It’s a well-known fact that pain causes sleep deprivation, but not so widely known is the fact that lack of sleep can impact pain levels. Even less known is the importance of proper sleeping posture. While good posture is important when sitting and standing, it’s even more important during sleep as the muscles and ligaments of your back relax while you sleep and need to be protected.
Sleep deprivation is linked to higher mortality risk and lower productivity, decreasing the U.S. Gross Domestic Product by 2.28 percent, or $411 billion each year, according to Rand Corp. These findings are a concern considering one in three Americans report their sleep quality as “poor” or “only fair.” There are many well-known sleep saboteurs, including improper sleeping postures, such as stomach sleeping, that can cause health problems ranging from neck and back pain to sleep apnea.
The National Sleep Foundation estimates that at least 57 percent of Americans suffer from pain that disrupts their sleep at least a few nights a week. More importantly, sleep loss has been shown to increase sensitivity to pain specifically by lowering pain thresholds. Federal health officials have reviewed cases of dangerous, sometimes fatal, incidents tied to insomnia medications.
Roughly 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain that interferes with their daily activities, yet very few doctors have specialized training in pain management. Pain education for North American medical students is limited, variable and often fragmentary, according to The Journal of Pain.
Doctors of chiropractic take a natural, holistic approach to pain management by bringing the body back into alignment, recommending exercises and other activities to help patients regain their normal range of motion and flexibility, while relieving not only the pain symptoms but also correcting the issue that is causing the pain. Chiropractic care benefits include better sleep, which means less dependence on sleep medications.
Many Americans are seeking alternatives to insomnia medications especially since the FDA published the results of a new safety review based on recent reports of serious injuries and deaths related to prescription sleep medicines.
“Although most patients initially seek chiropractic care due to back or neck pain, many find that not only does their pain decrease and sleep improve, they also lower their stress and generally feel better and more energetic,” said Sherry McAllister, DC, executive vice president of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress.
Chiropractic care can also help people who are trying to stop taking highly addictive sleeping pills and sedatives, McAllister added. Typical symptoms of withdrawal include trouble sleeping, restlessness and anxiety. In addition to chiropractic care, other behavioral, dietary and lifestyle choices need to be examined.
“A doctor of chiropractic can design a comprehensive care plan that supports a patient’s waking and sleeping hours,” she said.
Chiropractic is a non-pharmacological care approach that focuses on one of the top causes of inadequate sleep: neuro-musculoskeletal pain. While designing a care plan to manage pain, a DC will discuss sleep habits and other lifestyle choices that could be contributing to pain or lack of mobility.
If you are experiencing pain that is keeping you awake at night, call our office today at 425-778-9600 for a consultation.