Research has shown that smoking increases the risk of developing spine-related health issues, including lower back pain, spinal fractures, and degenerative disc disease. Here’s what the research says:
- Increased risk of lower back pain: A study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery found that smokers are more likely to experience lower back pain than non-smokers. The study suggests that smoking reduces blood flow to the spinal discs, which can lead to disc degeneration and subsequent lower back pain.
- Increased risk of spinal fractures: Smoking has been linked to an increased risk of spinal fractures. A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that women who smoke have a higher risk of vertebral fractures than non-smokers.
- Increased risk of degenerative disc disease: Smoking has also been linked to an increased risk of degenerative disc disease. A study published in the European Spine Journal found that smoking is associated with accelerated disc degeneration in the cervical spine.
In addition to these specific spine-related health issues, smoking has also been linked to a range of other health problems, including lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Quitting smoking is the best way to reduce the risk of these health issues and improve overall health.