It’s estimated that as many as 213 per 1,000 people may have neck pain at any given time with the twelve-month prevalence ranging between 30-50%. There is a lot of convincing peer-reviewed literature (research) that supports chiropractic as one of the first and best courses of care to consider when choosing a treatment option for neck pain and headaches. This is because there is low risk, few (and rare) side-effects, and most importantly, IT REALLY WORKS!
But, there are other considerations in the management of neck and headache pain that are often overlooked. One is smoking.
In fact, one study found that smokers are up to three times more likely to develop spinal pain (which includes neck pain), headaches, and extremity pain than non-smokers.
A study by researchers at Harvard University reported that the risk of developing some types of arthritis is twice as high for current vs. past smokers, and both current and past smokers are at greater risk than those who have never smoked.
Another study found that smokers may develop inflammatory back / neck pain earlier and experience a worse course of the disease than non-smokers.
The “bottom line” is that smoking and exposure to smoke have significant negative health effects, not only for present health, but also for future pain, suffering, and quality of life. Thankfully, it’s been shown that if you quit smoking, the likelihood of improved health effects is high so of course, QUIT NOW and you’ll be ahead of the curve.