San Francisco—Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation have uncovered yet another detrimental effect of smoking. Their retrospective analysis concluded that among pain patients implanted with a spinal cord stimulator, current smokers demonstrated significantly higher pain scores and opioid use than their counterparts who had smoked or never smoked.
“Spinal cord stimulation [SCS] is a great treatment option for patients with chronic spinal pain,” said Youssef Saweris, MD, a pain management fellow at the Cleveland-based institution. “Yet while spinal cord stimulation provides many patients with relief, we occasionally encounter failures.
“One of the common associations with chronic pain is with smoking,” Dr. Saweris continued. “In fact, the prevalence of smoking among adult patients with chronic pain is quite high, and it keeps increasing.”
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