Many people suffer from chronic pain, a persistent or recurring pain that lasts for more than three months. It can be caused by various conditions like arthritis, migraine, back pain, and joint injuries, among others.
This continuous discomfort can be especially difficult to deal with at night when it can disrupt your sleep and make it harder for your body to heal and rejuvenate. Is it possible to manage your pain more effectively, particularly at night?
Understanding Chronic Pain & Sleep
To manage chronic pain effectively, it’s helpful to understand its relationship with sleep. Chronic pain and sleep have a complex interplay. Pain can make it challenging to fall asleep or maintain a restful slumber throughout the night. It can cause a person to awaken frequently and prevent them from reaching restorative stages of sleep — which can lead to an assortment of other health problems.
Conversely, poor sleep can exacerbate chronic pain. Lack of adequate sleep impairs your body’s ability to suppress pain signals, making you more sensitive to pain. This creates a vicious cycle of pain and sleep disruption that can affect your overall health and quality of life.
Comprehensive Pain Management at Night
There are several strategies you can adopt to manage chronic pain at night:
There are various over-the-counter and prescription medications available that can help manage chronic pain. These include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioids, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants.
Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any medication regimen. Opioids, in particular, are not recommended to be considered as a long-term solution.
Specific exercises and stretches can help reduce certain types of chronic pain. A physical therapist can tailor a program that suits your condition and needs.
Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and visualization can enhance your ability to cope with pain. They foster relaxation, reduce stress, and distract from the sensation of pain.
A healthy diet, regular exercise, and maintaining good sleep hygiene can all contribute to better pain management. Aim for a balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, engage in low-impact activities like walking or swimming, and establish a regular sleep routine.
Benefits of Nighttime Pain Management
Managing your pain at night can significantly improve your sleep quality. Better sleep provides your body with an opportunity to repair and restore itself, which can lead to better pain management.
Good sleep benefits your overall health by reducing the risk of conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It also improves your mood, memory, and cognitive function.
Seeking Professional Help
If your current strategies aren’t providing sufficient relief or if your pain is worsening, it may be time to seek professional help. Pain management specialists operate out of health clinics and they focus almost solely on helping patients overcome chronic pain caused by a wide variety of medical conditions.
When preparing for a visit with a healthcare professional, be ready to discuss your symptoms in detail — where the pain is located, when it began, what triggers it, etc. Make sure to also list any treatments you’ve tried so far.
Some of the more popular treatments employed by pain management providers are what they call “minimally invasive procedures,” which are non-surgical options such as:
- Nerve blocks
- Radiofrequency ablations
- Trigger point injections
- Corticosteroid injections
These treatments target the precise source of a patient’s pain, often providing noticeable relief within a few hours or days.
Comprehensive Pain Management with HPM
Remember that every person’s experience with chronic pain is unique; what works for one person might not work for another. It may take some time and experimentation before you find what works best for you. Be patient with yourself and keep an open mind to different treatment options.
HPM is dedicated to helping patients with chronic pain achieve a better quality of life. Our specialists take a thorough approach to finding the root cause of each patient’s pain by listening to each patient’s pain story. We believe in treating the whole person rather than just the symptoms.
HPM clinics are located in small towns throughout rural America. You can find a location near you by clicking here.
Chronic pain can be challenging to live with, but with the right strategies and support, it is manageable. Remember that you’re not alone — there are resources and specialists available to help you navigate this journey toward better sleep and improved well-being.