Smokers have a higher risk of low back pain

Smokers have a higher risk of low back pain

A new study has found that smokers are at high risk for low back pain.

The finding shows they also have higher rates of healthcare utilization and opioid use.

It suggests that doctors should ask these patients about their substance use that may make pain treatment more difficult.

The research was done by a team from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Low back pain is related to very high rates of disability and functional impairment.

Previously, scientists have found a strong link between tobacco use and low back pain. Heavy smokers have an increase in the prevalence and severity of symptoms.

In the current study, the researchers examined data from electronic medical records dating from January 2010 to March 2018. They analyzed data on 462,315 patients with low back pain.

Among the people, the team identified 101,921 smokers and 360,394 non-smokers for the study.

They found smokers are a high-risk subgroup of patients with LBP.

These people were more likely to undergo surgery, but less likely to receive an epidural steroid injection for their pain.

In addition, smokers also had higher rates of depression and anxiety than non-smokers.

The researchers also found that smokers had higher rates of emergency department (ED) utilization.

Patients who had a smoking history averaged 5 ED visits compared to 3 visits in the non-smoker population.

The researchers suggest that healthcare workers should ask these patients about other comorbidities that may make their low back pain treatment more difficult.

Moreover, they should use a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of LBP in smokers to address the complex nature of these patients’ care.

The team hopes that smoking patients could receive an interdisciplinary care approach that addressed not only their back pain, but their anxiety and/or depression, and that their lifestyle risk factors.

One study co-author is Rohit Navlani, DO.

The finding is presented at the Association of Academic Physiatrists Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico.

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