Your Back Hurts? You Should Stop Smoking


Smoking is often a surprising factor in chronic back pain.

One of the questions pain management specialist Dr. Victor Tseng asks patients with back pain is “Do you smoke?”

And they are often surprised by this. What does smoking have to do with back pain?

“Quitting smoking helps with back pain, because smoking decreases the body’s oxygen. The discs in the back are vascular so when they don’t get enough oxygen, they shrink and aren’t as flexible,” Tseng said.

Although many people know that smoking has many health consequences, this is one that surprises them.

Dr. Tseng said that besides giving up cigarettes, getting exercise to keep your blood circulating throughout your body (including those discs!) is an important part of pain prevention. This type of expertise can help you find the answers to getting back to life – sometimes in unexpected places.

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