Georgetown Back Pain Benefits from Good Sleep

September 07, 2021

The exercise topic of the month is…sleep?! Weird? Not at all! Sleep is just as crucial as exercise for pain management as well as management for back pain. Dr. Butwell helps many Georgetown pain sufferers cope with their spine, neck, and back pain with chiropractic spinal manipulation, nutrition advice, and exercise direction. Sleep – adequate sleep – is included in that list for a good reason!


Since low back pain many times is a condition for life that is intermittent, a condition that is managed rather than cured, it’s a good thing that researchers are looking into just how a back pain sufferer can control the Georgetown back pain and the frequency that it ‘rears its head.' Ask any back pain sufferer and you will know that keeping the pain away is a goal. But how? Researchers are studying sleep, fatigue, emotion, and more to figure that out. Dr. Butwell introduces the term “flare” as it has to do with a back pain episode.


A Georgetown low back pain flare is one that consists of heightened pain, paresthesia, or muscle tension, increased duration of symptoms, reduced functional (social, cognitive, physical), and negative emotions. Researchers found that back pain sufferers do not consider their back pain to be a flare just because of heightened pain, therefore healthcare professionals need to look past the pain to see what else is going on around the pain episode, what psychosocial factors are involved. (1,2) The mind-body connection cannot always be overlooked! Nor can the time of day that pain is felt.


Patients suffering with low back pain for over 3 months were studied to see what might trigger a flare up of their pain. Researchers found that poor sleep quality and morning pain were risks for such flare-ups. Increased pain risk rose with days of more afternoon and evening pain, fatigue, and fear of activity. Sleep is suggested to decrease the intensity, frequency, and risk of back pain flares.  (3) Sleep quality also plays a role in how Georgetown back pain is experienced.


An analysis of sleep quality in older adults in six middle-income countries uncovered that women had more sleep problems. Further, age, depression, low back pain, and poor self-rated health were also significantly linked to sleep problems. (4) Sleep, perceived stress, and anxiety play a role in chronic low back pain. Luckily, sleep quality is capable of mediating anxiety, making sleep a practical recommendation in the treatment plan. (5)

CONTACT Dr. Butwell

Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. Ted Siciliano on The Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson as he describes his use of Cox® Technic Flexion Distraction to ease arm pain and numbness that was keeping him from sleeping.

Set up your Georgetown chiropractic appointment soon. Let’s talk sleep next time you’re in for a visit!

Dr. Butwell presents research that says good sleep helps keep back pain at bay.