Quitting smoking 'aids treatment for back pain'

6 December 2012

People with severe back pain who gave up smoking reported less pain than those who continued to consume cigarettes, new research has found.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS), found that smokers who experienced spinal disorders and related back pain were in more pain than patients with the same condition who quit smoking during a treatment period of eight months.

Smoking has been identified as a modifiable risk factor for chronic pain disorders, and researchers monitored the smoking habits and reported pain of participants who had axial or radicular pain from a spinal disorder.

In addition to the above findings, it was revealed that the group that continued smoking during the treatment period saw no clinically significant improvement in reported pain.

Study author Glenn R Rechtine, from the University of Rochester Department of Orthopaedics, said: "We know that nicotine increases pain.

"In this study, if you quit smoking during treatment, you got better. If you continued to smoke, there was statistically no improvement, regardless of the treatment you had."

Posted by Edward Bartel


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