How quitting smoking can find you back pain relief
Did you know that there is scientific data that shows a connection between back pain and smoking? 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 individuals who have back pain even more reason to quit smoking.
As anyone who has tried to quit smoking knows, it’s not as simple as vowing never to light up another cigarette or cigar. However, with the resources described in this article, you’ll be better prepared for your journey to implement a smoke-free lifestyle.
Finding the motivation to quit smoking
It has been proven that smoking can be as much to blame for your back pain as herniated discs and bone spurs. If that isn’t enough of a reason to quit smoking, here are a few more incentives:
- Cost. Quitting smoking can save you thousands of dollars a year, not only on the cost but also on the high tax rates charged for these items.
- Disease prevention. Smoking is considered a top cause of preventable death in the United States and is a major contributor to lung disease, heart disease and certain types of cancer. Smoking can also make you less susceptible to a host of other conditions, including psoriasis (red skin patches and itchy scales), Crohn’s disease (a chronic inflammatory bowel disease) and even frostbite, as your circulation is no longer restricted.
- Aesthetic. Smoking can cause your teeth and fingers to yellow and your skin to prematurely age. If you smoke in your house or car, it can also cause unpleasant aesthetic changes in your environment such as yellowish-brown stains from nicotine. Quitting smoking can help you avoid or reduce these disagreeable effects.
Tools to help you quit smoking
Many people find success with the “cold turkey” method when determining how to quit smoking. They wait out the physical withdrawal symptoms and then use their 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 tools are:
- Nicotine patches. Nicotine patches are worn on the skin and release nicotine into the bloodstream. They are considered one of the most popular forms of nicotine replacement therapy. Using patches can help many people withdraw slowly from their physical addiction to nicotine after they give up smoking. Thus, avoiding the many other dangerous substances that smoking introduces into the body.
- Nicotine replacement gum. Nicotine gum operates on a similar principle as a nicotine patch to help people quit smoking. However, some smokers find that the chewing sensation helps them combat the psychological aspects of their addiction by giving them something else to place in their mouth.
- Medications to quit smoking. There are a number of FDA-approved prescription medications that can help you quit, including Varenicline and Bupropion. These drugs work in part by blocking nicotine receptors in the brain, which helps decrease the physical pleasure of smoking.
Smoking is a leading risk factor for spine conditions like osteoporosis, facet disease, spinal arthritis and other degenerative spine diseases. If you have been diagnosed with one of these conditions and have exhausted other conservative treatments as recommended by your physician, surgery may be an option for you.
Contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn about the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery. Our team can help you receive a no-cost MRI review* in order to see if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.