessels to carry nutrients to living tissue (in both bone and the discs of the spine).
The long term affects causes devastation on bone and joint physiology, injury healing and vertebral disc nutrition, ultimately resulting in chronic pain and loss of mobility.
So if you have non-resolving chronic back pain and you smoke, consider seriously kicking the habit!
It just may be the missing piece to a healthier life AND spine… pain-free!
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has estimated that in the U.S. alone, smoking is responsible for approximately 350,000 deaths per year.
Is smoking worth the pain…