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Is it true?

lynnsyllynnsy Posts: 197
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
Does anyone know if it's true or not that DDD is caused by smoking? Or is it hereditary? Both my parents had it, and they smoked only a very breif time in their lives.


  • It's known that smoking can lead to a lot of issues, but primarily, I think it's hereditary. But, I am sure that the smoking does not help, lowering your immune system.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    hey lynnsy,

    I'm going to say it's more hereditary as my parents smoked only briefly
    several years ago. My DDD is linked to my OA (osteoarthritis) which is
    genetic from my fathers side.

    Take care,
  • I know my surgeon said smoking helps to dehydrate the disks and that is why after fusion one should not smoke. So maybe that contributes to it all.
  • of the discs due to smoking doesn't help but I have been told that it is more hereditary. Seems like they want to blame everything on smoking these days. Definitely not a healthy habit but I have my doubts that it causes everything that they try to pin on it.
    BTW- Everyones discs degenerate as they age. Some folks just have it happen at an early age. Also lots of folks have degenerated discs and it just does not cause pain for them.
  • Oh, it's wonderful geting older isn't it? Tomorrow I turn 53, my mind feels 30 my body feel 70!!

    I was leaning more towards ddd coming from dear ol' Mom and Dad. I'm really looking forward to inheriting my Dads RA. He was so crippled up with it in his early 60's. Dad also had 2 discs removed in his late 50's because of DDD.
  • that smoking dehydrates discs. True or false? I don't know. I smoked for 15 years and quit a couple years ago. I think mine DDD is from injury - been in a couple car accidents. Both my parents smoked all their adult lives. Neither of them had DDD. No back problems in my family whatsoever.

    Smoking does dehydrate your skin so, it could contribute to DDD but I highly doubt it causes it. However, I do believe that it is very important not to smoke while trying to heal from spine surgery. There are so many toxins in one cigarette alone. When you smoke, your body has to divert energy from healing the spine to defending your body from the toxins you are taking into your body.

    It is not smart to use any tobacco products (cigs, patches, gum, or chew) while trying to heal. Spinal surgery is tricky enough. From reading this board, it sounds like a successful surgery (where the patient walks away w/o any pain is nonexistent) why would you gamble smoking?

    If you smoke, go to your doc and get Chantex (sp?) that stuff is incredible. It's expensive even with insurance but it really works.

    I hope I haven't offended any one, that's not my heart. My hope is that we heal the best that we can. :-)

  • There are many research studies that point to smoking as a cause of DDD and for dehydration of the discs.

    I am a smoker and have been for 30 years.

    The research I have read states that smoking degenerates the outside of the discs and makes them more porous therefore leading to dehydration/and degeneration of the disc material.

    As far as fusion, it has always been well known that smoking causes nerve growth to slow as well as constriction of blood vessels, and decrease in oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. All of what are needed for new bone growth (fusion) to take place.


  • I tend to think that this is more hereditary as my mother also suffers from severe DDD and she has never smoked....now I have it & have never smoked either. I have read many articles that say if you smoke it could dehydrate the discs further and cause greater problems, etc.
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