There are some lifestyle choices that can increase pain in patients. Smoking, for instance, can intensify pain. Smokers tend to report higher pain scores and more impairments to daily functions than nonsmokers (Mekhail et al., 2018). Smoking can also delay healing, worsen bone health, and weaken discs in the back (Mekhail et al., 2018). Along with these reasons, we also know that smoking causes significant harm to the lungs and increases the risk of various cancers.
We all know smoking is bad for your body and those around you. How can I quit? We can work with you in this journey. The quitting process truly is a journey. It is a marathon and not a sprint. There are several tools to help. Medication, like nicotine patches and Chantix, are very helpful. Also, there are free apps available for download on your phone. We recommend counseling along with medication therapy. An accountability partner for encouragement, is always helpful.
Stopping smoking is a hard decision to make, but a step in the right direction for health and decreasing pain. If you are ready to quit smoking, please let us support you in taking that first step in this marathon.
Emily Walker, CRNP
Mekhail, N., Azer, G., Saweris, Y., Mehanny, D. S., Costandi, S., & Mao, G. (2018). The impact
of tobacco cigarettes smoking on spinal cord stimulation effectiveness in chronic spine-
related pain patients. Reg Anesth Pain Med, 43(7), 768-775. doi: