Smoking increases the risk of chronic back pain according to recent studies.Smoking’s negative effects on the human body can be widely considered common knowledge. We’ve all heard how harmful it is for the lungs and how damaging it can be for different areas of the mouth. While there have been several studies linking smoking to chronic back pain, a new one has determined that smoking affects brain circuitry associated with pain. This can possibly put smokers at a dangerous risk of suffering chronic back pain.

Alarming Findings

The study, conducted by a research team from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern, and published in Human Brain Mapping, revealed that people who smoke could significantly reduce their chances of chronic back pain by quitting. The study analyzed 160 participants suffering from sub-acute back pain (pain that lasts 4-12 weeks), 32 patients dealing with chronic back pain (pain lasting over 5 years) and 35 participants with no pain.

Participants answered questionnaires five separate times over a one-year period that gathered information about their smoking habits and health conditions. The participants were additionally submitted to MRI brain scans. These scans were used to evaluate activity in the two sections of the brain that play roles in addicted conduct and motivated learning. The results found that brain activity which decreases resistance to chronic back pain is increased with smoking.

Dealing with the Pain

The researchers concluded that smokers who quit their habit could eventually reduce their risk of suffering chronic back pain. At IGEA Brain & Spine, we understand that sometimes, no matter how much effort you put, your back pain can be too much to deal with. In times when relief can’t come soon enough, we are here to help.

Our spine surgeons can assist you with our highly-advanced Spinal Cord Stimulation procedure. This procedure is done by placing a pulse generator on the spine that sends low-voltage electrical pulses to the spinal cord, blocking the nerve signals responsible for pain. Your health is our priority, so get started with your treatment by contacting us in New Jersey today.



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