Night Time Pain or Painsomnia & Treatment in New York City

Most all night time pain or painsomnia issues are rooted in Nerve, Bone, Muscle, Joint, Headache, Craniosacral Rhythm or Circadian Rhythm conditions that are treatable.  The information on this page should guide you to deeper information on the optimal treatment(s) aligned with the night time pain or painsomnia issues you are coping with. 


What is Night Time Pain or Painsomnia?

Having difficulty falling or staying asleep is common when you’re also coping with night time pain. Research has shown that night time pain can prevent your muscles and joints from sufficiently relaxing to fall and stay asleep. This condition is referred to as painsomnia, signifying insomnia caused by pain.  

Though painsomnia is not a clinical medical term, the condition is recognized as very real and is well researched.   Being mindful of how the rest and healing that comes with sleep revitalizes our bodies, quality sleep is vital for anyone also coping with night time pain.  However left untreated, painsomnia can give rise to sleep deprivation and start a vicious circle where pain keeps us awake.  That circle being:

  1. Pain sensations (tingling, burning, aching, burning) stimulates the nerves
  2. The nerves send pain signals activating brain activity
  3. This results in an inability to relax and people are kept awake by the pain and anxiety


The Prevalence & Impact of Night Time Pain or Painsomnia?

The Sleep Foundation is a team  of researchers,  psychologists,  physicians and other experts in sleep science.  A report from the Sleep Foundation determined “painsomnia” affects a large number of U.S. adults and concluded:

  • 94.8% of adults lost at least an hour of sleep to pain in the past week.
  • 85.1% of adults lost at least two hours of sleep to pain each night.
  • On average, night time pain costs adults 51 minutes of sleep each night.
  • People coping with pain at least one night a week average sleeping 6.7 hours nightly.
  • 57% of those experiencing pain wake up 3 times during a night’s sleep.
  • Back pain is the most common night time pain, accounting for over 56% of adults who lost sleep to pain.

The Sleep Foundation determined back pain to be the most common night time pain to wake people up, followed by neck pain, then head pain and then knee pain. The Sleep Foundation also lists headaches, fibromyalgia and post-surgery pain as additional barriers to sleep.  

If you’re experiencing night time pain, you tend to toss and turn in bed searching for a more comfortable position—which in itself disrupts your ability to get deep restful sleep.  Furthermore, it’s easier to fall and stay asleep if you’re psychologically comfortable, and night time pain can keep you on edge. Left untreated long enough, night time pain or painsomnia can disrupt your body’s natural clock, the circadian rhythm, and make you feel fatigued in the middle of the day or and keep you wide-awake at night. 

The Vicious Circle of Night Time Pain or Painsomnia

Almost 90% of people coping with arthritis have trouble sleeping, commonly due to “painsomnia”, a term to describe insomnia due to chronic pain, and in this case joint pain and stiffness. Painsomnia can also erode a person’s mental health and quality of life.  In the case of arthritis,  research indicates that losing sleep can worsen arthritis and launch a vicious circle where: Poor sleep causes the brain to experience fatigue, which in turn reduces the central nervous system’s ability to manage and dampen pain signals. In sum and as result, existing pain feels more severe which makes falling to sleep even more difficult.  

Night time pain need not be chronic or extreme to be disruptive to your sleep.   Even mild intermittent pain can be sufficiently discomforting making it difficult to fall and remain asleep – and when you do, that sleep may be less restorative due to the pain. 

Any kind of night time pain can worsen insomnia and disrupt sleep; with the lack of sleep extending and increasing the amount of pain experienced – completing the vicious circle. Research has thoroughly documented how sleep deprivation affects our ability to manage pain and it’s also a bidirectional relationship: pain impacts sleep; however, sleep also impacts pain. 



Why Aches & Pain at Night Can Be Worse

Common causes of muscle cramps or body aches and pain can be worse at night include:

  • Hormone levels – the body’s production of cortisol (an anti-inflammatory hormone) declines to its lowest point at around midnight, resulting in more discomfort for certain ailments
  • Sleep position – laying in one fixed position for continuous hours can result in stiff joints and sleeping on your stomach can strain your back 
  • Circadian Rhythm: Research indicates pain may follow a circadian rhythm (the body’s internal clock) regulating our sleep-wake cycle which accounts for ∼80% of the complete magnitude of pain sensitivity, and that sleep-related component accounts for the remaining ∼20%



Types Of Night Time Pain or Painsomnia & Effective Treatments

Common night time pain symptoms that contribute to painsomnia are tingling, burning, or aching sensations – intermittently or in waves throughout the night.  The most common types of aches and pains leading to painsomnia, along with their accompanying treatment(s) are:

Nerve Pain: can be experienced as ‘pins and needles’, or a burning or tingling sensation, caused by injury to a single sensory nerve, such as what’s experienced with carpal tunnel syndrome, or your vagus nerve (an irritated or pinched vagus nerve can produce neck pain, increase headaches, cause digestive and abdominal issues and more), or a group of  pinched or irritated motor nerves (muscle weakness, cramps, uncontrollable muscle twitching)Click here to learn how I treat carpal tunnel syndrome, and here to learn how I treat vagus nerve associated pain, and here to learn about motor nerve treatment


