Pain increase at night. Is there a medical reason for this?
AnonymousAugust 15, 2006 at 1:21 am
I’ve been wondering why my pain is worse at night and was wondering if there is a phisiological reason for this or if it’s a mental thing. My theory is that I hurt more at night because as I’m winding down the day I don’t have much else to think about.
The best example I can think of is driving. I love to drive. I’d say it’s one of my greatest passions. For me, taking a finely tuned sports car through the canyons and twisties of southern Kaliforniastan is a great release from the pressures of life. It’s just me, the wind, the road and the car. I do notice pain as I’m rowing through the gears but it’s not nearly as bad as before or after the drive.
I’m wondering then if once I’ve got less things to concentrate on pain becomes one of the main issues and in turn I hurt more.
Does anyone know of a medical reason of why pain is worse at night? For myself, the more tired I get the more I hurt so in my case at least, fatigue has some sort of relationship to pain levels. Other than that, is there something about night/sleep time that causes us to feel more pain than at other times of the day?
AnonymousAugust 15, 2006 at 8:36 pm
I found the same thing in my experience. The nights were the worst. I do believe that it is primarily psychological. But, it is probably also physical. You have been up and doing things all day and that does cause more stress to the body, so, more pain.
AnonymousAugust 19, 2006 at 6:36 pm
My advice would be to do less during the day. What you do during the day compounds at the end of the day. If I have done TOO MUCH then I hurt at night. If I stay within my known “energy limits” then I am okay at night. Energy Management is critical. Your fatigue levels are different after GBS. You will need to rest more than normal. Take a small nap during the day, even if you don’t feel like you need one.
Remember, pain is how your body talks to you. If you are in pain you have done to much. Find your limits and the pain should diminish over time in the evenings.
AnonymousAugust 20, 2006 at 6:21 pm
Pain is a pretty complex mechanism. It is never as straight forward as most people think it is. The short answer is that you probably are tired in the evenings and it reduces your ability to psychologically deal with the pain which you may have been able to distract yourself from during the day. Another explanation could be physiological. The demyelinated areas of your nerves use up huge amounts of energy. Energy depletion in the area of the nerves cause residual sensations like the willies or pain. This can also be caused by dehydration, over-heating, loss of electrolytes, hunger, and fatigue.
So I guess the answer to your question is it could very likely be a combination of things. It may be interesting to perform an experiment to isolate the cause by trying distracting activities like crossword puzzles at night, versus judging pain levels which are dependent upon your days activities.
AnonymousAugust 20, 2006 at 7:49 pm
As a former driver of a Porshe 911 on race tracks for 6 years, I know how you feel driving threw the canyans. I look at it like this. The body works the best and feels the best, when it’s being used. When it’s not, circulation slows down, muscles, tendons contract and stuff like that. My feet feel the best when they are working. Throb like crazy and quite distracting though, when trying to get to sleep. Blood starts pooling because circulation has slowed, and maybe not that noticable, but some swelling starts as a result, and pain is a by product of all that junk. Why I delay taking pain meds, or so much during the day when I’m moving all the time, and weather I’m feeling any pain, or some pain before going to bed, is when I’ll take the bulk of my pain meds. Leave no doubt I’m going to sleep solid each night. The before bed intake like that, also helps delaying the next morning or day intake because it’s still working from the night before. Or, get up in the middle of the night and take your car threw the canyans when no traffic is out to reduce pain. Which to me, ain’t a bad idea.:) It’a a tough one to get a handle on, that’s for sure.
AnonymousAugust 21, 2006 at 4:24 pm
Ironic to see this post today… I had a followup with my Neurologist today and I asked him this very question as I had noticed more pain and sometimes more numbness at night. I can’t remember exactly what he said in medical terminology but he could attribute this a few things:
1) I take showers at night and the heat from the shower can trigger pain, fatigure and numbness (or any combination of those) in GBS patients.
2) The fatigue from using the muscles during the day.
3) (This is the one I cant remember the exact medical terminology but it has something to do with discharges in the demyelinated nerves.
AnonymousAugust 23, 2006 at 10:54 pm
I also saw my doctor today and she said because our nerves have been damaged we will experience more pain espcially when we have an illness, are fatigued, at night. I just take my Neurotin at night 600 mg. to help me sleep. I take more if it is worse. We were also talking about needing naps and that is just part of GBS. Our bodies will never be the same. Our nerves need rest to keep working for us. You cannot have the same life you had and you have to accept it. Pushing yourself will only make your pain worse. It is also not good to not do anything. Everything in moderation and rest when you need to rejuvinate.
I was totally paralyzed from GBS and I have to take naps everyday.
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