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Quit smoking to help ease back pain.

Smoking has been associated with degenerative disc disease and other back problems. Now, a study published Dec. 5, 2012, in the journal of Bone and Joint Surgery suggests that it also may hinder treatment to relieve an aching spine. The study included 5,333 patients with pain from a spinal disorder who were followed an average of eight months. Compared with patients who had never smoked or stopped smoking during the study period, those who continued to smoke had significantly greater pain, the study found. "As a group, those who had continued smoking during treatment had no clinically important improvement in reported pain," the researchers wrote. "Given a strong association between improved patient-reported pain and smoking cessation, this study supports the need for smoking-cessation programs for patients with a painful spinal disorder." The take-home message: Quitting smoking is beneficial for a number of reasons, including easing back pain and improving your overall spine health. Discuss smoking-cessation strategies with your physician.

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Title Annotation:NEWS BRIEFS
Publication:Men's Health Advisor
Date:Mar 1, 2013
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