Advertisement

How does smoking increase the risk for spinal pain?

Smoking increases the risk of spinal pain because it reduces the oxygenation of the discs.

Smoking tobacco can increase your risk for spinal or back pain in a variety of ways. Smoking can reduce your body's normal delivery of nutrients to the disks in the spine because it can restrict blood flow. If the disks are weakened, they are more likely to change shape or slip out of place, causing pressure on surrounding nerves. Smoking is also a risk factor for developing osteoporosis. The bones in people with osteoporosis become weakened, and this sometimes causes painful fractures in their vertebrae, which are the bones in the spine. Some people who smoke have a chronic cough, and this coughing can lead to lower back pain. Smoking can also affect your overall health and physical fitness, leaving you more susceptible to spinal injury and suppressing your body's ability to heal after a spinal injury.

Continue Learning about Back Pain

Ways to Beat Your Back Pain
Ways to Beat Your Back Pain
If you’re among the 31 million Americans with an aching back, here’s an important message from your spine: Stop hunching! Get that...
Read More
How many people suffer from back pain?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
With about 65 million Americans suffering from back pain, it's the second most common reason for med...
More Answers
Exercises That Won’t Hurt Your Back
Exercises That Won’t Hurt Your BackExercises That Won’t Hurt Your BackExercises That Won’t Hurt Your BackExercises That Won’t Hurt Your Back
Strengthen your back to prevent injuries.
Start Slideshow
The 3 Types of Back Pain
The 3 Types of Back Pain

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.