Research has shown for many years that there is a link between smoking and an increased risk for lower back pain. A study by the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS) in December 2012 found that smokers suffering from spinal disorders and related back pain reported greater discomfort than those patients who stopped smoking during an eight month treatment period.
Almost all adults will at some time see a doctor about back pain or other painful spinal disorders. Smoking has been identified as a modifiable risk factor for chronic pain disorders and those who quit smoking before the study reported significantly less pain when compared with those who did not quit smoking.
Nicotine increases pain and this study conclusively shows that there is a relationship between smoking and pain. Regardless of the treatment you have, the likelihood to improve your care is dramatically decreased if you are a smoker.
This study supports the need for smoking cessation programs for patients with spinal conditions.