Are you suffering from joint pain? Do you constantly feel stiff, achy and like your body just doesn’t want to move anymore? Millions of Americans suffer from chronic joint pain, many of which are diagnosed with arthritis, and their ability to live active, fulfilling lives can be drastically impaired.
Not only does this impact the time while you’re awake, but chronic joint pain has a tendency to drastically diminish your quality of sleep. You toss and turn all night because no matter which position you lay in, something hurts. Lying on your side causes your hips to ache, while rotating on your back might invoke pains in your neck or lower back. It’s an endless cycle and it makes every night a frustrating and unsatisfying nightmare. It’s safe to say that joint pain is a common cause of sleep loss, but you might not realize that your aches and pains might be caused by your lack of sleep, not the other way around. In short, pain causes lack of sleep and lack of sleep causes pain.
“Pain causes lack of sleep and lack of sleep causes pain”
Arthritis develops when the cartilage that surrounds and protects bone surfaces starts to breakdown and becomes damaged. Pain and swelling intensifies as inflammation increases in your joints. Weight, age and genes are all factors that affect the onset and severity of arthritis, but aren’t the only factors involved.
As your body’s ability to sleep restfully becomes increasingly impaired, levels of inflammation in your joints can skyrocket. When you aren’t able to sleep peacefully your immune system kicks into overdrive, producing an increased number of white blood cells, which leads to a spike in painful inflammation.
If the cycle of insomnia is allowed to continue, joint pain and cartilage deterioration will only worsen as time goes by. While treating joint pain can definitely help alleviate some of the aching, treating your insomnia might be a more effective method for successful long-term results.
How do I get to sleep?
So now that you know your inability to sleep might be causing a good portion of your pain, how do you make yourself sleep more peacefully? Treating insomnia has been a difficult task which doctors have been addressing for centuries. Treatment options vary from pills to rituals, herbs and more, but with causes of insomnia varying from one person to the next, finding a universal solution is next to impossible. Two remarkably common factors for those facing insomnia are stress and pain. So the most effective techniques generally treat both of these factors in some way.
One of history’s most successful solutions for reducing stress and decreasing pain simultaneously is chiropractic treatment, especially when accompanied by massage or soft tissue therapy. Chiropractic treatment and soft tissue therapy work to reduce inflammation and stress on joints throughout your body. This helps alleviate aches and pains and results in an increased ability to fall asleep. Many patients who receive chiropractic care begin to see improved sleeping patterns the first night after treatment begins.
By Charlie Goldston, D.C.