How to relieve knee pain at night
Updated: Apr 25
Do you suffer from knee pain that keeps you awake at night? Knee pain at night can make it difficult to get a good night's rest and impact your overall quality of life. The good news is that there are several ways to manage and alleviate knee pain at night, allowing you to get the rest you need to function at your best.
Knee pain at night can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, overuse, arthritis, and more. Additionally, the position of your body during sleep can also contribute to knee pain becoming worse at night. If you experience throbbing knee pain at night, it's essential to take action to find a solution that works for you.
Fortunately, there are several options for managing knee pain at night, including over-the-counter pain relievers, ice and heat therapy, and elevating and cushioning the knee during sleep. Additionally, adjusting your sleep position can also help alleviate knee pain and allow you to get a better night's rest.
In this article, we will explore the causes of knee pain at night, when to seek medical advice, and how to manage and alleviate knee pain to improve your sleep quality and overall wellbeing.
Knee pain at night can be just as bad as knee pain during the day. Read on and find out how to alleviate pain in your knees at night.
There are many reasons why people might be experiencing knee pain, like:
• They've sustained a knee injury
• They've had a knee replacement/joint replacement surgery
• The knee joints are impacted by arthritis pain
• Other chronic diseases impact the knee bones and either the posterior cruciate ligament or anterior cruciate ligament
No matter the cause, knee pain and symptoms like a swollen knee are far from fun. Daytime knee pain is bad enough, but night-time knee pain can be even worse.
Without a plan to relieve pain, it can be difficult to get a good night's sleep. Thankfully, there are a number of options to reduce pain, from a well-placed knee pillow to medical and therapeutic methods of pain management.
With the right treatment and physical therapy, you may be able to reduce the pain and even manage to fall asleep quickly.
If you're suffering from chronic pain in the knee, and are looking for practical pain relief, read on. There may be a solution to ease pain in your joint and lessen sleep disruptions.
What causes knee pain at night?
The causes of knee pain at night are usually the same as the causes for knee pain during the day. Chronic knee pain might be caused by arthritis, tendinitis, injury, and strain.
To find out exactly what has gone wrong with your knee, it's vital that you get a proper diagnosis and professional medical advice by having your knee evaluated by a trained medical expert like a physical therapist.
While knee pain is usually associated with activities carried out during the day (for example, you might experience a sore knee while running or climbing the stairs) sleeping can also be an occasion for knee pain.
Indeed, if you don't take care, you might wake up during the night with painful swelling, tight muscles, and other issues that might make severe pain worse.
Causes of knee pain at night can include:
• Improper sleeping positions
• A lack of cushioning
• Problems with blood flow
When to see a doctor for knee pain at night
If you experience persistent knee pain at night, it's important to seek medical advice to determine the underlying cause and receive proper treatment. While mild knee pain may not require medical attention, there are some red flags that indicate you should see a doctor for knee pain at night.
Severe pain, swelling, and inability to bear weight on the knee are all signs that you should seek medical advice. Additionally, if knee pain at night is accompanied by a fever or chills, it may indicate an infection and require immediate medical attention.
A doctor can help diagnose the cause of knee pain at night and suggest the best course of treatment. In some cases, imaging tests such as X-rays or MRIs may be necessary to diagnose the underlying issue causing knee pain. Once the underlying cause is determined, treatment options may include medication, physical therapy, injections, or even surgery in some cases.
It's essential to take action to relieve knee pain at night, as persistent pain can impact your sleep quality and overall quality of life. In the next section of this article, we will explore ways to manage and alleviate knee pain at night to improve your sleep quality and reduce pain and discomfort.
Experiencing nocturnal knee pain? Try these solutions
Try preventing knee pain by adding more cushioning for your knee
Additional pillows can go a long way to relieve joint pain while you sleep. The best way to use pillows to cushion your knees will differ, depending on your sleeping position:
• If you sleep on your side, try putting a pillow between your knees
• If you sleep on your back, pop a pillow under your knees to give them some elevation
For many people, a normal pillow will do the trick.
However, there are propping pillows that have been specially designed for this purpose.
Are you feeling pain in your knees because of having to get out of bed?
Some of the pain at night that people experience in their knees can be because of the difficulty they have getting out of bed.
If you have an adjustable bed, try raising it up so that the knees don't have to bend quite so much when you're entering or exiting the bed.
Heat and ice can both be of use when managing your knee pain
Varying temperatures can help with pain and inflammation in the joints, including the knees.
There has been lots of scientific interest into cold therapy for people who have undertaken physical activity, and peer reviewed studies indicate that it tends to result in the person who has had the treatment experiencing less pain.
Potentially, cold therapies will be able to help reduce the knee pain at night you may be experiencing.
After talking with your physiotherapist, you might like to use an ice pack or a heat pad before going to bed. Alternately, many people find relief from pain by making use of a hot water bottle through the night.
A warm bath might be the answer to alleviating joint pain
There are many good reasons to take a warm bath before bed. For one, it is a way to practice good sleep hygiene; you'll be clean, and your sheets won't require washing as often.
And then, of course, there are the many mental health benefits from relaxing in warm water; there's scarcely a healthcare provider working today who doesn't sing the praises of a good bath.
It is a great way to improve blood flow, to facilitate pain management, and to provide some initial relief for complex joints that have had a hard time.
As far as wellness tips go for reducing everyday stress, it doesn't get much better than a bath.
But for people who experience pain in their knees at night, a warm bath can also help. Soaking in a warm bath can improve the way that blood flows through the body and relax muscles that have become tight.
Tips for Relieving Knee Pain at Night
In addition to the management strategies discussed in the previous section, there are several additional tips you can follow to help alleviate knee pain at night and improve sleep quality.
Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce pressure on the knee joint, which can alleviate pain and discomfort. Regular exercise can also help improve joint flexibility and reduce the risk of knee injuries.
If you suffer from gout or knee arthritis, it's important to avoid foods that are high in purines, such as red meat, seafood, and alcohol. These foods can trigger gout attacks and exacerbate knee pain.
Stretching before bed can also help reduce knee pain at night. Focus on stretching the muscles around the knee joint, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.
If you experience nocturnal knee pain, consider using a knee brace or compression sleeve to provide additional support and reduce pain and discomfort.
Lastly, consider incorporating relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing exercises into your bedtime routine. Stress and anxiety can exacerbate pain and discomfort, so taking steps to manage stress can help improve sleep quality and reduce knee pain at night.
The best thing you can do for chronic knee pain is to see a physiotherapist
A good physio can make an incredible difference to your night-time knee pain. Depending on the diagnosis, they will be able to guide you in exercises and other treatment methods to help with your knee pain.
Whether you're suffering from throbbing knee pain, runner's knee, rheumatoid arthritis, a swollen knee joint, or recovering from knee injuries, any knee pain or stiffness can result in disrupted sleep.
Talk to a physiotherapist at Align Health Collective, and we'll start putting together an effective plan to get your joints as healthy as possible, and on course to relieving that bothersome knee pain at night.