Most people will have some type of musculoskeletal pain in their life. Smoking may make musculoskeletal pain more likely. If you already have pain, smoking may worsen and prolong it, which makes your body feel more stress. So stress, smoking and pain are all linked.
Smoking tobacco can cause changes in your nerves and how they work. These nerve changes may make your pain feel worse. Smoking can also decrease blood flow to the body, including the parts that are in pain. Blood carries oxygen and other nutrients your body needs. It is harder for your body to stay strong and heal well if it isn’t getting the blood it needs. Injuries and pain may be more likely when smoking decreases blood flow.
Smoking can also boost inflammation in the body, which can cause more pain. Smoking can affect hormones and other substances that help rebuild your bones and muscles and keep them strong. Smoking is also toxic to osteoblasts, the cells that rebuild your bones. Research suggests a link between smoking and damage to the discs that support your spine and help you move without pain.
As difficult as it is, quitting smoking will likely improve your blood flow, your nerves should start to work better, and your pain may decrease.