Why does my chiropractor care if I smoke?
As a chiropractor why do I care if my patients smoke? I mean it’s not like I’m treating their lungs or heart, right? Well no directly I’m not. I will have some effect on your lung function, what? How? By working on your upper back, rib cage and muscles of respiration we can improve the mechanics of breathing.
Now back to smoking, why does my chiropractor care if I smoke?
Smoking isn’t just for hearts and lungs any more, smoking or more accurately nicotine( so vaping counts) causes a reduction in blood and nutrient flow to the discs between the spine and the spine itself, now the blood supply to these structures is rather limited to start with and some of the nourishment occurs only by nutrients being transmitted to these structures. This can result in degenerative changes to the spine. Should this happen over a long period of time you may then need a spinal fusion surgery, continuing to smoke will result in a poorer surgical outcome.
Smoking will reduce bone formation leading to a greater risk of spinal fracture especially women who may already have lower bone density due to menopause. If there is a fracture, naturally that fracture will now heal slower as well due to decreased blood flow and decreased bone formation to repair the break.
Let’s leave the effects of smoking on your bones and spine and wonder why else does my chiropractor care if I smoke. If you recall smoking can affect blood flow to certain tissues is rather limited, this would hold true for things like ligaments that connect bones together say in your knee. Smokers who injure their knee ligaments requiring surgical repair will again have poorer outcomes post-surgery and may need revision surgeries later on. Not fun.
Why else does my chiropractor care if I smoke? Smoking has been shown to be one of the strongest environmental risk factors for developing rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, progressive, debilitating and disfiguring form of arthritis, a form of autoimmune reaction characterized by inflammatory joint dysfunction. Eagle Glen Frey recently passed away due to complications related to RA treatment and its subsequent co-morbidities.
So why does my chiropractor care if I smoke? Because I care about you and your overall health.
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