Chronic Sleep Pain
Your back is throbbing and has been for weeks. You can barely move from your bed, but you are not getting any sleep because of the intense pain.
Pain and sleep are integrally connected. Chronic pain is very common in the population and even more common in people who have poor sleep, and it sort of becomes a vicious cycle. Pain affects your ability to sleep, and the lack of sleep makes the pain seem worse.
The Link Between Pain and Sleep Problems
Exactly how the two conditions are connected varies from person to person. You have to determine what is the chicken and what is the egg. Is pain a manifestation of, or made worse by, a sleep disorder or is pain causing the poor quality of sleep?
Pain can be the main reason that someone wakes up multiple times a night, and this results in a decrease in sleep quantity and quality, and on the flip side, sleep deprivation can lower your pain threshold and pain tolerance and make existing pain feel worse.”
The first step is to figure out if the lack of sleep is causing pain or if the pain is causing a lack of sleep, and then you treat whichever came first, he says.
The Pain-Reducing Benefits of Better Sleep
Pain may not be the only problem interfering with your sleep. Some people may also have an underlying sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea. We recommend an evaluation by a sleep specialist to be sure there is not underlying sleep disorder.
Once you’re correctly diagnosed, sleep experts say good treatment can significantly help those living with chronic pain.
Getting better quality sleep -- and more of it -- may improve your pain threshold so you will ache less.
Treating Pain-Related Sleep Problems
Improving sleep in people with chronic pain such as low back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and diabetic nerve pain is difficult because these individuals often don’t want to take any more drugs.
These individuals are often already taking several medications to treat their pain disorder. What’s more, certain prescription sleeping pills may interact with pain medications.
We at each individual’s sleep habits and bedroom environment. We have to investigate how old their mattress and pillows are, and make sure they are offer proper support. We also look at diet and habits. Along with any sleep disorders that may be the root of the issue.