Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: December 16, 2019
We’ve talked about the link between sleep problems and chronic low back pain on the blog in the past, and another study has uncovered a connection between sleep disorders and how it impacts your ability to effectively treat back pain.
For the study, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology wanted to assess now insomnia affected a person’s ability to effectively treat their chronic low back pain. They studied a collection of more than 6,000 individuals over the course of more than 10 years and tracked their sleep health and their success in treating their chronic low back pain. After adjusting for other factors, researchers found that individuals with insomnia or sleeplessness were much less effective at treating their chronic low back pain.
Low Back Pain and Insomnia
Not only did patients with insomnia have less success treating their back pain, but their likelihood of treatment failure increased as insomnia symptoms worsened. For example, female patients with one insomnia symptom had a 19% reduced likelihood of low back pain recovery compared to patients without sleep issues. For female patients with two or three symptoms, the likelihood of treatment failure increased to 32% and 40%, respectively. Men were less impacted than women, as their treatment success dipped 1%, 16% and 18% based on their number of insomnia symptoms.
Low back pain is one of the most commonly dealt with chronic conditions in the world, as a report suggests that it is the leading cause of “years lived with disability” in the world. So it’s already a difficult condition to treat, and when you throw insomnia into the equation, it can become nearly impossible to treat effectively.
That being said, it can be done, but you may need some help. Don’t just assume that chronic low back pain is a natural part of life and hope it heals on its own. Instead, head to a spine specialist’s office for an evaluation. They’ll begin with a physical assessment and a review of your medical history, but don’t be surprised if they also ask about your sleep health. They aren’t going to be able to best treat your back discomfort if insomnia is hindering your chances of success.
If you know that you’re not getting enough healthy sleep, try to do everything you can to improve your sleep environment and to get your body into a regular sleep rhythm. For assistance with this, check out this blog post we wrote about how to break out of the cycle of back pain and insomnia. And if you need help with any aspect of your spine pain, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and his experienced medical staff. We’ll do everything in our power to help you get a restful night’s sleep and reduce your back pain. For more information, give our office a call today.