Sleep ApneaIt is a chronic sleep disorder in adults in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Symptoms include:
- Excessive sleepiness during the day
- Abrupt waking during sleep
- Narrow airway
- History of sleep apnea in family
The Sleep Apnea and Back Pain ConnectionBack pain could be a symptom of a vertebral fracture. Sleep apnea has been found to be associated with a higher risk of vertebral fractures. Research has found a connection between obstructive sleep apnea and vertebral fractures in women. The study found that women with a history of obstructive sleep apnea had an increased risk of vertebral fracture compared to individuals with no history of sleep apnea. Research is looking into how sleep apnea impacts bone health, specifically in the vertebrae. Doctors believe there are multiple ways in which sleep apnea can affect bone health like:
- Low oxygen levels
- Acidosis or a build-up of acid in the blood after intermittent hypoxia or a lack of oxygen in the tissues
- Increased inflammation
- Modulation/variation of sex hormones
Lifestyle Adjustments and TreatmentThere are sleep apnea treatments that include lifestyle changes that can help to lessen the effects and alleviate back pain.
- Around 70% of individuals with sleep apnea are obese. This is according to the Obesity Medicine Association.
- Smoking can increase the severity by lowering the functionality of the airway causing inflammation.
- CPAP machines or continuous positive airway pressure, have proven to be beneficial in dealing with sleep apnea.
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- Post-surgery complications