4 Reasons to Quit Smoking for a Healthier Spine

StopSmokingFrom heart disease to lung cancer, the dangers of smoking are well-known and frightening. However, did you know that smoking is also very damaging to your spine?
Here are four reasons to quit smoking for better spine health:
1. Smoking cigarettes impairs the body’s blood flow, which deprives your spinal tissues of the nutrients and oxygen they need to stay healthy and strong.
2. When you smoke, bone density can decrease. Therefore, smoking increases your risk of developing osteoporosis, which is a condition that weakens the bones and makes them more susceptible to fracture. Now only does osteoporosis cause back and neck pain, but it also causes weakness, cramping and pain in your legs.
3. When you smoke, your physical activity decreases due to deoxygenated blood, as well as damage to your lungs. Therefore, simple tasks like walking up a flight of stairs can become difficult and painful. Staying active is crucial for spine health, so reducing your mobility can eventually lead to spinal problems.
4. Smoking prevents proper healing. If you have spine surgery and are a smoker, expect the healing process to take significantly longer. And, in some cases, smokers’ bones may never fully heal. Additionally, smokers have an increased risk of developing infections and blood clots during recovery.
Hopefully, these four reasons have given you some added motivation to quit smoking – or to encourage a loved one to do so. If you are experience back pain, please contact Dr. Sharma so you can work toward good habits for a healthier spine.
Image courtesy of Live It Well