Conditions Associated With Inner Knee Pain
There are several types of knee injury and other conditions that can cause inner knee pain.
Medial collateral ligament injury is a tear of the ligament that runs down the inner side of your knee. A ligament is a band of tissue that connects one bone to another. Your medial collateral ligament connects your thigh bone to your shin bone, helping to stabilise your knee. A tear can happen if you have a direct blow to your knee, if you twist your knee or if you overuse your knee.
Anterior cruciate ligament injury is a tear to one of the ligaments that runs across the inside your knee, connecting your thigh and shin bones. You might completely or partially tear your anterior cruciate ligament. Its a sudden injury caused by twisting or overextending your knee. It can happen if you suddenly slow down, stop or change direction and is nearly always associated with sports.
Meniscal injury is a tear to one of the cartilage shock-absorbers in your knee. These are known as the menisci . You could tear a meniscus if you twist your knee. This type of injury is common in sports where you have to change direction suddenly for example, football or basketball. It can also happen if you work in a job that involves heavy lifting and twisting, such as construction or manual labour. Youre also more likely to tear your meniscus without any particular injury as you get older, through wear and tear.
What Can Cause Knee Pain Without Injury
Most people assume that their knee pain isnt severe or in need of medical attention because they havent suffered a significant injury. While that may be true sometimes, damage to your knee joint can also occur slowly over time, and affect you just as much as a significant accident or injury can.
First, lets stop with assumptions. Any pain you are experiencing is a sign that something is not right. So, why not have a specialist take a look? With extensive imaging, a trained orthopedic specialist can get to the bottom of your nagging knee pain and try to help relieve some of that distress. If you havent suffered an injury, however, your doctor will want to diagnose the pain and possible causes. There are some more common causes for non-trauma related knee pain:
Either rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis can cause leave you with severe knee pain, even without a fall or injury. Osteoarthritis can be characterized by the pain and swelling you continue to feel as you age. Your joints are not indestructible, and the structure inevitably wears down over time. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is a chronic disorder that also causes joints to swell. If you suspect RA is behind your knee pain, you might have pain in other joints, as well.
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Causes Of Inner Knee Pain
There are several things that can cause inner knee pain. These include:
- injury such as a blow to the outside of your knee, which pushes your knee inwards
- activities that involve sudden twisting or pivoting of your knees for example, skiing or playing rugby
- activities where you have to use your knee a lot for example, cycling, gymnastics or swimming breaststroke
- getting older and your knee joint becoming worn down
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There May Be Other Reasons Your Knee Hurts At Night However
While osteoarthritis may be the likely culprit for your nightly knee pain, there could be something else behind this time-specific ailment, too. Jasmine Marcus, DPT, a physical therapist and certified strength and conditioning specialist, says it could also be patellar tendonitis, a condition caused by inflammation of your knee’s tendon.
The truth is, you’re also more likely to notice knee pain at night for two reasons. According to Marcus, some knee-related conditions, like osteoarthritis or patellar tendonitis, tend to “hurt more when you’re at rest than when you’re moving.” Plus, “when you finally slow down and are less busy, you notice things in your body more,” she explains.
“If left untreated, certain conditions might worsen,” Marcus warns, which is why you should always talk to your doctor if you have a recurring knee pain. And for more on the aches to pay attention to, take a look at the 25 Common Pains You Should Never Ignore.
Warning Signs To Watch For
Occasionally, burning knee pain can be a sign of a serious underlying medical problem. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek urgent medical attentions
- Progressive weakness and or numbness in your legs
- Problems with bladder or bowel control
- Slurred speech
- Unexplained weight loss
- Severe pain, particularly at night
If your symptoms are affecting more than one part of your body, you should also get checked out by your doctor.
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Knee Pain And Its Connection To Sleep
Knee pain at night can have a multitude of impacts on your sleep. For some, knee pain can lead to poor quality of sleep or not getting enough deep sleep. Others who suffer from knee pain find that they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep for long periods.
Over time, this lack of good quality sleep can have a negative impact on your health and other aspects of your daily life. Before that happens, you can identify the root cause of your knee pain at night and find a treatment solution that is right for you.
Burning Pain In The Back Of The Knee
Pain behind your knee could come from any of a handful of causes. You may have an overuse injury similar to what causes runners knee.
You could also have something more severe like a ligament tear. If you tear a ligament or cartilage, you will most likely have pain no matter what you do, even if you stop the activity. You will also have swelling shortly after you injure your knee.
You could also have a Bakers cyst. A Bakers cyst is an accumulation of fluid in the bursa behind your knee. You may have pain, or you may just have swelling.
