Chiropractic and Smoking

You may not think your chiropractor would concern himself with your smoking habits.  After all you just came to him to get your back fixed not your lungs.  I recently had a patient who when I saw him pull out his pack of cigarettes I asked him if he wanted to quit.  He said yes.  When I counseled him and gave him some advice about how to quit and what tools were available to him he brought that same concern to me.  He didn’t expect his chiropractor to discuss his smoking.

Most people do not know the full risks of smoking.  I doubt I know them all.  Smoking does have direct links to the spine.  Studies have linked smoking to joint restrictions, osteoporosis, compression fractures, back pain, disc degeneration and decreased healing times.  It may or may not be the smoke that causes joint dysfunction/subluxations, but smokers are more likely than non-smokers to have them.  They also take longer to recover from them.

Chiropractors are trained for and concerned with wellness.  That is more than just your back.  That involves your whole body function.  It’s true I’m not going to directly treat your lung cancer, but  I will provide or recommend treatments, diet or lifestyle changes that will help your body to do it’s best in fighting that cancer.  If you let your chiropractor help you in your path to wellness they will provide a great many more benefits than just back pain relief.


7 thoughts on “Chiropractic and Smoking

  1. Graeme Gibson, D.C.


    Great commentary on this subject. It can be so easy to ignore the effects of smoking beyond cancer, and it is vital that we inform our patients of the other potential dangeours effects.

    I have recently had some similar conversations with patients regarding sugar substitutes, and additives(i.e. aspartame) as neurotoxins in the body, but might be ignoring the more obvious health issues from smoking.

    I will say, luckily, I live in a city where most people frown upon you eaten gluten, so smoking doesn’t come up too often. hehe.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Adam Drapkin

    This is not 1950. At this point in time someone would have to be more than a complete imbecile not to know that smoking is bad for them. Anyone who smokes does so knowing the risks and I do not believe it is worth the time to try to convince them that they should not.

    1. cmnacnud Post author

      They are not imbeciles, usually just messed up teenagers or people who made a poor judgment call, but that does not make them any less, people who need help. When people make mistakes they need help not mocking. As a chiropractor I am there to help them improve their health, and just like the person in my example if they want to quit smoking I will give them any tools and assistance that I can. If they do not want to quit then all my trying won’t make them, but I won’t know if they want to or not unless I offer them the choice.

  3. Provo Chiropractor

    Many people have the wrong notion that chiropractic care really only treats the spine, but in reality, it’s the entire body that is treated. I like how you brought up the fact that although smoking is related to the spine, but it also affects so much more (and a patients overall wellness). Great post.

  4. John Ramsey

    It has indeed been my experience that, regardless of the fact that the field of the chiropractor is a fundamently focused healing art, chiropractors do tend to adopt a more holistic approach to treating thier patients, and thus can help them in many more ways than just working on thier backs and spines.

    Why do you think that this is? Is it due to the fact that chiropractic care can be used to treat such a wide variety of health problems in the first place? That’s what I’m thinking…


    1. cmnacnud Post author

      I’m not sure I understand the question. If your asking if chiropractic manipulation cures more than we know then sure there is plenty of anecdotal evidence for many conditions, and miraculous healings. Chiropractors generally care about people and are trained in more than just spinal manipulation and so try to take care of people using whatever tools they can. I don’t claim to know the full extent of manipulations benefits, but I try to limit myself to treatment that is at least plausible. If wearing the blue hat cures your cancer then wear that blue hat, but I’m not going to be prescribing blue hats anytime soon.

  5. John Ramsey

    Thanks for the response. I did not mean to insinuate that chiropractors where in any way “prescribing blue hats”, that is to say offering anything less than a scientifically-based method of healing. And I think that your point about chiropractors often also being trained in other medical and social areas somewhat adds to all the reasons that chiropractic seems to often transcend what I would consider to be its traditional area of treating people.



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