Do you feel that your back pain gets worse at some point of the day? Or your post work out aches intensify at a particular time every day? Well, turns out, this might not just be your imagination. The pain fluctuation is a real thing and it happens due to daily rhythms of pain. Moreover, there is a much complex reality behind this incident.
Why the pain gets intense at some point of the time
First of all, pain isn’t just controlled by external factors such as injuries or overwork. Different researches suggest that sensitivity to pain and pain conditions follow a 24-hour routine.
As we know that our entire body functions on an internal circadian rhythm, means it has its own 24-hour internal clock according to which it functions. But you might not know that individual cells, including neurons of our body, can have their own circadian rhythm ( 24-hour routine), which may and may not be in sync with the body. So, different pain conditions have different patterns of pain throughout the day.
People suffering from a chronic inflammatory condition, like migraine, rheumatoid arthritis, and toothache witness morning pain. But neuropathic pains like postherpetic neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, or cancer intensifies during evening or night.
Pain at night can also disrupt the sleep, which may make the pain even worse. If you are a healthy person then the sensitivity to pain also shifts throughout the day. Israeli researchers conducted a study in 2015, in which they exposed a group of men to heat and cold pain at different times of the day. It was found that men were least sensitive to the pain in the morning.
Treating pain by its rhythms
In case of chronic pain, doctors mostly take advantage of the circadian rhythms to treat it. This is known as chronotherapy. People are often given medication in a higher amount at a specific point of the day so that the amount of drug in their blood remains above a certain level when it is time to feel intense pain.
Like the doctor can prescribe two pills in the morning and two pills at night. So, the patient can sleep peacefully at night. This trick helps as the pain fluctuates throughout the day and a patient might do better with one pill in the morning and three at night.