Today we are well aware that smoking has harmful effects on the body. But did you know it could be causing your back pain? Smoking has long been known to cause many health problems, most notably stroke, heart attacks and cancer. But smoking can cause a laundry list of other problems you may not be aware of. Northwestern University recently conducted a study to research smoking and chronic pain. What they found may surprise you.
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s study focuses on how the brain interprets pain information when a patient is a smoker. The study showed that smoking affects the brain, particularly how it responds to back pain. They concluded that smoking damages the part of the brain that responds to back pain. The two areas of the brain associated with addiction and reward were studied and showed that the connection between these areas is stronger in smokers. When this connection is strong, the brain is vulnerable, thus increasing the intensity of back pain.
The study also found that once a patient quit smoking, the circuit returned to normal and the chronic pain decreased significantly. Pain may always be present depending on the type of stress and strain you may put on your back, but long-term chronic pain can dissipate when you become a non-smoker. Smoking has more far-reaching consequences than we previously knew and has the potential to cause more problems we haven’t even studied yet.
Related Research on Smoking and Back Pain
Other research has found that smoking can lead to atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup in blood vessels. When blood vessels are fully or even partially blocked, they are unable to carry adequate amounts of blood to areas that need it. The spine is supplied by many tiny blood vessels that, if not functioning properly, will not provide the necessary blood and nutrients to allow healing. When your body is unable to heal itself accurately, pain may be the result.
Quitting smoking is the best option for long-term health, but if you are experiencing on-going back pain and are seeking a solution, PMIR is here to help. Consult with one of our trained specialists to help determine the best treatment for your chronic back pain. Call (855) PMIR-MED or visit our website http://paininjuryrelief.com to get the help you need.