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  • Pain, Sleep, and Physical Therapy

    Sleep is important. Look back on last week. Did you get enough sleep? How was the quality of sleep? Did the amount of sleep impact your mood and production the next day? It’s easy to see how much a good night’s sleep can impact the next day, you could even just ask the people you interact with every day. Why are you not getting the good night sleep you should be, and what does physical therapy have to do with it?

    According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average American reported to get an average of 6.95 hours of sleep per night. Across those polled, there was a difference of around a half an hour  between those who claimed to be in excellent/very good physical health compared to those who claimed to have fair/poor physical health.

    When delving deeper into the physical health of those polled, types of pain had an obvious impact on the person’s sleep debt, or the difference in how much sleep the person thinks they should be getting related to how much sleep they are actually getting. The National Sleep Foundation states, “The sleep debt for those with mild pain was 15 minutes, 24 minutes for those with moderate pain, and 60 minutes for those with severe pain.” Not only does pain impact the amount of sleep one might get, but also impacts the quality of sleep each night, causing the person to wake up feeling groggy and tired.


    What does physical therapy have to do with it?

    Get rid of that pain. Physical therapy isn’t just about the active parts of life. It’s also about being able to put a shirt on without pain in your shoulder, to get up from your chair with ease, and to sleep through the night without waking up in pain.

    Pain in specific parts of the body often makes it so that a person has to sleep in a very peculiar or specific way in order to not put pressure on a body part, and when that person rolls or moves in their sleep, they wake up. You do not have to change the way you live to accommodate pain! Fight back against the pain through physical therapy.

    Physical therapists can help alleviate pain from start to finish. Evaluating the injury and cause of pain is the first step. After initially figuring out what the culprit of your pain is, they will create a plan to begin to fight back against it. Each case is different and call for varying forms of treatment like strengthening, stretching, manual therapy, dry needling, cupping, and ASTYM. It is important to communicate with your physical therapist in order for them  better treat you.

    You may not think you need physical therapy because you can still play tennis, golf, soccer, run, or walk, but don’t forget that physical therapy can help with everyday (or every”night”) activities. Call your physical therapist today to start your path towards full, quality, and uninterrupted sleep.





    1. 2015 Sleep and Pain. (n.d.). Retrieved March 01, 2018, from https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-polls-data/sleep-in-america-poll/2015-sleep-and-pain



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