Is Smoking Hurting Your Back?

It is not a secret that smoking causes mouth, throat, and lung cancer. But did you know that tobacco use can increase your risk for back pain, osteoporosis and bone fractures?
Most of us have experienced lower back pain at some time in our lives.  Eighty percent of adults will require medical attention for back pain. Next to respiratory ailments, it is the greatest reason for missing work. So the question is, is the tobacco use the culprit or is it life style?
Studies show that smokers tend to consume less calories, drink more alcohol, make poorer food choices, and exercise less than their non smoking counterparts. Women who smoke tend to experience menopause earlier than nonsmoking women, putting them at greater risk of osteoporosis.
Compared to non smokers, Smokers:
·       Lose bone density at a greater rate
·       Have greater risk for bone fractures
·       Take longer to heal
·       Experience more complications in healing
·       Have lower bone mass
It is hard to determine if it is the smoking or other choices of the smoker that put them at risk, but it is clear that if you do smoke, you may want to consider quitting.
You may think that since you’ve been smoking for years that quitting will not make a difference… you are wrong! While it may take several years to reverse the symptoms, you can improve your health if you quit now.
So, if you want to protect yourself, what can you do? :
·       Stop smoking NOW!
·       Start a regular, weight bearing exercise program to help strengthen bones and increase bone density
·       Avoid excess use of alcohol to stabilize the calcium balance in the body.
·       Be sure you are getting adequate vitamin D and calcium
How can we help? We can support you mentally, emotionally, and physically as you transition to a smoke-free lifestyle.  Smoking is a reaction to stress.  We can help because we are experts at stress relief.

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