Frequently clients ask me why they wake with pain in the early hours of the morning. There can be a number of reasons, however if the pain is related to biomechanical issues like an injury or postural overloading, then it is often an indicator that inflammation is at work. Simply inflammation is specialised chemicals from the body’s immune system being released into the bloodstream and targeting the site of injury or infection. For instance in a joint, this may cause heat, swelling, redness and pain. At night time because we are relatively still with no muscle activity, the build-up of inflammation can lead to compression & chemical irritation around the injury, resulting in it being painful enough to interrupt sleep. Also at night our body carries out repair and maintenance of tissues, so not surprising that nights can be disturbed.
Usually getting up and doing gentle movement will flush the inflammation, is better than lying in bed struggling to sleep. When the pain has eased try going to sleep again. Anti-inflammatories can help however they maybe contra-indicated in people with certain medical conditions & medications, so seek medical advice. I have a score of other tips around managing pain, so if pain is disturbing your sleep, come in and let’s try and establish likely cause first before deciding on appropriate treatment.
Paul – Registered Osteopath