How well you sleep (or don’t) can effect whether or not your back hurts.


Has your back been hurting or “going out” occasionally for years? Or are you struggling with long term back or neck pain?

Are you also sleeping poorly? And have you always assumed the pain was leading to a lack of sleep? Think again.

Pain research is regularly demonstrating that poor sleep is more likely to lead to pain than the reverse. This means that there may not be anything physically wrong with your back that’s causing your pain, it could be the quality of your sleep!

To put it simply, when we lack sleep our body perceives us to be in a more dangerous life state. This puts our bodies in “fight or flight” mode, amping up our nervous systems and making us more sensitive to insult. In other words, a small offense to your body, like sitting still a bit too long, stubbing your toe, or skipping a workout, can be perceived by your brain to be a bigger deal than it really is, especially when sleep deprived!

In other words, it may not be your desk chair, your shoes, or your core strength that’s causing your back pain. It could just be how well you’re sleeping! Crazy, right? Well good news is that changing the quality of your sleep is usually much easier than doing a bunch of planks or getting your boss to optimize your work station.

Here’s some tips to get better sleep:

  • Leave the bed alone except for sleep and sex
  • Skip caffeine after lunch
  • Stick to a bed time

It’s could be that simple but if you’re experiencing back pain we’d suggest getting checked out by a physical therapist to rule out anything sinister. But make sure you ask them if sleep could be contributing to your pain!

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