If you’re a smoker and suffer from chronic pain, here’s a good reason to make quitting smoking your New Years Resolution! Studies have shown that smokers are more likely to develop chronic back pain than non-smokers. Studies with a large number of participants have also shown that those who quit smoking reported greater improvements in pain symptoms than those who continued to smoke. The participants in these studies who did not quit smoking reported no improvement in their pain.
Although many patients believe that smoking helps them to cope with their pain, the data demonstrates that the opposite is true. Studies have also shown that people who quit smoking have improvement in pain after surgery and procedures.
Quitting smoking is extremely difficult but it can help you get part of your life back from chronic pain. Talk to your doctor about potential medications and/or counseling options to help you quit. Not only can quitting decrease your chronic pain, it will increase your health and quality of life.