Smoking is a major contribution to Degenerative Disc Disease, also known as DDD. This is an illness due to smoking. These discs are between the vertebrae, and are like pliable cushions, also like a shock absorber for the back and neck bones.
It is normal for the discs to slowly degenerate as we get older, because they become less pliable. Studies show that a smoker has a higher risk of getting Degenerative Disc Disease than a non-smoker. Vital nutrients are deprived from the discs, because of the nicotine in cigarettes.
The discs that are most highly affected are the lower back and the neck. A person who smokes allows carbon monoxide to get into the blood stream, and then it gets into the bodies tissues. The nutrients needed from the blood cannot be absorbed, because of the poison in the carbon monoxide.
Degenerated Discs are actually just discs that have become dehydrated, which in turn means less pliable. When a disc becomes terribly malnourished, there is a high possibility for a ruptured disc. When the inside of the disc, comes out through the outer layer of the disc, is when you have what is called a ‘ruptured disc’.
A ruptured disc can cause nerve damage to the arms and legs. It is also very painful, and can cause nerve damage or even numbness. When you are a smoker, you often experience coughing. This is very rough on the spine, because of the increase in pressure on the spine when you cough.
Smoke-related toxins causes the spine to weaken, and then with all the extra pressure from coughing, there is a greater chance of disc ruptures and bulges. Life is much harder to enjoy if you suffer from Degenerate Disc Disease.
To help this problem, you can either deal with it or, you may consider a major surgery. This surgery would consist of removing material from the disc, and then putting it back together with either rods and screws, a bone graft, or metal plates. If you require surgery, you must be smoke free for several months before the surgery.
It has been proven by researchers, that nicotine is definitely a toxin to the bones. Lower back pain is often caused by Degenerative Disc Disease. You can do things to try to prevent the Degenerative Disc Disease from flaring up, something as simple as proper posture. Keep moving, if at all possible, because becoming immobile will only make matters worse.
You can also go through a rehab program, which will teach you exercises to help ease some of the pain on your lower back. You may also wish to discuss a pain medication with your doctor, which would probably include a muscle relaxer.
You might consider an Epidural Injection, which is basically a large shot of steroids that will help relieve the inflammation in the lower back. This is what they give women who go into labor and have to have a cesarean birth, it actually numbs the lower body.
A Chiropractor, a massage, or acupuncture may also be some other options. So, quit now, and cut down your risks of Degenerative Disc Disease, Cancer, and any other diseases related to smoking.