The Relationship Between Pain & Insomnia

The Relationship Between Pain & Insomnia

The international news agency, Rueters, released an article stating that researchers from the University of Warwick in Coventry, U.K. concluded that adults with pain for more than a day will have long-term sleeping problems. According to Nicole K.Y. Tang, lead author, the connection between pain and insomnia is also attributed to lifestyle changes that are made in response to persistent pain.

At American Spine, Dr. Sial, Dr. Kelling, and Dr. Fisher work with patients to not only treat pain, but to also determine the underlying cause of their symptoms. With four locations in California, American Spine is the best pain relief facility in the entire west coast.

It is no surprise that people living with chronic pain have sleeping problems. What is interesting about Tang’s study is the development of insomnia in response to the presence of pain. For the study, people over the age of 50 were asked to fill out a questionnaire where researchers could determine if participants were affected by “widespread pain” (pain at both sides of the body, above and below the waist, and in the bone of the head, spine, and/or ribs) or “some pain.”

Participants were also asked to fill out a sleep questionnaire to determine if participants had trouble sleeping, staying asleep, waking up early, or waking up still feeling tired within the last month. Three years after the first set of questionnaires, the researchers sent out another set, giving them information from 6,676 people.

Based on the gathered information, about 3,000 people had some pain, 1,800 had none, and 1,800 had widespread pain in the first year. Three years later, the people with some pain had worsened sleep problems. Those with widespread pain at the start were two times more likely to have insomnia than participants with no pain.

The researchers believe that lack of physical activity and reduced social interactions are connected to the relationship between insomnia and pain. Tang reported, “We believe that engagement in physical and social activities are important to promoting sleep, as it generates sleep pressure and brings exposure to light and mental stimulation that are essential for the regulation of our circadian rhythm.”

To see the study titled, “Impact of musculoskeletal pain on insomnia onset: a prospective study,” check it out here: http://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/08/14/rheumatology.keu283.abstract. Learn what else researchers discovered in the Reuter’s article: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/02/us-elderly-pain-insomnia-idUSKBN0GX2H520140902.
At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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