How Does Smoking Affect Joint Pain?

It’s no secret that smoking is bad news. With 4,000 chemical compounds and more than 40 carcinogens in every puff of industry-produced tobacco, our lungs are suffering under these harsh conditions. To add insult to injury, heart disease and smoking have been closely linked in studies dating back more than 50 years. It is estimated that in 2017 half a million people in the United States alone will have died from complications connected to smoking.

In the short term, the harmful effects are equally obvious. Smoking comes with a host of associated social problems. Smoking is unsightly, produces an unpleasant aroma, and is the butt of the office joke, with inconveniently frequent 10-minute breaks needed to smoke outside before working with colleagues can resume.

It should surprise no one that smokers can spend upwards of $5,000 each year, on average, just maintaining the habit.

The Cruel Illusion

lungs-smoking-joint-pain-sports-medicine-michael-bothby-top10mdSmoking appears to relax smokers for a variety of reasons. It is a ritual act with a calming, repetitive and soothing sequence of actions. You tap the bag, separate and pull from the pack. Within seconds of the first draw from a cigarette, nicotine has flooded the brain’s receptors while active substances are released into the bloodstream and eventually delivered to all bodily tissues. While relaxed, the dopamine surge a cigarette chemical cocktail produces actually misdirects your pain receptors and has the long-term consequence of actually aggravating your body’s core systems. The “high” hides the “harm.”

Smoking’s Role in Joint Pain

With every smoke and every pack, accumulating toxins build up reserves in many of your body’s core locations, both in primary organs and in the connective tissues surrounding them. Oxygen-rich blood and nutrient delivery to our bones is obstructed as well and can have a degenerative effect. Discomfort occurs as those ligaments, cartilage and other fibrous tissues deteriorate. One of the more unsavory consequences of this decline is limited range-of-movement as your pain dictates your mobility. This is especially relevant if you want to move, travel, work, or play. Every intended action requires mobility of some kind. Mobility is the domino that stands in front of the many others and has a profound impact on your ability to survive and to thrive.

Benefits of Quitting

smoking-joint-pain-sports-medicine-orthopedic-michael-boothby-top10mdDropping the habit is absolutely vital to reclaiming yourself. Life expectancy can increase by nearly 20 years if you quit soon enough. Quality of life, additionally, can be bettered as well. New studies shine the light on the advantages of quitting smoking can accrue to your joint health as well.

  • Increased mobility
  • Enhanced stamina
  • Boosted immune system
  • Appetite returned to normal
  • Improved energy levels
  • Cosmetic benefits of skin, teeth, hair, eyes

Schedule your appointment with Dr. Boothby today.

Michael Boothby, MD Sports Medicine Specialist orthopedic surgeon fort worthFort Worth Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Michael Boothby is a highly respected member of the orthopedic community. Dr. Boothby is Board Certified and Medical Director of The Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute. Dr. Boothby has been named Top10MD for four years in a row. Only 1 in 3 doctors succeed with this recognition in the United States. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Boothby link to his profile or call 817-529- 1900 today.