Smoking Effects on Musculoskeletal Health

You may know that smoking increases the risk of developing cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, but did you know it can negatively affect your musculoskeletal system as well? The musculoskeletal system includes the bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons which all play a role in executing movements. Smoking can weaken your bones and makes the healing process slower so your body becomes more prone to injuries and chronic inflammation.

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How does Smoking Affects your Health?

  1. It increases the risk of developing Osteoporosis: Smoking increases the rate of mineral loss in your bones so it weakens overtime causing fractures to occur easier and more frequently. The bone is weakened through several ways. The nicotine found in cigarettes can slow down the production of bone-forming cells called osteoblasts so more bone is broken down rather than being made.
  2. The blood vessels become damaged: When your blood vessels are damaged, the amount of blood and oxygen supply to your tissues is significantly reduced which affects the tissue’s performance. This can lead to cardiovascular diseases and problems while exercising.
  3.  Smoking increases injury and pain to muscles: Smokers tend to suffer chronic or traumatic injuries to the muscles more often than non-smokers. This is due to the slower healing process smokers have, making it more prone to injuries. As it is slower for the muscles to heal, the duration of pain and inflammation lasts longer. Studies show that smokers are more likely to experience tendinitis and shoulder pain resulting in a higher risk of getting rotator cuff injuries.
  4. Exercise is negatively affected: The carcinogens in cigarettes damages the lung tissues so overtime your lungs cannot work as efficiently compared to a healthy lung. During exercise, your body requires more oxygen due to quicker metabolic rates occurring in working tissues. If the lungs are damaged, it is harder to reach that oxygen supply needed therefore your lungs need to work harder to maintain its function. Smokers will experience shortness of breath a lot more than non-smokers. Demand for oxygen causes heart rate to increase and blood flow to tissues will increase. If there is damaged to the blood vessels, this can cause more strain in your cardiovascular system which can be dangerous for your body overtime.

Smoking cigarettes negatively impacts your health not only damaging your lungs but also your musculoskeletal system which is another reason why quitting smoking should be encouraged. The earlier you stop smoking, some damages in your body can still be reversible. There are different methods to help quit smoking and even when you do but still experience musculoskeletal pain, you can make an appointment with one of our practitioners today!