Impact of Poor Sleep on Chronic Pain and Mobility - Best Personal Training and Trainers in Dubai by Abhinav Malhotra and Team AbhiFit UAE

Impact of Poor Sleep on Chronic Pain and Mobility

Chronic pain is a very common condition, and one of the most common reasons why someone seeks medical care. Chronic pain can interfere with a person’s daily activities, such as working, having a social life, and taking care of self or others. It can lead to depression, anxiety and trouble sleeping, which can make your pain worse. This response creates a cycle that’s difficult to break.

Sleep and chronic pain and mobility issues are interconnected, and one can significantly affect the other. In this article, we explore the impact of poor sleep on chronic pain and mobility, as well as how chronic pain and limited mobility can affect sleep:

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic or persistent pain is pain that carries on for longer than 12 weeks. Chronic pain can come in many different forms and appear across body. Common types of chronic pain include:

  • Arthritis, or joint pain
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Cancer pain near a tumor
  • Headaches, including migraines
  • Testicular pain (orchialgia)
  • Lasting pain in scar tissue
  • Muscle pain all over (such as with fibromyalgia)
  • Neurogenic pain, from damage to the nerves or other parts of the nervous system

What is Mobility?

Mobility is the ability to move freely. If a sports injury causes one to lose mobility in the knee, that means the person can’t move it very well. Chronic pain affects mobility.

Impact of Poor Sleep on Chronic Pain

Below are some main ways in which poor sleep impacts chronic pain.

Pain Perception

Sleep plays a crucial role in modulating pain perception. Poor sleep can amplify the perception of pain, making it feel more intense and harder to manage.


Quality sleep helps regulate inflammation in the body. Chronic pain conditions often involve inflammation, so disrupted sleep can exacerbate these conditions.

Pain Threshold

Sleep deprivation can lower your pain threshold, making you more sensitive to pain. This can be especially problematic for individuals with chronic pain.

Muscle Tension

Poor sleep can lead to increased muscle tension and stiffness, which can worsen chronic pain conditions, particularly in individuals with mobility issues.

Impact of Poor Sleep on Mobility

Below are some main ways in which poor poor sleep impacts mobility.

Energy Levels

Inadequate sleep can lead to fatigue and reduced energy levels, which can impair mobility and make it more challenging for individuals with mobility issues to move around.

Balance and Coordination

Sleep deprivation can affect balance and coordination, increasing the risk of falls and injuries, which can be particularly problematic for those with mobility issues.

Muscle Recovery

Sleep is crucial for muscle recovery and repair. Lack of sleep can slow down the healing process and affect mobility for individuals with injuries or chronic conditions.

Mental Health

Sleep plays a significant role in mental health, and poor mental health can impact motivation and the willingness to engage in physical activities necessary for maintaining mobility.

Impact of Chronic Pain and Limited Mobility on Sleep

Below are some main ways in which chronic pain and limited mobility impact sleep.


Chronic pain can make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position, leading to disrupted sleep patterns.


Some medications for chronic pain can cause sleep disturbances or drowsiness, affecting both the quality and duration of sleep.

Depression and Anxiety

Living with chronic pain and limited mobility can lead to depression and anxiety, both of which can disrupt sleep.

Sleep Disorders

Chronic pain and mobility issues can contribute to the development of sleep disorders, such as insomnia or sleep apnea.

Improving the Relationship between Sleep, Chronic Pain, and Mobility Involves a Holistic Approach

Below are some main ways in which to improve the relationship between sleep, chronic pain and mobility.

Pain Management

Effective pain management strategies, including medication and physical therapy, can help reduce pain and improve mobility, potentially leading to better sleep.

Sleep Hygiene

Practicing good sleep hygiene, such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule and creating a comfortable sleep environment, can improve sleep quality.

Mental Health Support

Addressing mental health issues like anxiety and depression through therapy or counseling can help alleviate their impact on sleep and overall well-being.

Mobility Assistance

Using mobility aids, adaptive equipment, or physical therapy to improve mobility can indirectly support better sleep by reducing discomfort and promoting physical activity.

Medication Management

If medications are contributing to sleep disturbances, working with a healthcare provider to adjust dosages or switch to alternatives may be beneficial.


In summary, sleep, chronic pain, and mobility are interconnected, and addressing one aspect can have a positive impact on the others. A holistic approach that considers both physical and psychological factors is essential for managing these complex interactions.

Consulting with professionals is crucial for developing an individualized plan for managing chronic pain, mobility issues, and sleep disturbances.

Please contact me Abhinav Malhotra to learn what I and my team AbhiFit can do for you through personal training and nutrition services. We train kids, teens, adults, elders, athletes and models in Dubai and online across the UAE and around the world. We help our clients achieve their fat loss, weight loss, muscle gain, strength gain, rehab, figure / physique transformation & healthy living goals.

Many female and male clients including kids, teens, adults and elderly people have greatly benefited from Abhinav’s strong experience as the best personal trainer and nutritionist in Dubai, UAE. You can see some of our client transformations here here.

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Research References

Client Transformations - Best Personal Training and Trainers in Dubai, UAE – Abhinav Malhotra, Team AbhiFit - 8 August 2022
Boosting Immunity through Diet and Exercise - Dubai UAE Best Personal Fitness Trainer Abhinav Malhotra

About Author

Abhinav Malhotra

Abhinav Malhotra is an award-winning personal trainer, coach and sports nutritionist in Dubai, UAE. He also offers online services to clients around the world. A personal trainer par excellence, Abhi has worked with the world’s leading fitness chains, supplement brands and founded his own fitness academy in India. He has achieved successes for many clients from all backgrounds and has trained the Indian Army Rugby Team. He is the first International Kettlebell Sport athlete from India.

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