The Common Correlation between Sleep Disturbance and Chronic Pain

by | Dec 20, 2017 | Blog | 0 comments

Often times we have patients enter our clinics who are displeased with their sleeping patterns when undergoing pain from their injury. According to various studies, sleep and pain are two components that can affect one another in a negative manner. Specifically, studies have shown that patients with chronic back pain have shown a significant amount of troublesome sleeping patterns. Physical therapy is a proven nonpharmacologic treatment to improve pain and sleeping disturbance when undergoing chronic pain.

According to Cheatle and colleagues (2016), it has been estimated that the prevalence of sleep disturbance in patients with chronic pain ranges between 50% and 80%. The bidirectional nature of sleep and pain is proven to increase pain symptoms as well as stress and fatigue. When visiting Forever Fit Physical Therapy and Wellness, our physical therapists are trained to understand the topic of sleeping ergonomics in order to primarily decrease your pain levels and increase your sleeping satisfaction.


First, if you are combatting neck and shoulder pain, the depth of a pillow has a great effect on your sleeping patterns and pain tolerance. The pillow is supposed to properly support your head, back, and shoulders while getting a good night’s rest. Therefore, sleepers who tend to sleep on their side need a thicker pillow in order to fill the gap between the head and mattress for proper comfort and support. Also, an investment in a  firm mattress is necessary for optimal support in all forms of chronic pain.



We suggest to cut out bad habits prior to going to sleep such as using your laptop, watching television, or using your cellular device in your bed or couch in a living room. You want to avoid poor posture prior to going to sleep in order to increase your likelihood of proper sleeping patterns. Understanding the correlation between sleep and chronic pain will positively affect your success during your visits with us. At your visit feel free to ask a therapist to further breakdown sleep ergonomics, they will be happy to help!

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