Low back pain (LBP) can arise from a lot of causes, most commonly from bending, lifting, pulling, pushing, and twisting. However, there are other possible causes, including sleep. This not only includes sleeping in a crooked or faulty position, such as falling asleep on a couch, in a chair or while riding in a car, but also from the lack of sleep. So the question is, how much sleep is needed to feel restored and how much sleep is needed to avoid low back pain?
It’s been shown that the lack of sleep, or chronic sleep loss, can lead to serious diseases including (but not limited to): heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.
Sleepiness can also result in a disaster; as was the case in the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, the oil spill from the Exxon Valdez, as well as the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl.
With sleep deprivation, our reaction time is slowed down and driving safety becomes a major issue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that fatigue causes more than 100,000 crashes per year with 1500 annual crash-related deaths in the US alone.
Job related injuries are also reportedly more frequently, especially repeat injuries in workers complaining of daytime sleepiness which resulted in more sick days. An interesting study (U.of Pennsylvania) reported that people who slept less than 5 hours/night for 7 nights felt stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. As shown in another study of 10,000 people, over time, insomnia (the lack of sleep) increases the chances by 5-fold for developing clinical depression.
Regarding low back pain, what comes first? Does LBP cause sleep interference or does sleep deprivation cause the LBP (or both)? It’s been shown that sleep loss can lower your pain threshold and pain tolerance, making any existing pain feel worse, so it works both ways. Specific to LBP, in a study spanning 28 years, 902 metal industry workers, sleep disturbances (insomnia and/or nightmares) predicted a 2.1-fold increase in back pain hospitalizations with one and a 2.4-fold increase with both sleep disturbances (insomnia and nightmares). Other studies have shown patients with chronic LBP had less restful sleep and more “alpha EEG” sleep compared to controls. Similar sleep pattern differences using EEG electroencephalogram – measures brain waves) have been shown when comparing chronic LBP patients with depression vs. those without depression compared to controls (non-LBP, non-depressed subjects).
So the BOTTOM LINE, talk to us about how chiropractic helps reduce LBP, stress and facilitates sleep. There are also nutritional benefits from Melatonin, Valarian root,and others that we can discuss. Now, go to bed and get a good night’s sleep!
We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services. If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services. We look forward to serving you and your family now and, in the future.