According to some studies, more than 100 million people in North America live with—or perhaps more accurately, don’t find it easy to live with—days and nights filled with chronic pain. They know that persistent pain does more than make one achy and perhaps a bit cranky. Chronic pain has been associated with a significant increase in the rate of depression and anxiety. Most of those who have to endure chronic pain may also have problems with attention, memory, high blood pressure and related heart problems, along with sleep issues. Common causes of pain include degenerative spine disease, lower back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, HIV, migraine, neuropathy and complications of shingles.
This population includes approximately five million people with Type 2 diabetes who experience chronic pain, a condition called painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN). It is estimated that about half of them suffer pain that keeps them from getting to sleep, or when they do, staying asleep.
Neuropathy in Type 2 diabetes can frustrate both patients and their doctors and other health providers. Although there is a range of treatments, including pharmaceutical painkillers, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, steroid and cortisone injections, analgesic patches, vitamin B shots and hot/cold packs, relief is often elusive or sporadic. People with chronic pain may need a deep, restorative night’s rest to fully function.