Does Smoking Affect your Bone Health?

Smoking is probably the simplest and most efficient habit to spoil one’s health. Cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetic complications, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), and more – It has been attributed to a wide array of health problems, deservedly.

But does it affect bone health? Our Scoliosis specialist in the UK, Mr Jwalant Mehta sure does recommend avoiding smoking, but how does smoking impact bone health, more importantly , spine health and if does how can you improve your bone health? Let us find out in this blog:


What smoking does to your bones?

 Smoking increases the risk of osteoporosis, a condition where the bones become brittle and fragile and also reduces your ability to recover from musculoskeletal injuries. It is interesting how the simple act of inhaling the smoke can weaken hard and tough bones, but smoking have its ways:

  1. Our bones need a constant supply of nutrient-rich blood and smoking over time, reduces this blood supply impacting their health and growth.
  2. Calcium is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in bone build and smoking reduces the absorption of calcium too.
  3. While reducing the blood flow and absorption of calcium, smoking also impeded the production of Osteoblasts, which literally makes-up the bone.

In addition to the above, the smoke itself releases a load of free radicals with every puff and this free radical disturb the whole ecosystem triggering a chain reaction of damage to cells, hormones and also organs. For example, smoking cause estrogen imbalance reducing your body’s ability to build strong bones. Owing to all the bad it delivers to the body, smokers are also more prone to autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and suffer the wrath of osteoarthritis a tad bit when compared to non-smokers.


Smoking and Spinal Health:

Given the impact of smoking on bone health, it is only natural that the spinal bones and discs are also negatively impacted. Smoking also increases the risk of lower back pain owing to the reasons mentioned above which is why we advise all our patients to quit smoking and make healthy lifestyle choice.

“Also, smokers take significantly longer time to heal and recover from surgery when compared to non-smokers.”, says Scoliosis specialist and Spine surgeon Mr Jwalant S.Mehta.

Smoking is injurious to bone health, yes. But does refraining from smoking improve bone health? Let us see.


So, does quit smoking improve your bone health?

In simple terms, yes, quitting smoking does improve your bone health. According to a recent study, there has been significant improvement in bone health of women who quit smoking, when compared to their older selves, almost a year ago.

But the pace at which improvement depends upon the intensity of your habit – heavy smokers take the longest time to notice improvement. However, adopting healthy lifestyle choices like regular exercise, a healthy diet with calcium-rich foods and avoiding excessive alcohol in addition to quitting the smoke, can improve your bone health by a significant margin.

That said, if you are suffering from lower back pain or need more tips to improve your bone health, you can contact Children and Adult Spinal Surgeon Mr Jwalant S.Mehta, here: