Patients who quit smoking may endure less back pain

December 11, 2012

Topic: orthopaedic research

Patients who quit smoking may endure less back pain

New orthopaedic research published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery revealed that patients who have severe back pain and smoke cigarettes tend to report more discomfort than those who quit the habit.

This is not the first time the association between smoking and lower back pain has been discovered. In fact, smokers who have a spinal disorder are at risk for increased discomfort.

Researchers from the University of Rochester looked at the medical information of 5,300 patients regarding whether they smoked and how much pain they reported over the course of eight months. They discovered that individuals who quit during the time of the study were likely to experience less pain after stopping the habit as compared to when they still smoked.

"We know that nicotine increases pain," said study author Glenn Rechtine, M.D. "In this study, if you quit smoking during treatment, you got better. If you continued to smoke, there was statistically no improvement, regardless of the treatment you had."

According to the American Chiropractic Association, approximately 31 million Americans experience lower-back pain at any given time.

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