Smoking Effect on Lower Back Pain
It’s more bad news for smokers. A new study strengthens the link between smoking and lower back pain. It also sheds light on the causes of degenerative lumbar spine problems.
Numerous researchers have proposed a link between smoking and low back pain, but the exact nature of that link had remained largely untested in long-term studies.
The new study on smoking and low back pain, which examined 1,337 doctors, followed some participants for more than 50 years.
Researchers discovered that smoking history, high blood pressure, and heart disease – all of which are risk factors for narrowing the arteries – significantly increased the likelihood of low back pain.
These same risk factors and high cholesterol levels were also significantly associated with lumbar spondylosis development (degeneration).
These findings support the theory that the arteries’ narrowing may cause lower back pain and degenerative disorders of the intervertebral discs. Researchers have suggested that damage to the discs and joints’ vascular structures (blood supply) is the injury mechanism in low back pain.
Conclusions from Smoking and Low Back Pain Study
The study concluded that the development of lower back pain was significantly associated with smoking history and high blood pressure. The development of lumbar spondylosis was significantly associated with smoking history, and high blood pressure and cholesterol.
What about Diabetes and Lower Back Pain?
The good news for people with diabetes was that diabetes did not increase the incidence of lower back pain or lumbar spondylosis (degeneration).