17 September 2015

Today's #Sleeptember FACT --- The relationship between insomnia and back pain

If you have chronic back pain and have experienced insomnia in the past, you might be interested to learn that a study in Israel in 2014 points to increases in insomnia as predictive of future back pain.

The study followed 2,000 healthy subjects over a 3-year period and it was determined that a whopping 40 percent of the insomniacs in the group were to go on to suffer from back pain at the end of the study period. Interestingly, the reverse has not yet been found to be true: people with chronic back pain are not shown to be more likely to develop chronic insomnia as a result.

What might be at the root of the relationship between insomnia and chronic back pain? Stress hormones. Your body should not be processing a lot of stress hormones while you sleep, but if it does, it can lead not only to poor sleep in the form of insomnia, but also changes in pain processing that may actually elevate pain levels.

Just one more argument for reducing the stress in your life so that you can achieve quality sleep and live pain free. 

Study link: "Increased Insomnia Symptoms Predict the Onset of Back Pain among Employed Adults." Agmon M and Armon G; Landau R (editor). PLoS One. 2014; 9(8): e103591. Published online 2014 Aug 1. doi:  10.1371/journal.pone.0103591