Did you know that there is scientific data that connects back pain and smoking? It’s true: scientific studies conducted by the American Journal of Medicine and other recognized medical organizations have shown a surprising correlation between smoking and back pain. The correlation holds true across multiple demographics, which strongly suggests causation. Added to the other known risks of smoking, such as heart and lung disease, this new data gives back pain sufferers who smoke even more reason to quit.
Finding the Motivation to Quit
If the idea that smoking can be as much to blame for your back pain as your herniated discs and bone spurs isn’t enough of a reason to give up the smokes, here are a few more incentives:
- Cost – Quitting smoking can save you thousands of dollars a year, not only on the cost of the cigarettes or cigars themselves, but also on the high tax rates charged for these items.
- Disease prevention – By now, almost everyone realizes that smoking is a major contributor to lung disease, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. In fact, smoking is a top cause of preventable death in the United States. However, many people don’t realize that quitting smoking can reduce your susceptibility to a host of less-serious conditions, including psoriasis, ringing of the ears, Crohn’s disease, and even frostbite.
- Aesthetic – Smoking can cause your teeth and fingers to yellow, and your skin to prematurely age. If you smoke in your house or your car, smoking can also cause unpleasant aesthetic changes in your environment (yellow walls, smelly upholstery). Quitting smoking can help you avoid or reduce these disagreeable effects.
Finding the Tools to Quit
Many smokers find success with the “cold turkey” method of quitting. They simply wait out the physical withdrawal symptoms, and then use willpower alone to get over the psychological aspect of their addiction. Other people need some additional help, and find it useful to incorporate quitting tools. Some examples of these are:
- Nicotine patches – One of the most popular forms of nicotine replacement therapy, nicotine patches are worn on the skin and release nicotine into the bloodstream. Using patches can help smokers withdraw slowly from their physical addition to nicotine while immediately giving up cigarettes, thus avoiding the many other dangerous substances that cigarette smoking introduces into the body.
- Nicotine replacement gums – Nicotine gums operate on a similar principle as nicotine patches. However, since the gum is chewed, some smokers find that the chewing sensation helps them combat the psychological aspects of their addition by giving them something to do with their mouths other than smoke.
- Stop-smoking medications – There are a number of FDA-approved prescription medications that can help you quit. These drugs work in part by blocking nicotine receptors in the brain, which helps decrease the physical pleasure of smoking.
As anyone who has tried to quit smoking knows, it’s not as easy as simply vowing never to light up again. However, there are numerous resources available to provide support and assistance with your plan to quit. With the information in this article, you’ll be better prepared for your journey to implementing a smoke-free lifestyle.