Pain & Sleep discussed by our Newcastle Podiatrist

Let's talk about sleep, injury risk and performance.

 

Now, over the last few years there has been an increasing amount of evidence come out showing how sleep or adequate sleep can reduce the risk of musculoskeletal and sport injuries. Now, here at achieve Podiatry which is in Newcastle, Australia, we ask all our patients about their sleep quality and quantity. As I was saying, the amount of evidence that is coming out is high quality. The below study showed that athletes who are reaching the sleep recommendation during the weekdays reduced the odds of injury by 61%. Now, when we think of all the things we can do clinically such as footwear, foot orthoses, exercises, load modification and others, there isn't much that we can do that has as much of an effect on injury risk.

Rosen et al. - Athletes sleeping more than 8 h per day during weekdays and reaching the recommended nutrition intake significantly reduced the odds of a new injury. These factors were identified as risk factors for sustaining a new injury. Athletes reaching the sleep recommendation during weekdays reduced the odds of injury with 61%.

 

Similar to the above study, there was another that was conducted in Germany where they looked at sleep and nutrition. Now, this is an interesting one that I wish that all podiatrists would read and I hope that all podiatrists are educating and asking their patients about sleep. So, this study found that people that reported a sleep duration of less than 8 hours per night had a 46% increase in the risk of injury. Interestingly, athletes that reported decrease sleep duration and an increase in training load the greatest risk of injury.

Similar to the above study, there was another that was conducted in Germany where they looked at sleep and nutrition. Now, this is an interesting one that I wish that all podiatrists would read and I hope that all podiatrists are educating and asking their patients about sleep. So, this study found that people that reported a sleep duration of less than 8 hours per night had a 46% increase in the risk of injury. Interestingly, athletes that reported decrease sleep duration and an increase in training load the greatest risk of injury.

 

Alright, now you can see that I can find plenty of studies to throw at you, but it doesn't make sense if we can't justify giving some practical education that can be used clinically. So, what we do here at Achieve Podiatry is we ask around the quality and quantity of sleep, we also asked if their injury or pain ever keeps him awake at night or stops them from getting to sleep. Now, we don't give too much sleep advice. We have a lovely word document that we send to our patients should we think that their struggling with sleep which goes over some practical tips for sleep hygiene that they can do before they go to bed. We are very lucky that we are the only Newcastle podiatrists to work alongside several Sport Doctors here at the stadium, we will consult and refer to them if we think it is appropriate. They are very well equipping to treat, or they may think another referral is warranted. It is important which you can see from the research to find out and ask around sleep because it has such an effect on injury as well as how long an injury can take to get better. I would go so far to say the following:

Yes, load and exercise is important but if someone is having chronic fatigue or if you suspect they have some kind of sleep disorder such as insomnia, It may really be affecting the rate at which their injury is improving and in turn meaning that regardless of the treatment you provide, you may not get anywhere.

Sleep tips from your Newcastle Podiatrist

Alright, there you have it. Short and sweet from our Newcastle Podiatrist Blake.