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Sleep problem may worsen pain condition.The great majority of patients with chronic pain in my practice do not sleep well. When questioned further, most will reported that they did not sleep well even before their pain problems began, but the problem did not have as negative an impact on their lives. Once their pain condition developed, lack of deep, restorative sleep became an important part of why they did not heal as expected. Fatigue causes further problems coping, leading to a worsening of their pain condition. This downward spiral is one of the reasons why chronic pain is such a difficult condition to live with and try to treat.
Scientists have yet to unravel all the mysteries of sleep. We know it is essential to a full, healthy life. It is the time when our bodies perform functions such as repairing damaged tissues, fighting off infections and processing of information. This may be important for learning and memory.
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This month's tip:
Make it a daily challenge to find ways to move your body. Climb stairs if given a choice between that and escalators or elevators. Walk your dog; chase your kids; toss balls with friends, mow the lawn. Anything that moves your limbs is not only a fitness tool, it's a stress buster. Think 'move' in small increments of time. It doesn't have to be an hour in the gym or a 45-minute aerobic dance class or tai chi or kickboxing. But that's great when you're up to it. Meanwhile, move more.