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Three effects of smoking on your joints

We all know that smoking isn't good for you. However, did you know that it can have detrimental effects on your jounts?

Smoking can increase your risk of developing bone and joint conditions, and can also have an impact on your recovery from a musculoskeletal injury or surgery.

Three effects include:


A weakness of bone that causes fractures, especially of the hip and vertebra. 

The tobacco in cigarettes decreases your bone density and reduces the blood supply to your bones.

Following a fracture of the hip or knee you may find that repair and recovery takes longer due the harmful effects that tobacco has on the bones and surrounding tissue.

Muscle Tears

Smokers can be injured in the same way as a non smoker, however, they are prone to developing larger tears than non-smokers.

Vasoconstriction decreases the delivery of oxygen to tissues as well as carbon monoxide decreasing cellular oxygen tension levels necessary for cellular metabolism, and may be related to tendon quality in smokers.

Some research has also shown a detrimental link between smoking and repair during surgery. Nicotine inhibits tendon to bone healing, which is required to recover surgery.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Smoking has been implicated as one of the most important risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis  development and severity.

Smokers also have an increased risk of more-severe rheumatoid arthritis and they are less likely to experience remission. Smoking decreases the effectiveness of some drugs used to treat RA.

Many people with rheumatoid arthritis aren't aware that smoking is making their condition worse.

Please contact your GP or NHS Stop Smoking service to help quit smoking.