Better sleeping habits 'can help stave off back pain'

15 August 2016

People can reduce their risk of chronic back pain in later life by sticking to better sleeping patterns, according to a new study.

Conducted by the University of Manchester, the research offered the first evidence that discs in the spine operate by a 24-hour body clock, with inflammation disrupting this circadian rhythm in living disc tissue.

When the body clock ceases to work properly during ageing or among shift workers who keep irregular hours, lower back pain was shown to become more of an issue, meaning keeping better and more regular hours can help to manage or delay the onset of back pain.

In the meantime, the researchers are also hoping to use their understanding of this process to develop new therapies that directly target the mechanism.

Dr Qing-Jun Meng at the University of Manchester said: "Based on our findings, we hope that one day we may be able to combine non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with clock-targeting compounds to provide a more powerful solution."

Posted by Philip Briggs

 


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