The Crucial Role Sleep Plays in Pain Management

In your opinion, what controls pain? Pain medication? Heat/ice therapy? Stretching? Certainly, these things can help specific people get some pain relief. However, there is another aspect of pain management that is often overlooked. Individuals either underestimate its ability to manage pain or are unaware of its pain-preventing/controlling powers. This pain manager is free, and it’s called sleep.

Sleep Plays a Crucial Role in Pain Management

In order to cope with pain, people need to get quality sleep each and every night. Without it, we become worn down and are less able to deal with pain and stress. Pain and Sleep: Understanding the Interrelationship says,

“There is a growing awareness that sound, restorative sleep is important to allow people to cope (with pain). Recent evidence indicates that pain and sleep have a reciprocal, interdependent relationship, and that poor sleep can predict pain and compound the pain experience in certain conditions.”

What this means is that a lack of sleep can make pain worse and cause individuals to be more vulnerable to physical pain.

WebMD confirmed that sleep staves off pain for some people. More Sleep May Help Some People Feel Less Pain highlighted research that reveals the ways in which sleep improves our ability to withstand pain. “…Sleepy volunteers who got about two hours more sleep per night for four nights showed improvements in a test measuring pain sensitivity,” the article stated.

By now, you understand that people who struggle with pain must get quality sleep each night. However, pain is often a hindrance to sleep. Thankfully, there is hope for people who suffer with this frustrating problem.

When Pain Prevents Sleep

Have you ever been drifting off to sleep and then suddenly awakened to pain ripping through your body? Or, does sleep seem to elude you due to the constant, dull pain you experience? These are fairly common scenarios.

All too often, pain interrupts a person’s natural sleep cycle. The National Sleep Foundation reported, “While both chronic and acute pain relate to lost sleep, (a) survey indicates that chronic pain is an especially powerful problem. Indeed, nearly one in four people with chronic pain, 23 percent, say they’ve been diagnosed with a sleep disorder by a doctor, compared with just 6 percent of all others.”

Read about the survey mentioned by the NSF here.

We need sleep to manage pain, but we can’t get sleep when we are in pain. Sometimes it seems like there is no solution to this catch-22, but physiotherapy may offer a solution.

Get Pain Relief with Physiotherapy

If you suffer from pain that steals your slumber, consider reaching out to a physiotherapist near you. Physiotherapists are experts at treating pain and helping patients get quality sleep and live more active lives. If you live near Winnipeg, the physiotherapists at Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics would love to hear from you.

 

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