This is my first post, but I have read these forums for months now because I have had chronic back pain for months.
It all started last spring. I was injured at the gym. Orthopedic said muscle strain--6 weeks to heal--but in six weeks my condition was worse, not better. By the end of the summer, I could not even workout anymore. The things I could do became more and more limited, and it seemed my entire life began to revolve around pain.
I had all the tests--MRI was normal. But I was in pain. Every day, all day sometimes. My mid-back would seize up. I had muscle rigidity, stiffness, burning, tingling, and ice-hot sensations. It hurt to sit for too long and it hurt to stand. It seemed anything could set it off.
Sometime in November, I began to look into chronic pain and smoking. I read many articles and statistics. I had smoked for 23 years. I smoked heavily these past two years--2 packs a day. On Dec 21st, I smoked my last cigarette. I have been using the e-cig.
I noticed a slight change in my pain the very first week. I still got the pain, but it was less intense and it didn't last as long. Also, I "recovered" more quickly. This past week, which is Week 2, the pain and intensity seem to get less every day, and I have barely been in any intense pain for almost 4 days now!
I can still feel the injury, and there are certain movements that still bother it. But it's a world of difference. I have hope now. I believe my body will heal now.
I just wanted to share this because I tried everything: trigger point massages twice a week, pain meds, NSAIDS, contrast therapy, and nothing has helped like putting out the cigarette.
I hope my post will encourage those of you to quit who have a hunch, like I did, that quitting will make a difference on your level of pain. I know there are many other good reasons to quit, but we are addicts, and sometimes it takes something like this to give an incentive.