Lincoln, Nebraska
8540 Executive Woods Dr., Ste 200 Office 105
Lincoln, NE 68512

Smoking Increases Muscle Pain, Back Pain September 20, 2017

Lincoln, Lancaster
Smoking Increases Muscle Pain, Back Pain, Lincoln, Nebraska

Smoking is Related to Muscle Pain and Back Pain

During each trigger point release session, I try to educate my clients on factors that may be causing or contributing to myofascial trigger point development. Some of those factors include things like posture, sleep positions, food or SMOKING. I see many people who are smokers experiencing ongoing problems with recurring myofascial trigger points. Although they frequently experience relief from trigger point therapy, it is not always long lasting.

Research is shows that smoking is the root cause of many musculoskeletal disorders (1) and is especially related to back pain. Smoking causes changes in the processing of pain by the brain and can be responsible for structural changes in other systems that will predispose people to painful musculoskeletal conditions like myofascial trigger points, lumbar disc disease, impaired bone and wound healing. Low back pain is related to the disc degeneration caused by smoking. In a survey of British adults, smokers and former smokers were found to have a higher lifetime risk for musculoskeletal pain (2). A Norwegian study of adults with musculoskeletal pain found that smokers reported a more intense level of pain than non-smokers (3).

Many of my patients will tell me they have been in a lot of pain and the trigger point release can be an uncomfortable therapy for them. That is because smoking alters the brains processing of pain and its perception so that smokers feel a higher level of pain than non-smokers. Studies show that smoking is not only a risk factor for developing chronic pain, but when smoking is stopped, withdrawal from nicotine is related to a higher pain sensitivity in the muscles which can last a long time after smoking is stopped.

If you are a smoker who experiences frequent muscle pain it is valuable to recognize that smoking may be making your pain worse. A trigger point therapy evaluation and treatment will help you identify life style habits that may be making your pain worse. Make an appointment today! Call 228-8955 or visit

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