Does Smoking or Diabetes Cause 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.

Research Findings

Researchers discovered that smoking history, high blood pressure, and heart disease – all of which are risk factors for narrowing of the arteries – significantly increased the likelihood of low back pain.

These same risk factors, along with high cholesterol levels, were also significantly associated with the development of lumbar spondylosis (degeneration).


These findings support the theory that narrowing of the arteries may cause lower back pain and degenerative disorders of the intervertebral discs.  Researchers have suggested that damage to the vascular structures (blood supply) of the discs and joints is the mechanism of injury in low back pain.

Conclusions from Smoking and Low Back Pain Study

The study concluded that development of lower back pain was significantly associated with smoking history and high blood pressure, and 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 diabetics was that diabetes did not increase the incidence of lower back pain or lumbar spondylosis (degeneration).

Back Pain Conditions

Ankylosing Spondylitis
Back Muscle Pain
Bulging Disc
Core Stability Deficiency
Degenerative Disc Disease
DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Facet Joint Pain
Lumbar Stress Fractures (Cricket Fast Bowlers)
Muscle Strain
Osteitis Pubis
Overuse Injuries
Pinched Nerve
Piriformis Syndrome
Pregnancy Back Pain
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Sacroiliac Joint Pain
Scheuermann’s Disease
Side Strain (Abdominal)
Spinal Stenosis
Spondylolysis (Back Stress Fracture)
Spondylosis (Spine Arthritis)
Stress Fracture

Back Pain FAQs

Common Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques
What Causes Back Pain?
What is Pain?
Physiotherapy & Exercise
Massage Styles and their Benefits
What Causes Post-Exercise Muscular Pain?
What are the Best Core Exercises?
Can Kinesiology Taping Reduce Your Swelling and Bruising?
Chest Pain: Is it a Heart Attack or Your Spine?
Does Smoking or Diabetes Cause Lower Back Pain?
Heat Packs. Why does heat feel so good?
How Do You Prevent Back Pain?
How Does an Exercise Ball Help Back Pain?
How to Achieve the Best Standing Posture
Lower Back Pain Research
Posture Trainer? Check out the BackTone 4000
Sports Injury? What to do? When?
What are Growing Pains?
What are the Benefits of a Standing Desk?
What are the Benefits of Good Posture?
What are the Common Adolescent Spinal Injuries?
What are the Common Massage Therapy Techniques?
What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
What are the Healthiest Sleeping Postures?
What are the Signs of an Unsupportive Pillow?
What are the Symptoms of a Low Back Strain?
What Can You Do To Help Arthritis?
What Causes Pins and Needles?
What Causes Repeat Low Back Strains & Sprains?
What is a TENS Machine?
What is Chronic Pain?
What is Good Standing Posture?
What is Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy?
What is Nerve Pain?
What is Sports Physiotherapy?
What is the Correct Way to Sit?
What to do when you suffer back pain?
What to expect when you visit PhysioWorks?
What’s the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
What’s Your Core Stability Score?
When Should You Use a Shoulder Posture Brace?
Why are Sprains and Strains of the Low Back Common?
Why are Your Deep Core Muscles Important?
Why does Back Pain Recur?
Why Kinesiology Tape Helps Reduce Swelling and Bruising Quicker

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!