Straighten Up, Move & Quit Smoking!
World Spine Day is dedicated to shining a spotlight on the backbone of our health. Our spine is quite literally a central core to our well being. If you’ve ever had any back pain, you’ll know how immobilising and painful it can be.
Our sedentary life-style does very little to help our posture and improve bone health. Common spinal disorders include back pain, neck pain, scoliosis and disc disease. These all have an effect on our ability to work, enjoy life, sleep and relax.
- We live in an age where low back pain is ranked highest in terms of disability & 6th in terms of overall burden
- Up to 80% of people will suffer from back or neck pain during their lives
- 50% of the working population will experience back or neck pain symptoms at least once a year
- Age is one of the most common risk factors for spinal pain & the greatest effects of population ageing are predicted in low and middle income countries
- Back and neck pain is the most common reason for workplace sick leave
Nicotine kills bone!
Yet one more reason to quit smoking. Most people aren’t aware that smoking has a serious and debilitating effect on your bones and joints. Scientists have found that smoking increases your risk of developing osteoporosis and studies have shown that the blood supply is reduced to bones in the same way as it is reduced to many other body tissues.
- Nicotine actively slows down the production of bone-forming cells (osteoblasts) which results in less bone being made.
- Smoking also decreases the body’s ability to absorb calcium from the food you eat. Calcium is, of course, necessary for bone mineralisation. Heavy smokers, though, tend to have more fragile bones than non-smokers and are more likely to develop osteoporosis and suffer fractures in later life.
- Smoking breaks down the hormone oestrogen which is important in both men and women to build and maintain a strong skeleton.
The statistics are overwhelming when looking at the harm that smoking does to the human body. The musculoskeletal system is adversely affected by nicotine as it causes damage to tissue and increases risk of injury and disease. Tears to the rotator cuff, for example, are almost twice as large in smokers as those in non-smokers whilst incidences of bursitis and tendonitis are also more prevalent in those people that are addicted to nicotine.
Rarely do we hear that in order to promote good bone health you have to quit smoking. And yet, the regular presence of nicotine in the body has been proven to affect general wound healing as well as bone density and a healthy blood supply.
Are you helping your patients to deal with a range of health issues to help improve their bone health? Do you think that Massage Therapy & Acupuncture play a part alongside Physical Therapy and Chiropractic care to help individuals take bone health more seriously and quit smoking?
To raise awareness on World Spine Day (October 16th) we’re all encouraged to share a #SpineSelfie to help promote Bone and Joint Decade’s Action Week and the “Straighten Up and Move” theme. Our friend Stan Skeleton is always happy to oblige with a selfie .. will you?