Population-based Study on Chronic Pain and Insomnia



A new study released September 2019 on fibromyalgia and insomnia shows a reciprocal relationship between the two. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition characterized by a generalized muscle ache throughout the body, the underlying cause is unknown. Fibromyalgia affects between 1.2% and 5.4% of the general population. The primary complaint of patients with FM is chronic widespread pain, which is often accompanied by other symptoms such as sleep disturbances, cognitive dysfunction, fatigue, and negative mood.

As it relates to insomnia, the results of this study could easily be understood by substituting the term fibromyalgia with any other chronic pain condition. For this reason the results can be used to inform pain specialist on how to improve pain management and lower the use of opioids by addressing the comorbid issues of insomnia.

Chronic pain patients who also have moderate to severe insomnia often complain of not being able to distinguish some symptoms of their core pain problem with their symptoms related to insomnia. This results in using pain medications for insomnia when a patient’s pain is mild to moderate. It’s also results in more frequent visits seeking medical interventions, substantial socioeconomic burdens including greater health care costs, and productivity loss from work and unemployment.

Because the CDC advocates aggressively for abstaining from the combined use of opioids and medications used to treat insomnia, chronic pain patients suffer a double whammy of sorts, which have a severe impact on quality of life combined with economic hardships.

If you suffer from both chronic pain and insomnia, you should print a copy of this study and share it with you provider.