Smoking and pain: Pathophysiology and clinical implications

Yu Shi, Toby N. Weingarten, Carlos B. Mantilla, W. Michael Hooten, David O. Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

157 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cigarette smoke, which serves as a nicotine delivery vehicle in humans, produces profound changes in physiology. Experimental studies suggest that nicotine has analgesic properties. However, epidemiologic evidence shows that smoking is a risk factor for chronic pain. The complex relationship between smoking and pain not only is of scientific interest, but also has clinical relevance in the practice of anesthesiology and pain medicine. This review will examine current knowledge regarding how acute and chronic exposure to nicotine and cigarette smoke affects acute and chronic painful conditions. It will cover the relevant pharmacology of nicotine and other ligands at the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor as related to pain, explore the association of cigarette smoking with chronic painful conditions and potential mechanisms to explain this association, and examine clinical implications for the care of smokers with pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)977-992
Number of pages16
JournalAnesthesiology
Volume113
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Smoking and pain: Pathophysiology and clinical implications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this