Muscle Pain: can be experienced as a random sharp pain or a steady ache, all over a region of the body or in a precise area. Muscle cramps can stem from injuries such as herniated disks (back pain), or slight curvature of the spine issues like spinal stenosis and scoliosis. Myofascial trigger point therapy quickly eliminates muscle pains, increases range of motion, improves blood circulation, and retrains muscles to operate efficiently to reduce chances of pain and strain returning. Click here to learn how I treat muscle pain with myofascial trigger point therapyThrough the course of a night fibromyalgia can cause stiff muscle pain as well.   Click here to learn how I treat fibromyalgia


Bone Pain:  a deep penetrating pain that worsens with movement of the bone. Previous injury or an infection can lead to bone pain discomfort.  Even menopause rooted hormone deficiencies can lead to bone pain. Bone rubbing against bone due to a misalignment or the gradual wearing down of cartilage in the joints (osteoarthritis) can cause swelling and pain. Chiropractic care can help improve muscle and joint function and thereby reduce the symptoms associated with osteoporosis.


Joint Pain: arthritis and other chronic conditions can lead to joint pain.   Remember, while moving around in the daytime fluids are lubricating your joints.  But this natural  lubrication of the joints declines at night and may even swell up. If you’re coping with joint pain and or inflammatory arthritis, chiropractic care coupled with craniosacral therapy is a non-pharmacological treatment to reduce your pain,  retool and revitalize body systems,  and is essential to healing and eliminating the underlying causes of joint pain.   My chiropractic / craniosacral treatment to resolve joint pain focuses on improving the functioning of your:

  • Circulatory System

  • Immune System

  • Musculoskeletal System

 Click here to learn how I treat joint pain. 


Headaches: cluster headaches or migraines can occur at night. Craniosacral Therapy is a non-invasive treatment focusing on the link between the cranium (or head), and sacrum (the bone at the base of your spine) addressing abnormalities of fluid flow along with membranes connected to both the cranium and sacrum.  Because Craniosacral Therapy centers on all the structures involved with migraine headaches (the head, spine, muscles, fascia (connective tissue), and nerves – Craniosacral Therapy is well founded and positioned to effectively treat migraine headache pain. Click here to learn how I treat migraine headaches with craniosacral therapy.

Craniosacral Rhythm: Craniosacral function pumps fluid throughout the body, called Cerebro-Spinal Fluid, which is directly tied to the lymphatic system. A compromise within this system can lead to a lack of fluid mobility throughout the body causing muscle tightness and pain. Which contributes to the onset of Painsomnia.

Circadian Rhythm: Craniosacral therapy can have a positive effect on the body’s hormonal system and provides space within the cranial bones which support the pineal gland’s function. The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland located in the brain. It produces and secretes the natural hormone melatonin. This hormone helps regulate our body’s biological rhythms, including our sleep and wake cycles.  As noted earlier, Research indicates pain may follow a circadian rhythm the body’s internal clock regulating our sleep-wake cycle accounts for ∼80% of the complete magnitude of pain sensitivity, and that sleep-related component accounts for ∼20%. Click here to learn how I treat insomnia and revitalize your Circadian Rhythm with craniosacral therapy.

If you’re experiencing night time pain or painsomnia,  rest assured that you’re not alone.  You don’t have to live with this uncomfortable situation that can make life miserable. Chiropractic care and craniosacral therapy will not only resolves this problem but also improve your overall health.   The first step to bettering things is with a conversation, so feel free to call me, inform me of your circumstances and I will share with you if and how I can be helpful.

About Dr. Kaminsky & Craniosacral Therapy

Having a Chiropractic background since the year 2000, Dr. Kaminsky offers many methods of treatment with an emphasis on Craniosacral Therapy in NYC.

Dr. Alex Kaminsky

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a method focusing on the link between the cranium (head) and sacrum (the second to last bone at the base of your spine), scientifically proven to work in unison to pump fluid throughout the body, an unknown disruption of which can cause many health issues.  The craniosacral mechanism pumps vital fluid called cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) through the body and in a sense energetically lubricates the joints, tissues, organs; basically all cells of the body. It is the driving force of all your body’s systems of function; including maintaining the tone of your muscles.

The Central Nervous System (brain and spinal cord) are surrounded with CSF generating energetic rhythmic impulses of fluid delicately pumping throughout your body’s parts “breathing” the movement of life. This measurable rhythm of moving fluid, like the heart rhythm, pulse rhythm, breathing rhythm is the foundational “blueprint” and primary principle of our real-time state of our health. 

Compromises of our rhythmic movements of fluid flow correlates to the impulse restrictions in the system which the body is unable to overcome or self-correct. This is the reason why we have “dis-ease”, symptoms, conditions, basically all ailments.  This is where the skill of an experienced craniosacral therapist becomes valuable.  By placing his or her hands on your body the practitioner can feel, detect, evaluate, and facilitate correction of these restrictive arrhythmic impulses.

The craniosacral therapist helps your rhythm restore and renew in compromised areas allowing for healing to take place of sensory, motor, musculoskeletal, neurological disorders, symptoms, conditions and pain.  To learn more, visit the other pages on this website. Call to schedule your healing treatment with Dr. Kaminsky.