Quit Smoking to Reduce Chronic Pain
Some people with chronic pain smoke cigarettes, in order to help cope with their pain. The nicotine present in tobacco can make an individual feel good in the short term, as it triggers the release of dopamine, a “feel-good” chemical in the brain. This short-term reward is the reason smoking is so addictive. However, smoking cigarettes may affect chronic pain in the long run. It impairs blood flow, which causes less oxygen and nutrients to be delivered to vital organs, bones, tissues and muscles. This can lead to worsening chronic pain.
Smoking cigarettes is an unhealthy habit that can cause cancer, lung conditions and cardiovascular disease. Smoking can also increase pain from conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis and chronic pain. Smokers are three times more likely to get chronic lower back pain as opposed to non-smokers. Chronic smoking also causes fatigue and impairs the immune system.