Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Change in attitude may ease chronic pain by aiding sleep, study suggests

Date:
April 26, 2012
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Summary:
Chronic pain sufferers who learn to dwell less on their ailments may sleep better and experience less day-to-day pain, according to results of research conducted on people with chronic face and jaw pain.

Chronic pain sufferers who learn to dwell less on their ailments may sleep better and experience less day-to-day pain, according to results of research conducted on 214 people with chronic face and jaw pain.

Related Articles


"We have found that people who ruminate about their pain and have more negative thoughts about their pain don't sleep as well, and the result is they feel more pain," says Luis F. Buenaver, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the leader of a study published online in the journal Pain. "If cognitive behavioral therapy can help people change the way they think about their pain, they might end that vicious cycle and feel better without sleeping pills or pain medicine."

Buenaver and his colleagues say the study highlights the function of a major neurological pathway linking negative thinking about pain to increased pain through disturbed sleep. Buenaver says roughly 80 percent of people with chronic pain experience sleep disturbances, and previous studies have shown that people whose sleep patterns are altered are more sensitive to pain. It is also known, he says, that those who focus frequently on their pain and think more negatively about their pain report more debilitating pain. Such "pain catastrophizing," he adds, has been found to be a more robust predictor of worse pain and pain-related disability than depression, anxiety or neuroticism.

For the study, researchers recruited 214 people with myofascial temporomandibular disorder, or TMD, serious facial and jaw pain believed to be stress-related in many cases. The participants were mostly white and female, with an average age of 34 years. Each participant underwent a dental exam to confirm TMD, then filled out questionnaires assessing sleep quality, depression, pain levels and emotional responses to pain, including whether they ruminate or exaggerate it.

Researchers found a direct correlation between negative thinking about pain and poor sleep, as well as with worse pain in the TMD patients.

Buenaver says sleeping pills and painkillers can help, but these pain patients may benefit just as much, if not more, from cognitive behavioral therapy. He says the same may be true of people who suffer from other stress-related ailments without a clear underlying pathology, including fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and some headaches, neck and back pain.

"It may sound simple, but you can change the way you feel by changing the way you think," Buenaver said.

He and his colleagues currently are studying whether older adults with arthritis and insomnia can benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia.

The research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Other Hopkins researchers contributing to the study include Mpepera Simango; Jennifer A. Haythornthwaite, Ph.D.; and Michael T. Smith, Ph.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Luis F. Buenaver, Phillip J. Quartana, Edward G. Grace, Eleni Sarlani, Mpepera Simango, Robert R. Edwards, Jennifer A. Haythornthwaite, Michael T. Smith. Evidence for indirect effects of pain catastrophizing on clinical pain among myofascial temporomandibular disorder participants: The mediating role of sleep disturbance. Pain, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2012.01.023

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Change in attitude may ease chronic pain by aiding sleep, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120426104343.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2012, April 26). Change in attitude may ease chronic pain by aiding sleep, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120426104343.htm
Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Change in attitude may ease chronic pain by aiding sleep, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120426104343.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins