Results from a study on sleep behaviors among those with knee osteoarthritis (OA) suggest that disruption of sleep may be associated with altered pain processing and central sensitization.

The study appeared recently in The Journal of Pain, published by the American Pain Society.

According to a news release from the American Pain Society, during the study, a team of researchers from Arizona State University, University of Alabama, and University of Florida recruited participants ages 45 to 85, African American or non-Hispanic white, with knee OA based on American College of Rheumatology criteria.

The release explains that the participants completed sleep questionnaires and experimental pain applications, which the research team studied to analyze the relationships of self-reported insomnia severity and maladaptive sleep behaviors with pain sensitivity.

The release notes that the team hypothesized reports of greater insomnia severity would be associated with lower pain thresholds and inhibition and with greater temporal summation of pain.

Results from the study suggest that the severity of sleep disruption were associated with altered pain processing, and that sleep interventions with knee OA-related pain might contribute to a reduction in pain.

Also, researchers indicate that cognitive-behavioral therapies focused on sleep may have the most significant benefits for improving sleep in patients with insomnia and knee OA pain, the release explains.

[Source(s): American Pain Society, Newswise]