Smoking is injurious to health and it causes cancer. This is the phrase which we come across frequently in our lives. ‘Smoking also causes joint pain’, is the phrase which may be added to that. Smoking remains the number one cause for various health complications. In fact, smokers are expected to live 7 to 10 years less than non-smokers. Don’t be shocked to know the fact, yes, it causes joint pains too. Recent study shows smokers are more likely to complain about pain in their back, neck, arms, and legs than non-smokers. They further say smokers and ex-smokers are equally in the risks of joint pains in lower back, neck, upper and lower limbs. The pains cause interference with daily activities and chronic disabilities. The frequent experience of tiredness, stress and headaches is the indication for a lower overall threshold for pain. Dr Niraj Vora, specialist in joint replacement says that there are many effects of smoking on joints.
Why Smoking Causes Pain?
It is clear from the experts that the smoking causes joint pain and we will know why does it causes. To understand it fully, first you need to figure out how smoking in general works on your body. Cigarettes changes the way that the brain processes sensory stimuli and identifies pain. Substance called nicotine makes a smoker feels less pain at first and produces feel-good chemicals like dopamine. Dopamine makes you to addict for cigarettes. Smoking for more than five years with no intermission shows its influence on a cellular level of all organs and body parts. It does not harm the outside body but it gets inside. Poor smokers are not aware of the pain until it gets worse. Smoking not only changes sensory stimuli but also the body’s circulatory system and prevent nutrients from flowing to the muscles and joints. This is the main reason smoking causes joint pains. Also slow down the body’s natural healing mechanisms which causes difficulty in recovering from injuries that cause pain. The most common type of pain that smokers feel is back pain. However, neck, shoulder, hip, knee, hand and elbow pain were also more common in smokers than non-smokers. Osteoarthritis patients experience more pain and loss of bone cartilage if they are already smokers. Apart from joint pains, it is the main cause for numerous health issues.
- It affects the blood flow and circulation.
- It slows down the production of new tissues.
- It does not allow the tissues to absorb calcium.
- Responsible for low levels of estrogen in the body.
- Slows down the healing and prophylaxis processes.
- Smoker needs more time for rehabilitation after surgery.
Another serious problem which is caused by smoking is knee pain. Smoking effects every tissue in human body and it increases the risk of developing a weakness of bone that causes fractures. There are several studies which says that smoking causes knee pain and it is more often in older people.