9 Ways to Sleep Better with Osteoarthritis Pain

better sleep osteoarthritis pain

9 Ways to Sleep Better with Osteoarthritis Pain

As if it’s not enough that your osteoarthritis bothers you throughout the day, pain and stiffness can also interrupt your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

This is bad news because poor sleep can cause pain to be worse—this creates a damaging cycle of pain and poor sleep.

If osteoarthritis pain and stiffness are keeping you from falling asleep or staying asleep, try following these 9 tips:

 

1 – Use heat therapy before bed

Ease a painful joint by using a heating pad for 15 to 20 minutes before bed. Or take a soothing bath for the same effect—just give yourself time to cool down afterward, because it’s hard to get to sleep if you’re overheated.

2 – Explore medication solutions

Insomnia and sleep problems may be the result of a medication you are taking to treat osteoarthritis pain or another condition. Talk with your doctor about switching medications or adjusting the timing of when you take them.

You may also be a good candidate for a prescription medication specifically to address insomnia. These medications can be very helpful but can be habit-forming and need to be taken with care.

3 – Take a nighttime pain reliever

There are several formulations of over-the-counter pain relievers specifically intended for use in at night to both relieve osteoarthritis pain and help you sleep better.

4 – Consider your mattress

A good mattress can make a big difference in your level of comfort and support as you sleep. For those with osteoarthritis, your mattress should be supportive but not too hard. If you can’t invest in a new mattress right now, consider adding a mattress topper.

5 – Use pillows strategically

Where and what type of pillows you use at night is important. If you have neck (cervical) arthritis, use a standard pillow that’s firm but not too high. For hip or knee arthritis, you may benefit from a wedge pillow next to you or a small pillow between your knees.

6 – Rule out sleep apnea

Those who are overweight or obese are at increased risk for both osteoarthritis and a sleep condition called sleep apnea, which causes patients to stop breathing and wake up abruptly several times a night. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, talk with your doctor about undergoing a sleep study.

7 – Exercise and stretch

Your joints are meant to move—the more you keep them immobile, the stiffer and more painful they’ll become. Stay as active as you can and do stretches intended to maintain strength and range of motion in your osteoarthritis-affected joint.

8 – Practice good sleep hygiene

Follow habits that promote good sleep, such as:

  • Going to bed at the same time every night
  • Establishing a night routine to prepare your mind and body for sleep
  • Banning phones, TVs, and other electronics from the bedroom
  • Avoiding large meals and caffeine before bed

9 – Manage your osteoarthritis or other health conditions

The better your overall health, the less likely conditions like arthritis or others will disrupt your sleep.

Remember: osteoarthritis, chronic pain, and sleep problems are all treatable. If you’re struggling with poor sleep because of osteoarthritis pain, make an appointment to see us and explore your solutions.

Original article: Arthritis Health

 


If you’re suffering from osteoarthritis, come see us to find out about your options for treatment. Under our care, your treatment may include spinal adjustments, physical rehab, clinical massage, and stretching and strengthening exercises. We can also recommend natural, drug-free ways to control your pain and discomfort.

If you would like more information about our services and treatments available please contact us today!

Core Medical Group

 


natural pain relievers

4 Natural Pain Relievers

Living with chronic pain can be emotionally and physically exhausting, as your symptoms never seem to take time off.

 

By now, you’ve likely tried all sorts of treatments—but you may not have considered these four little-known natural pain relievers:

 

1. Spur the release of your endorphins

Endorphins are pain-inhibiting hormones that are naturally produced by your body. Endorphins inhibit pain by binding to the opioid receptors in your brain, and they work similar to opioid pain medications like oxycodone or morphine.

Any activity that raises your heart rate for an extended period will spur the release of pain-relieving endorphins into your system. But this raises an obvious problem: how do you exercise if you’re in so much pain? The solution may be to pick a water-based exercise or to get help from the right type of health professional—such as a physiatrist, chiropractor, or physical therapist.

 

2. Take a warm soak

Soaking your body in warm water can help relieve muscle discomfort and many types of arthritis pain. There are numerous options for a warm soak, including a bathtub, whirlpool tub, or a warm pool. Some people find that essential oils or Epsom salts improve the muscle-relaxation benefits associated with a warm soak.

The temperature of your water should be warm and pleasant—especially before bed. Hot water can make it hard to fall asleep by raising the temperature of your body.

If a soak isn’t for you, there are plenty of other heat therapy options for your pain. Try applying an electric blanket or using an adhesive back wrap that provides low-level heat over several hours.

 

3. Keep hydrated

Most people know that drinking plenty of water throughout the day is good for your overall health. But did you know that it may also help with your chronic pain? Drinking enough water can alleviate stiffness, and it also supports your blood flow—which enables healing nutrients and oxygen to reach the various structures of your body. In addition, water helps to flush toxins out of your muscles and other soft tissues, and as a bonus, it can prevent constipation (a side effect of many pain medications).

As a general rule, women need roughly 2 liters of water per day, while men need 3 liters.

 

4. Ease your chronic pain with ice

Ice and/or a cold gel pack can alleviate your pain by reducing inflammation and slowing down your nerve impulses. A great option for cold therapy is an ice massage, which may provide additional relief through the manipulation of your soft tissue.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Begin by freezing water in a paper cup overnight. Once the ice has hardened, you can peel away the top inch of the cup to expose the ice.
  • Lie on your side, and apply the ice in a 6-inch radius around the location of your pain. You can also lie on your stomach and have a partner apply the ice for you.
  • Make sure to limit your ice massage to 5 minutes to avoid possible ice burns.

All of the above natural pain relievers are not prescriptive. Instead, they are intended as options for you to consider as you work in tandem with your doctor to manage your chronic pain.

