Combining Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia and Chronic Spinal Pain within Physical Therapy: a Practical Guide for the Implementation of an Integrated Approach

Eveline Van Looveren, Mira Meeus, Barbara Cagnie, Kelly Ickmans, Thomas Bilterys, Anneleen Malfliet, Dorian Goubert, Jo Nijs, Lieven Danneels, Maarten Moens, Oliver Mairesse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The majority of people who have nonspecific chronic spinal pain (nCSP) report comorbid insomnia. However, in current treatment strategies for nCSP, insomnia is usually not addressed. Considering the bidirectional interaction between pain and sleep and its underlying psychophysiological mechanisms, insomnia may increase the risk of developing adverse physical and psychological health outcomes and should thus no longer be left untreated. As suggested by previous pilot studies, adding cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) to the contemporary evidence-based biopsychosocial physical therapy approach may also improve pain outcomes in nCSP. This manuscript aims to provide practical guidelines on hybrid physical therapy, including the combination of following components: (1) pain neuroscience education (eg, to reconceptualize pain) and cognition-targeted exercise therapy (eg, graded exposure to functional daily life movements), and (2) CBT-I (sleep psychoeducation, behavioral and cognitive therapy, correction of sleep hygiene, and relaxation therapy) can be deployed for the management of patients who have chronic spinal pain.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberpzac075
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Therapy
Volume102
Issue number8
Early online date9 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Physical Therapy Association. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Keywords

  • Chronic Spinal Pain
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Insomnia

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