Researchers at the University of Rochester, in New York, have published details on how smoking contributes to back pain.
Many smokers will attempt to excuse their habit by claiming that it helps them cope with pain. But this shows that it increases the pain, even if it is not the cause.
Smoking clogs up the arteries and impairs the supply of blood and oxygen to the lower spine. This leads to deterioration in the spinal discs. It blocks the body's ability in delivering nutrients to the discs of the lower back. The resulting damage leads to back aches.
Nicotine affects the way the brain sends out pain signals, and chronic coughing from heavy smoking will also cause back pain. If back surgery has been performed, continuing to smoke slows down the healing process.
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