If you are a smoker who also suffers from chronic pain, you may be unintentionally worsening your chronic pain symptoms. More than half of people receiving treatment for chronic pain also smoke cigarettes, which is surprising considering smokers only make up 18% of the population.
How Smoking Affects Chronic Pain
Nicotine is an addictive substance found in cigarettes that reduces the function of your heart and lungs, hindering your body’s ability to circulate oxygen through your bloodstream. It also slows healing, increases your blood pressure and heart rate, and reduces the elasticity of your skin. These health issues combine to increase the intensity of your chronic pain.
Smoking cigarettes tightens your arteries, which decreases the speed of oxygen and carbon dioxide exchanges in your blood. Your muscles and joints need blood to function correctly, and when you smoke, you are depriving them of blood, and the blood they do get is much lower in quality.
Chronic pain sufferers often deal with fatigue, which smoking can exacerbate. In addition, smoking slows down the healing process, meaning you recover from injuries much more slowly.
Quitting smoking is not an easy process, but it can help you manage your chronic pain better. Contact our doctors for effective pain management near Jacksonville, FL, today and schedule a consultation.