Dealing with chronic pain is a vast and complex facet of life. Chronic pain is not only physically limiting, but mentally and emotionally difficult as well. Patients who are constantly in pain may experience increased frustration, anxiety, depression, and immobility. And smoking worsens this chronic pain.
Sometimes, it may seem like there is no hope. This is why many patients seek comfort and relief from other substances such as tobacco, alcohol, or pain-killing drugs. While these things may provide some comfort in the short-term, they can have drastic long-term effects.
At Centers of Rehabilitation and Pain Medicine, we have seen the negative effects that smoking has on chronic pain. Unfortunately, smoking can only make chronic pain worse. Below, you’ll find more information about why smoking is bad for chronic pain and what other methods of pain relief are much healthier. As a pain clinic in Orange County, We also provide a wealth of patient resources for those looking for more progressive ways to deal with their pain.
Smoking and Chronic Pain
It’s first important to notice the statistics. Although smoking can worsen the symptoms of chronic pain, more than half of chronic pain patients smoke, according to studies published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine. It is commonly known that people turn to cigarettes as a way to ease short-term anxiety and pain.
However, smoking actually leads to more back pain. The longer you smoke nicotine and tobacco, the more symptoms of pain and discomfort will appear. According to experts, smoking actually interferes with the chronic pain healing process.
How Smoking Interferes with Healing
Smoking can interfere with chronic pain treatment in several different ways.
Increased Perception of Pain
Some people believe that smoking cigarettes can help take the “edge” off, numbing the body to all of its pains and irritations. However, it is more often than not that tobacco exacerbates pain perception, making you hyper-aware and overly sensitive to pain.
Interference with Pain Meds
You may be prescribed a certain pain medication to deal with your pain. If that is the case, then smoking may interfere with the way the medicine works. Not to mention, smoking will exacerbate your feelings of pain, making you think that you need a larger dose of painkillers to get rid of the edge. This can lead to a disruption in pain management progress.
Creation of New Symptoms
Not only does smoking prohibit treatments from working as effectively as they could, but it also creates new symptoms of its own. Smoking is a very dangerous activity that can lead to a wide range of health problems, including osteoporosis, heart disease, and lung cancer. Plus, consistent coughing is a one-way ticket to increased back pain.
How to Quit Smoking and Relieve Pain the Right Way
Once patients have been smoking for a while, it can be tough to quit. It’s understandable to struggle with ending your tobacco habits, although working on new lifestyle changes can help introduce healthier ways to heal.
This is a battle you should not fight alone. Reach out to your family and friends for help, and it will become much easier to fight smoking and chronic pain the right way. We support the use of nicotine replacement products for a period of time as you deal with the withdrawal symptoms that come from quitting tobacco. We also encourage using resources like support groups and online forums to help put these new lifestyle changes into action.
Treat Your Chronic Pain Today!
Whether you are experiencing chronic pain for the first time or you have been dealing with it for a good chunk of your life, it’s important to find a progressive and productive treatment system that works for you. Depending on the nature, location, and severity of your chronic pain, there are several different treatments available.
Many people tend to turn to smoking or drinking to relieve symptoms of pain in the immediate moment. However, these actions have drastic long-term effects and smoking worsens chronic pain. With us, you can learn the right way to manage your pain symptoms while keeping your body healthy for years to come. Pick an individualized pain treatment plan for pain relief today!