In 1990, when a committee reviewed all the chronic pain cases that resulted in the disease eventually called fibromyalgia, the link to sleep was notable.
After many years of treating chronic pain, and polymyalgia cases, very few fibromyalgia-diagnosed cases were a good fit for the diagnosis. However, in most of the cases, sleep was affected.
Perhaps this is why Lyrica became a central part of the medical treatment of this now-created disease. Lyrica was a prescription sleep aid used in Europe and apparently, it helped somewhat with the symptoms.
The problem was, is this a disease or was pain causing a lack of sleep, or was a lack of sleep-enhancing chronic pain? In my experience, women have more difficulties with sleep due to hormonal and mechanical issues than men do, which may also be a tale of why women are more commonly in chronic pain and are given the fibromyalgia diagnosis.
Clues, according to my book Cheating Mother Nature, What you need to know about chronic pain included tender points yet statistically, 95% of those who have fibromyalgia are women. Coincidentally women have wider hips which will aggravate distortions of the pelvis and upper body. This I described in this blog as the DNA spine idea or spinal torsion being the true cause of pain and perhaps the true fibromyalgia cases which have no fibro or algia are difficult to diagnose when your profession understands so little about musculoskeletal pain and conditions of chronic pain. Unfortunately, the practice of medicine does not teach the importance of holistic evaluation and treatment and how the musculoskeletal system works mechanically. If they did, why would you use a drug to treat a mechanical problem?
Chiropractors have become the primary care profession for chronic pain and instead of trying to manage the conditions, their treatments recognize how important movement is, and with better movement, pain resolves.
A recent study on animals offers some further understanding of how chronic pain and sleep are related in humans. Check out this study.
Animal Study Offers Clues to the Link Between Sleep and Chronic Pain
Pain memory may be encoded in the brain during sleep much the same way other memories are, opening the door to potential therapeutic targets.
Feb 28, 2023, Avery Hurt
Difficulty sleeping can be both a result of chronic pain and a contributor to it. Indeed, poor sleep is a known risk factor for chronic pain,¹ and there is general consensus about this relationship in both the clinical and scientific community, noted Jonathan Elliott, PhD. Dr. Elliott serves as an assistant professor of neurology in the Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine and a research physiologist at the VA Portland Health Care System.
Despite these links, the exact relationship between sleep and chronic pain is not well understood. “There’s a lot more work to be done to define the mechanistic underpinnings of those relationships,” said Dr. Elliott.
A study published in January 2023 in Nature Neuroscience may shed some light on this complex and often mysterious relationship while also offering better ways to treat pain.²