Does Smoking or Diabetes Cause Lower Back Pain?
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 4:54PM
Dr. Martin Dziak in Chiropractic Care, diabetes, lower back pain, smoking

It's more bad news for smokers. A new study strengthens the link between smoking and lower back pain. It also sheds light on the causes of degenerative lumbar spine problems.

Numerous researchers have proposed a link between smoking and low back pain, but the exact nature of that link had remained largely untested in long-term studies.

The new study on smoking and low back pain, which examined 1,337 doctors, followed some participants for more than 50 years.

Research Findings

Researchers discovered that a smoking history, high blood pressure and heart disease - all of which are risk factors for narrowing of the arteries - significantly increased the likelihood of low back pain.

These same risk factors were also significantly associated with the development of lumbar spondylosis (degeneration).


These findings support the theory that narrowing of the arteries may cause lower back pain and degenerative disorders of the intervertebral discs.  Researchers have suggested that damage to the vascular structures (blood supply) of the discs and joints is the mechanism of injury in low back pain.

Conclusions from Smoking and Low Back Pain Study

The study concluded that development of lower back pain was significantly associated with smoking history and high blood pressure, and development of lumbar spondylosis was significantly associated with smoking history, and high blood pressure and cholesterol.

What about Diabetes and Lower Back Pain?

The good news for diabetics was that diabetes did not increase the incidence of lower back pain or lumbar spondylosis (degeneration).

Article originally appeared on Kitchener Chiropractor Massage therapist (
See website for complete article licensing information.