Smoking and Back Pain

 

Low back pain affects 80 percent of us at some point in our lives. As a result, researchers are working diligently to determine what factors contribute to this pain. Some of the factors that have been identified include an occupation requiring a heavy physical workload, low levels of leisure physical activity, high body mass index, living in a small community, having a low educational level and being a smoker .
While some of these factors may seem like common sense, some may be more surprising to you. The primary goal of this article is to present some evidence as to the effects smoking has on back pain and some possible explanations as to why.It would seem logical that the more demand an activity or load places on the spine, the more likely it is that the spine may become injured.

If the spine is injured, pain is likely to result. This is the obvious explanation as to why high body mass index and heavy occupational workloads tend to be associated with low back pain. However, an important factor with chronic loading of any part of the body is how well the body can recover or heal from the small damage caused by the loading. Ideally, the body heals a little stronger than it started and is more resistant to that same load in the future.

If the body is not able to heal sufficiently, further injury develops.

The key to healing is providing sufficient time between when the demand is placed on the body and the area of the body having enough blood supply to provide healing. An example of the time factor is a blister on your foot.

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