Over the past several years, increasing numbers of medical studies have shown the detrimental and negative effects of cigarette use and nicotine dependence on multiple aspects of health regarding the treatment of pain. Studies have shown that cigarette smoking and all other forms of nicotine consumption worsens the results of virtually all chronic pain treatments including cortisone injections and surgery. Also, everyone is well aware of the multitude of other health risks and expenses associated with nicotine consumption.
More recently, studies have shown an association between nicotine and the promotion of inflammation levels which directly worsen pain conditions and slow healing. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, shrinking blood vessels, which impacts oxygen perfusion to tissues and slows the body’s own healing mechanisms and directly worsens pain and can led to further injury. Current research also reveals that nicotine acts as an accelerant to nerve related pain, similar to throwing gasoline on a fire.
Obviously, not all patients in pain use nicotine products, but roughly 60% do! If you want to find a “cure” for your pain you must first put down the nicotine so that you’re not impeding your own recovery.