Back pain is now a very common phenomenon. It is caused by various pathologies in the area of the motor unit of the spine. These changes can cause pressure on the nerve structures within the spinal canal, resulting in various ailments. Pain is the most common symptom. In most cases, patients are qualified for conservative management. In the case of neurological deficits, the patient is qualified for spinal surgery. Unfortunately, surgical treatment is not always 100% effective therapy method. Moreover, many external factors, such as smoking for instance, can affect the process of tissue healing and decide on the time of recovery.

The aim of the study was to assess the impact of smoking on back pain intensity in rehabilitated patients with discopathy treated conservatively and surgically.

Material and methods:
The study included 41 patients after surgical treatment (9 smokers) and 96 patients (20 smokers) undergoing conservative therapy for back pain due to discopathy. All patients underwent a multidirectional rehabilitation programme at the Department of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine of the Medical University in Łódź.

The Laitinen scale was used to assess the patients’ pain. Rehabilitation of patients with back pain due to discopathy had a significant analgesic effect (p <0.0001). Furthermore, there was observed a statistically significant effect of smoking on the level of pain intensity on the Laitinen scale in the group of patients who underwent surgery (p <0.0469). The smokers operated on had significantly worse results.

1) Complex rehabilitation of patients with back syndrome pain due to discopathy demonstrated significant analgesic effectiveness. 2) Smoking significantly worsens the results of the therapy in patients who underwent surgery.

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