No single treatment option works for everyone, but try one of the above options today and you might find significant relief from your chronic pain.

 

Originally published on Spine Health


 

If you would like more information about how we can help you with your Chronic Pain issues, please contact us today!

Core Chiropractic & Rehabilitation

216-313-9044


foods chronic pain

Chronic Pain: 7 Foods to Avoid

Chronic pain affects many people and fibromyalgia is the most common form. This chronic condition is characterized by symptoms like muscle pain, fatigue, depression, and sleeping disorders.

Latest studies suggest that the central sensation, in which neurons in the spinal cord are sensitized by inflammations or cell damage, could get involved in the same way people with fibromyalgia process pain. The food you eat may contain chemicals that trigger the neurotransmitters, which increases the sensitivity.

 

1. Reduce The Intake of Sugar And Artificial Sweeteners

High insulin levels affect the condition and thus worsen pain and inflammation. Reduce the sugar intake and the foods that contain hidden sugar.

Sugar cravings appear once in a while but focus on eating more fresh fruits. Aspartame, sorbitol, and xylitol are sugar-free artificial sweeteners, but they contain compounds that transform sensitivity to pain and also trigger irritable bowel syndrome. Making your own food and eating whole foods is the best way to avoid hidden sugars.

 

2. Caffeine is No Good For You

Scientists associate chronic pain and fibromyalgia with insufficient sleep and fatigue. People drink too much coffee so they can go through the day more easily. Coffee provides the desired effect, but in the long run, it can largely affect your good night’s sleep.

 

3. Avoid Gluten And Yeast

These are contained in baked goods and pastry. Regular consumption of these products stimulate the growth of yeast and fungus and thus increase the pain.

 

 

4. Remove Dairy Products From Your Diet

Dairy and many other animal products contain a protein that worsens arthritis and fibromyalgia. It irritates the tissue around the joints, which worsens the pain. Think about going vegan, as this decision has helped many people to cure chronic diseases.

 

5. Say No To Refined Carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates, similar to sugar, can increase insulin levels and worsen any chronic condition. Always choose low-carb, low-sugar foods and often eat plant-based meals.

 

 

6. Tobacco and alcohol harm your body and trigger severe health conditions including diseases that affect the joints

Statistics have shown that smokers have a higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis, and people who consume alcohol regularly are more likely to develop gout.

 

7. Food additives Are Dangerous

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and other food additives cause additional problems for people with chronic pain, by stimulating pain receptors and increasing pain. Producers add MSG to fast food and prepackaged foods to enhance their taste.

 

 

Source: Healthy Food House

 


 

If you would like more information about how we can help you with your Chronic Pain issues, please contact us today!

Core Chiropractic & Rehabilitation

216-313-9044

 


chronic pain issues

5 Things You Should Know About Chronic Pain

If you suffer from chronic pain issues, it’s important that your friends and family know what you’re going through.

With this in mind, here are 5 things to know about chronic pain that you can share with your loved ones:

 

  1. Chronic pain is real

People with chronic pain are often treated as if they are making up (or at least exaggerating) their pain. But the truth is that all pain is real, even if there is no known cause. Additionally, almost all people with chronic pain want nothing more than to be pain-free.

So what your friend or family member needs from you is your support and kindness, not condemnation. Statements like “Get over it” or “It can’t be that bad” don’t accomplish anything other than to discourage those with chronic pain.

Thankfully, there is an increasing consensus in the medical community that all chronic pain is real, and that it needs to be treated even if there is no known cause.

 

  1. Chronic pain commonly leads to disuse syndrome

Chronic pain issues often leads to long-term lack of physical activity and a condition recognized as disuse syndrome. This syndrome can negatively impact your musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, neurological, psychological, and emotional processes. At its worst, disuse syndrome leads to a pervasive lack of wellness that in and of itself can be debilitating.

Of note, disuse syndrome can both perpetuate and increase the likelihood of chronic pain worsening over time.

 

  1. Chronic pain commonly leads to sleep-related problems

Chronic pain can create a troubling cycle when it comes to sleep. That is, chronic pain can make it harder to sleep, and in turn a lack of sleep can make chronic pain worse.

Common sleep-related problems caused by chronic pain issues include an inability to fall asleep, constantly waking up at night, and not feeling refreshed upon waking up in the morning. Because of the close connection between sleep problems and chronic pain, the two need to be treated together.

 

  1. Pain is deeply personal

Every person’s experience of pain is different. For example, two people may have the same condition, and one may display no ill-effects, while the other may be incapacitated. When it comes to back pain, this is especially true. Two people can have the same type of herniated disc, but one feels only slight discomfort and the other feels burning, debilitating sciatic pain.

There are a number of possible reasons for this, including individual physiology, a person’s upbringing, etc.

 

  1. Happiness does not equal health

Often times, when a person with chronic pain is smiling or having a “good day,” people assume that the person is not experiencing pain. However, this is not necessarily the case.

It is important to recognize that a person can be happy and at the same time be experiencing pain. So be careful to not assume that a friend or loved one is “healed” simply because they seem to be enjoying themselves.

 

The bottom line

There are so many secondary and related issues that accompany chronic pain issues that it would be a real challenge to address them all. This list is intended to at least get the conversation started—and for anyone living with any type of chronic pain, please pass this along to your loved ones to help them better understand and support you.

If you have chronic pain, you may also find it does you a world of good to have increased emotional support, more effective and sustainable pain management, and even possibly harnessing the power of your mind to assist in coping with the pain.

As seen on Spine-Health: http://www.spine-health.com/blog/5-things-you-should-know-about-chronic-pain

 


If you would like to see how our treatments can work for your chronic pain issues, please contact us today!

Core Chiropractic & Rehabilitation

216-313-9044


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