Many adults suffer from lack of sleep and back pain, and University of Haifa researchers who collaborated with colleagues from Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center have linked the two ailments for the first time.
“Our findings point to the importance of integrated treatment for the two to prevent back pain and improve the quality of sleep,” the researchers said.
Dr. Ma’ayan Agmon of the university’s nursing department and Dr. Galit Armon of the psychology department, together with Prof. Shlomo Berliner and Prof. Yitzhak Shapira of Sourasky, discovered that lack of sleep actually leads to back pain. Their study looked at 2,131 people with an average age of 46, an average educational level of 15.8 years in school who worked an average of 9.6 hours a day.
The risk of back pain rises significantly among people who suffer from sleep disturbances, they said, adding that they couldn’t be sure how one problem causes the other. We do however know that the neurotransmitters involved in pain are counterbalanced by neurotransmitters involved in sleep.
Among women, the link between sleeplessness and back pain was noted as being even greater.
The authors suggested that one of the reasons lack of sleep and back pain may be connected is due to people with sleep problems describing their lives as being “pressured.” They felt that the chronic lack of rest can lead to muscle tension. It may also be due to malabsorption of B complex vitamins while under stress. B vitamins are essential for the formation of neurotransmitters associated with deep sleep and with correct nerve function (which may impact pain).
“After neutralizing other factors such as socioeconomic levels, lifestyles and more, we reached the conclusion that sleeplessness predicts back pain â€“ but the opposite is not true,” Agmon and Armon said.
A person’s sensitivity to pain rises if that person wakes up too early or spends hours awake instead of sleeping, and often feels pain simultaneously and more powerfully compared to other people.
Schedule an appointment with Dr Crosby at (636)928-5588 to discuss your poor quality sleep and pain issues. Some simple tests and supplements may be all you need to sleep better and feel better!