Bad effects of smoking and tobacco on spine health

Bad effects of smoking and tobacco on spine health


Do you get constant back pain and neck pain even after you eat healthy, exercise regularly and take extra care not to hurt your back while lifting something heavy? Do you wonder why your back still feels stiff even after changing your sleeping singular positions? Does your back hurt after long hours of sitting on your chair at work? If your day is filled with smoking breaks or if you are frequently exposed to passive-smoking, it’s not a mystery why the back pain doesn’t cease to exist. Tobacco use still is the leading cause of death, disease and disability. People are well aware about the fact that smoking can be detrimental to your health and has a bad effect on your lungs and heart. But what most people don’t know is that apart from increasing the risks for cancer, lung diseases, heart disease, stroke and depression, smoking also damages the spine. Apart from damaging your bones and resulting in spine problems, smoking has many other ill effects in the body such as cancer, heart and blood diseases, tooth decay, respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s Disease, premature wrinkles among many others.

Oftentimes, people choose to smoke to get temporary relief from back pain, neck pain or aching joints. However, it is not wise to do so as nicotine-induced pain relief may actually worsen your pain overtime. The nicotine in tobacco releases chemicals like dopamine, which can make you feel fulfilling, thereby making it an addictive habit. Tobacco harms the transportation of oxygen-rich blood to bones and tissues. When the blood and nutrient flow is decreased, it causes degeneration particularly in the discs of the spine. This area already has a limited blood flow, thereby resulting to lower back pain and osteoporosis. Smoking increases your heart rate, blood pressure, creates tension in your muscles and releases carbon monoxide into your blood. Lower back pain and Lumbar Spondylosis are related to smoking and hypertension. Smoking decreases estrogen levels in both pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women, resulting in loss of bone density. This eventually causes bones to lose strength and become more fragile.

Smoking is the major reason that damages your spinal health. Frequent smoking can decrease your bone density which makes you prone to develop osteoporosis, which is a condition that makes your bones brittle and weak. Smoking also is a cause for Degenerative disc disease, which is a condition where vertebral discs are weakened. Nicotine may have a direct toxic effect on the nucleus cells, which is directly responsible for Degenerative disc disease. Smoking deoxygenates blood and damages the lungs which can result to a decrease in your physical activities. Something as simple as climbing up the stairs or walking for a while can become difficult and painful. Reducing daily activity and mobility can have negative effects on your spine. Smoking can also gravely affect people who have spinal diseases like Spondylolisthesis, Osteoporosis, Discitis and Spinal Stenosis, among many others.

Quitting smoking and incorporating healthy lifestyle changes can give positive and immediate improvements. However, serious spinal disorders if not treated, can interfere with the day to day activities of normal life. If the pain is persistent for a long period of time, surgeries like herniated disc surgery, disc replacement surgery, sciatica surgery, spinal cord treatment, lumbar decompression, sciatic nerve treatment can also be opted.

It is very important to choose a trusted and renowned surgeon, as spinal surgery is a serious surgical procedure. Dr. Subodh M. Shetty, who is one of the most renowned Orthopaedic surgeons in India, has expertise in spine surgeries, joint surgeries and provides lower back pain treatment. He has an excellent record of successful surgeries and has performed complicated spine surgeries as well and is the best spine doctor in Bangalore. Dr. Subodh M. Shetty can be available for consultation at SMS Spine and Ortho Clinic at Koramangala and Banashankari, South Bangalore. Apart from the clinic, he also practices in hospitals like Apollo Spectra Hospitals, SSNMC Super Specialty Hospital, Sagar Hospitals and ProMed Hospital. For further information on spine disorders, please visit the page
To book an appointment with Dr Subodh M. Shetty, please visit the website