Nix the Nicotine for Better Bone Health

If there is one resolution our Rebound providers recommend, it is quitting smoking. Sticking to orthopedic-friendly diet and exercise for 2014 may seem like a breeze compared to extinguishing cigarettes from your life, but we’re here to help with some reasons to consider a nicotine-free new year.

By now, we all are aware that smoking (or other tobacco use) isn’t an ally of good health. It is associated with lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema and many other health detriments. Did you know that smoking can also have a negative impact on your musculoskeletal health? Smoking affects every tissue in the body and studies show a direct relationship between smoking and bone and joint health.

Quitting smoking or tobacco use is a great way to reclaim bone health. The quicker you kick it, the better your chances are of improving your musculoskeletal health or correcting damage incurred along the way.

Smoking reduces the amount of calcium your bones absorb

Remember our last post about the bone health dynamic duo? Calcium and vitamin D are essential to maintaining healthy and strong bones- but smoking won’t allow your bones absorb calcium, as smoking interferes with how your body processes vitamin D. As a result, your bones may become brittle.

Smoking can increase your risk of osteoporosis

Studies show that smoking puts you at risk for osteoporosis by:

  • Reducing blood supply to bones
  • Hindering the production of bone-forming cells called osteoblasts
  • Lowering estrogen (in men and women)- bones need estrogen to build and maintain themselves
  • (Again) Restricts calcium absorption

Smoking can also do a disservice to other tissues in the musculoskeletal system, making you more susceptible arthritis and to injuries beyond fractures, like rotator cuff tears, tendinitis and sprains. You’re less likely to bounce back after these types of injuries as well, because of nicotine’s interference with production of those bone-building cells called osteoblasts.

Say no to fractures. Say no to brittle bones. Reclaim your bones and consider quitting smoking this year.

Here are some great smoking cessation resources to get you started:

QuitNow Oregon

Smoke Free Washington

Wanting to learn more?

Smoking and Bone Health

Smoking and Musculoskeletal Health

Bone and Joint Health and Smoking