Cigarette smoking has been strongly linked to a number of serious health conditions like heart disease, emphysema, lung cancer, and other cardiovascular ailments. This habit is responsible for nearly 440,000 of more than 2.4 million premature deaths in the United States and is one of the leading causes of death around the world. The effects of cigarette smoking has been well documented in terms of cardiovascular and circulatory health is concerned. However recent medical studies have uncovered a link between smoking and back pain.
Various researches suggest that smoking may heighten the risk of developing back pain by about 30 percent. In addition to back pain, smokers may also be susceptible to pain in the neck, shoulders, hands, elbows, knees, and hips. Though the cause of this condition is unclear, one possible reason is that cigarette smoking may damage the general musculo-skeletal (muscles and skeleton system) tissues by reducing blood supply to the tissues, raising clotting risks, and reducing the flow of nutrients to muscles, joints, and back. Heavy coughing due to cigarette smoking may also be a factor in the development of back pain among smokers.
This damage is possible because cigarette smoke contains about 4,000 chemicals, in which 60 are carcinogenic. Formaldehyde, arsenic, cadmium, benzene, and ethylene oxide are some of the substances that may cause cancer. These chemicals may accelerate the development of artherosclerosis, a disease that affects the large and medium arteries. This condition damages the blood vessels making them difficult to relax. Smoking may also cause the artery walls to stiffen the artery walls and cause pieces of plaque to clog some arteries. Once the plaque clogs the arteries, blood flow may be hampered and some nutrients may be deprived to some parts of the body which includes the spine and may lead to back pain.
Studies that link cigarette smoking to back pain are not conclusive and may need more studies to be verified. However, the message is clear, smokers who suffer from back pain have many reasons to kick this dreaded habit. Quitting smoking may not immediately relieve the pain, but it may help. Cutting the habit may also lower the risk of developing heart disease, various forms of cancer, and other diseases.
Individuals who have a hard time cutting the habit may use scientifically proven quit smoking products and alternative methods that are available. These products however cannot do all the work, the best and effective to quit smoking involves determination, discipline, and commitment to stop the habit permanently. Using these products and engaging in alternative methods can help smokers cut the habit by making them more comfortable and complacent to adjust to life without cigarettes. These products should not be used without the approval of health professionals because it may cause unwanted side effects to certain individuals and interact with other drugs.
People who want to quit smoking may also try other methods of quitting smoking by trying other methods like meditation and self hypnotism. Ask your doctor on how you can engage in these activities. With the right tools and attitude, cigarette smoking can be stopped permanently.