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Smoking. A great enemy of your joints

Tobacco use increases the risk of rheumatic diseases and aggravates.

Every year around 6 million people die in the world because of tobacco use. In fact, smokers have a life expectancy of 7 to 10 years younger than non-smokers.


Smoking increases the risk of rheumatic, autoimmune diseases systemic and osteoporosis. In addition, it significantly increases the risk that patients with rheumatic diseases suffer from cardiovascular diseases.

According to the doctors, it is important that both the patients and the society in general are aware of the damage that tobacco produces in the systems musculoskeletal and immune.

Since most people are not aware of the serious negative effect it has smoking in the bones and joints.

Relationship of smoking and rheumatic diseases

Among its active compounds, a cigarette includes free radicals that can lead to vascular inflammation or the development of systemic diseases.

There are also multiple studies that show that smoking influences the predisposition to suffer from osteoporosis and, above all, bone fractures due to this disease.

Smoking weakens bones in several ways, including:

  • Some studies have shown that smoking reduces the supply of oxygen to the bones, and many other tissues in the body.
  • The nicotine in cigarettes slows the production of cells that form bone (osteoblasts), and as a result they make less bone.
  • Smoking decreases the absorption of calcium from the diet. Calcium is necessary for bone mineralization, and with less mineral in their bones, smokers develop brittle bones (osteoporosis).
  • Smoking apparently breaks down estrogen in the body more quickly. Estrogen is important for building and maintaining a strong skeleton in women and men.

Tobacco can increase pain and accelerate the progression of knee osteoarthritis

A study published in ‘Annals of Rheumatic Diseases’ revealed that men smokers with knee osteoarthritis are at increased risk of cartilage loss and greater pain.

Experts say they do not know the exact reason that links smoking with progression of osteoarthritis.

“Smoking could have direct effects on other structures joints involved in knee pain or could modify the threshold of Musculoskeletal pain of consumers “, is detailed in the research.

Smoking joints

Studies have indicated that smoking influences the increase in injuries, one of factors for the development of osteoarthritis. Smoking increases the risk of injury and diseases:

  1. Rotator cuff (shoulder) tear in smokers is almost the twice as large as, in nonsmokers, which is probably related with the quality of these tendons in smokers.
  2. Smokers are 1.5 times more likely to suffer overuse injuries, such as bursitis or tendinitis, than non-smokers.
  3. Smokers are also more likely to suffer traumatic injuries, such as sprains or fractures.
  4. Smoking is also associated with an increased risk of low back pain.

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