Many of the health risks associated with smoking are well known in today’s society. Study after study have shown that smoking increases the likelihood of lung cancer and heart disease. Additionally, smoking can also cause lesser-known dangers such as constricted blood vessels and increased risk of leukemia. But what many people don’t know is that smoking can also cause other health risks we wouldn’t think to associate with smoking, such as back pain.

A study published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases collected information on nearly 95,000 subjects over a 14 year period to test whether or not smoking had any affect on a person’s likelihood to develop Psoriatic Arthritis, which is a form of inflammatory arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis often leads to joint pain and swelling in areas of the body that undergo excessive usage. The study found that past smokers were about 1.5 times more likely to develop psoriatic arthritis than non-smokers and those who had smoked for over 25 years were even more likely. These researchers concluded that smokers were more likely to develop arthritis due to the increased inflammation and negative impact to the immune system caused by smoking.

In additional research following the conclusion of this study, researchers found that smokers were more susceptible to structural lesions on the spine. Structural lesions are a build up of abnormal tissue caused by a disease or injury. In addition to the health issues and pains that smoking can cause, the back pain that comes with smoking often leads to employees missing work, negatively impacting the employee and the employer.

The obvious first step in preventing the development of back pain as a result of smoking is to stop smoking as soon as you can. This will certainly benefit you when it comes to reducing the likelihood of not only back pain but also more dire health issues such as lung cancer and heart disease. However, if you have been a smoker in the past and have already started to experience back pain, seeking out treatment from a chiropractor can help alleviate the pain you are experiencing. Chiropractors can not only treat the back pain, using a number of proven pain management techniques, but can also support and guide you in making healthier lifestyle choices going forward. That’s the beauty of chiropractic, it utilizes a holistic approach that combines a wide range of methods to provide the patient with the most effective possible result.

If you or someone you know is a smoker and has experienced back pain, Advanced Chiropractic & Rehab may be able to help. Give us a call at (330) 726-7404 to set up a consultation and we’ll see what we can do to help you improve your daily quality of life. We have been servicing the Youngstown and Mahoning Valley area since 2001 with convenient locations in Boardman, Hubbard, and Kinsman. At Advanced Chiropractic & Rehab we are a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation group that treats work comp injuries, whiplash, sports injuries and specializes in much more than just lower back pain.