Article: PDF OnlyEffect of Smoking and Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields on Intradiscal pH in RabbitsHambly, Mark F. MD*; Mooney, Vert MD†Author Information From the *Northern California Spine Center, Sacramento, California, and †University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California. Spine: June 1992 - Volume 17 - Issue 6 - p S83-S85 Free Abstract The adverse effect of cigarette smoking on human spines has been noted indirectly. There is correlation of increased back pain among individuals who smoke heavily. The hypothesis of this study was that an environment of cigarette smoking is an adverse event and will create a reduced pH in the rabbit intervertebral disc. Electromagnetic fields, however, can defend against this adverse event and reduce the tendency toward acidic pH. Rabbits were exposed to cigarette smoke for 2, 4, or 6 weeks and their intradiscal pH measured. Cigarette-smoke-exposed discs demonstrated a consistently lower pH than did the discs of the machine control rabbits. The second group of rabbits were exposed to cigarette smoke and pulsed electromagnetic fields. The cigarette-smoke-exposed rabbits that were exposed to the pulsed electromagnetic fields for 4 hr/day demonstrated no change in their intradiscal pH, in contrast to those who were exposed to smoke alone. In conclusion, cigarette smoke exposure in rabbits consistently produces a lower intradiscal pH and pulsed electromagnetic fields can defend against this adverse effect. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.