Sleep quality improvement helps controlling pain
Night pain occurs in majority of the patients with osteoarthritis (OA) and results in sleep related problems like sleep disturbances, sleeps deprivation, sleep disintegration and frequent shifts between sleep stages. Current studies have revealed that severity of pain can be predicted by the sleep disruption. Thus, sleep disruption can possibly be linked with increased pain sensitivity and enhanced pain facilitation in addition to reduced pain inhibition in persons with chronic pain.
Association of self-reported insomnia severity and maladaptive sleep behaviors with pain sensitivity in patients with knee OA was investigated by the researchers from Arizona State University, University of Alabama and University of Florida. This study was based on the hypothesis that reports of greater insomnia severity would be associated with lower pain thresholds and inhibition and with greater temporal summation of pain.
Eligible African American or non-Hispanic white patients between 45 to 85 years of age with knee OA based on the criteria of American College of Rheumatology were recruited for this study. Sleep questionnaires and experimental pain applications were completed by the patients.
Results of this study provided an evidence for an association between severity of sleep disruption and altered pain processing. Thus, sleep interventions might improve the pain in patients with knee OA. In authors’ opinion, sleep focused cognitive-behavioral therapies may provide considerable benefits for improving sleep in patients with insomnia and OA pain.