It’s no secret that chronic lower back pain (LBP) can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. A new study suggests a possible link between insomnia—which affects about 10 percent of Americans on a recurring basis—and the ability to effectively manage and treat lower back pain. Keep reading to learn how treating insomnia may reduce chronic lower back pain.
For the study, Norwegian researchers evaluated more than 6,000 subjects for more than a decade. They looked at sleep health and the ability to successfully manage chronic lower back pain. Once researchers made appropriate adjustments for other factors, they concluded the subjects with insomnia or general sleeplessness weren’t very successful at treating their chronic LBP.
Additionally, researchers discovered lower back pain treatment failure was more likely to happen if symptoms related to insomnia worsened. Some of the common symptoms and issues related to insomnia include:
• Waking up too early
• Not feeling sufficiently rested when getting up
• Experiencing daytime fatigue
• Suffering from increased depression and anxiety
• Having a higher risk of injuries and accidents
In the Norwegian study, females with insomnia had a nearly 20 percent lower chance of recovering from LBP than participants who slept well. Women with two or three symptoms like the ones mentioned above were 32 to 40 percent less likely to recover from their chronic lower back pain.
On the other hand, men weren’t impacted as much. LBP treatment success for males with insomnia dropped anywhere from 14 to 18 percent, depending on the number of insomnia-related symptoms they had.
Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide and one of the top reasons people see their doctors. It’s also not an easy problem to treat because there are many factors that can affect the lower back and its supporting soft tissues, discs, joints, and nerves. Throwing insomnia into the mix can make it difficult to treat an already complex source of discomfort.
The results from this study may seem discouraging, but they simply stress the importance of letting your doctor or a Los Angeles spine surgeon know what’s going on with your overall health and wellbeing when seeking treatment for lower back pain. If you have recurring issues with insomnia, make sure to tell your doctor about them. Otherwise, you’ll be less likely to respond well to treatments recommended for your recurring lower back discomfort.
Insomnia and lower back pain may have a connection, but they’re still two separate medical issues. However, by seeking treatment for your sleep problems, you may find yourself responding better to your chronic LBP treatment plan. Even if you don’t have insomnia, making an effort to get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis can make it easier for your spine and its various parts to heal and recover.
If you’re experiencing sudden, severe, or long-lasting pain in your lower back, make sure to consult a specialist for accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment. The pioneering physicians at The Spine Institute have experience with every aspect of neck and back health, including innovative procedures such as Coflex surgery. Los Angeles residents seeking relief from chronic back pain are urged to give us a call today at 310-828-7757 to schedule a consultation.