What is the impact of smoking on chest?
Smoking seriously deteriorates the respiratory and cardiovascular functions of the body, and it is continuously increasing in young people. Problems in respiratory function can be checked through the measurement of chest expansion, respiratory muscle strength, and lung volume. Studies have shown that smoking decreases pulmonary function, and can result in airway obstruction as well as small airway disease in adult people. Smoking can also result in resistance to airflow, irritation of the airway, and cough. Researchers have reported that chest wall expansion is greatly affected in smokers. Smokers have lowered chest circumference as compared to non-smokers at the axillary level. This decreased circumference has been attributed to the decrease in anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) diameters. Chest expansion at the axillary level shows the upper chest breathing pattern utilizing a combination of upward and forward chest movement, i.e. pump-handle movement, and upward and outward chest movement, i.e. the bucket handle movement. So, the lowered chest circumference is showing that cigarette smoking negatively affects the upper chest expansion. This decreased chest expansion results in decreased motion and flexibility of chest wall resulting in decreased performance and functionality of breathing leading to increased chances of dyspnea (Tantisuwat and Thaveeratitham, 2014).
In another research, it was reported that smoking can result in increased chances of several types of chest pains that can be removed during the period of abstinence. Chest pain as a result of smoking is different from that of angina. Moreover, chest pains can be of different types that are not similar to that of typical pleuritic or cardiac. However, one type of pain in smoking is pericardial pain that is similar to that of pleurisy or angina (Friedman, Siegelaub, and Dales, 1975).
Friedman, G. D., Siegelaub, A. and Dales, L. G. 1975. Cigarette smoking and chest pain. Annals of internal medicine, 83, 1-7.
Tantisuwat, A. and Thaveeratitham, P. 2014. Effects of smoking on chest expansion, lung function, and respiratory muscle strength of youths. J Phys Ther Sci, 26, 167-70.