May 31st is World No Tobacco Day and if you smoke, the physicians at Resurgens Orthopaedics would like to give you (another) reason to quit. Smoking doesn't just affect your heart and lungs; it has a detrimental effect on every part of your body, including the musculoskeletal system. Here are some of the ways in which tobacco use affects your orthopaedic health:
Smoking and Bone Health
Tobacco use is widely known to restrict blood circulation in the human body. All your tissues, including bones, need a steady supply of oxygenated blood to stay strong. Smoking also inhibits your body's ability to absorb calcium while nicotine slows the production of new bone tissue. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, these factors combine to make smokers significantly more likely to develop osteoporosis.
Smoking and the Muscles
A healthy blood flow is crucial to building muscle tissue and healing from injuries. Restricted blood flow means smokers are not only more likely to suffer muscle injuries like strains, but they also take longer to heal and are less likely to make a complete recovery.
Smoking and Connective Tissues
The ligaments and tendons are what hold your musculoskeletal system together, so their health is integral to everything you do. When you smoke, you're much more likely to suffer an overuse injury like tendonitis and damaged ligaments and tendons take much longer to heal. In addition, injuries to areas like the knees and shoulders are generally more severe in smokers due to weakened tendons.
If you're a smoker, you probably already know about all the health dangers associated with tobacco use. If you've been meaning to quit, May 31st is the perfect opportunity to put down the cigarettes for good. Of course, quitting smoking is never easy, so don't be afraid to ask a doctor for help if you need it.