While reading and trying to stay up to date on some research on intravertebral disc herniation, I came across a study by Tsarouhas et al in 2011 which stated that smoking resulted in more severe pain with disc injury which then also was coupled to a longer resorption time of herniated disc material and that smokers also have a longer duration of symptoms.
The exact statement we found particularly powerful in the study was:
— Smoking habits were found to have a negative dose-dependent effect on the transcript levels of MMP-3 and MMP-13 and a positive correlation with pain intensity, suggesting an unfavorable role for smoking in the regression process of herniated disc fragments.
— Specifically, smoking was found to be negatively correlate to the duration of symptoms and positively correlated to the intensity of pain.
You can read the entire study for free on PubMed:
We share this information primarily to help our patients realize that smoking is bad (Yeah, we know you already knew that, it says so right on the package doc! However, this specific study shows the correlation with disc issues and smoking which is something a lot of patients present to us for.) We also have Dr. Andrew Gross and Dr. Tim Legath in our office who are Chiropractors certified in the McKenzie Method for treating the spine which is a very strong system for diagnosing and treating disc herniations. Dr. Craig Evans has also completed post grad work in the Cox Technique which is a system of treating and diagnosing cervical and lumbar disc issues.
We plan to blog more in the future about the use of the McKenzie Method, however if you would like bit of reading in the mean time, you can get the basics at:
In closing, we just had to share this angry little guy to remind you that smoking is bad for everything!