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How does smoking increase the risk for spinal pain?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

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.

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

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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.