The burning pain behind your knee could be your only symptom. Best of all, a Bakers cyst isnt a debilitating diagnosis. You can get the fluid drained and then return to normal activities.
If you suspect a cartilage or ligament tear, begin with cold therapy. This could include a sleeve with an ice pack that you slide over your knee and keep on the knee for fifteen minutes at a time.
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Being Active And Managing Stress
If youre not tired at the end of the day, it can be harder to get to sleep. If possible, make sure your routine includes:
- Regular exercise.Water-based exercises are good options as they take the weight off your knees. Tai chi and yoga can help with strength and flexibility. Exercise can also help reduce stress.
- Social activities. If youre no longer working, attending a day center, joining a club, or spending time with friends, family, or neighbors can help you get out and about.
If youre concerned that your stress and anxiety levels are too high or never seem to go away, speak to your doctor. They may be able to help with counseling or medication.
A suitable environment and regular sleeping habits can help improve sleep quality.
- making sure the temperature is not too hot and not too cold
- changing to a more suitable mattress, if necessary
- using blackout blinds to keep out the light
- leaving phones and other devices outside the room
- shutting the door if other people are still up and about
- using earplugs to cut out any noise
- if possible, using the bedroom only for sleeping, not for working or watching television
- having a regular time to wake up and go to bed
- avoiding eating a large meal near bedtime
- avoiding drinking too much fluid close to bedtime or you may wake up needing the bathroom
If you feel anxious about falling when you get up in the night to go to the bathroom, add nightlights in key locations to help you see your way.
The Vicious Cycle Less Sleep = More Pain
Poor sleep leads to daytime fatigue which means people experience more pain. When you are tired your brain is less able to shut off the pain signals. When you are tired youll not feel like exercising which we know is good for helping you manage your arthritis symptoms.
Tiredness is also linked to depression in arthritis patients which in turn is linked to worsening pain.
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Can Knee Pain Come Back After Treatment
Frequently, knee pain will occur for a short period of time and then resolve. Sometimes it can return a few weeks or months later. For chronic knee pain, it is important to get it evaluated to avoid further damage to cartilage, bones, or ligaments. Prognosis depends on the underlying causes of the pain.
With modern surgical techniques, its possible to relieve many of the knee pain syndromes and return to an active lifestyle.
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Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
While pain can disrupt your sleep, you can promote a more restful night when you include these sleep hygiene strategies into your daily routine:
- Avoid taking long naps during the day.
- Make your bedroom cool and dark.
- Avoid eating heavy foods or exercising right before you sleep.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about taking melatonin supplements or other sleep aids.
- Dont use phones or computers before bed since the blue light from the screen can disrupt sleep.
- Use a pillow and supportive mattress to avoid straining your back or your knees.
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How Do You Stop Knee Pain At A Young Age
Very often, knee pain in younger patients can be treated with conservative options, like:
- Resting the knee
- Physical therapy and stretching exercises to rebalance the knee
Depending on your symptoms and your activity level, you might also benefit from:
- Making sure you wear footwear thats designed for your specific sport or activity
- Making sure you warm up thoroughly before any activity
- Sticking to a regular leg exercise routine to keep your knee muscles strong and flexible
- Avoiding activities that cause pain in your knees
- Paying attention to early signs of pain to avoid overdoing it
Although knee pain in adolescents and young adults typically can be treated conservatively, you still need a medical evaluation. Delaying medical treatment can increase your risk of developing arthritis and other serious problems in the future. Dr. Van Thiel is skilled in diagnosing and treating knee problems in patients of all ages, including kids, teens, and patients in their 20s. If youre having knee pain, get the care you need to feel better and to prevent permanent joint damage. Contact the office and schedule a knee evaluation today.
Dr. Van Thiel treats patients from all over Wisconsin and Illinois including Rockford, Elgin, Huntley, Dekalb, Crystal Lake, Barrington, McHenry, Beloit and Algonquin.
Solutions To Knee Pain At Night
Once you have determined the root cause of your knee pain at night, you will be better equipped to determine which treatment solution is right for you. Because everyone is different, you may find that you need to use one or a combination of these treatment solutions. Here are some helpful solutions to help you sleep better and stop knee pain at night.
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Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:
- your knee is very painful
- you cannot move your knee or put any weight on it
- your knee is badly swollen or has changed shape
- you have a very high temperature, feel hot and shivery, and have redness or heat around your knee this can be a sign of infection
111 will tell you what to do. They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.
Go to 111.nhs.uk or .
You can also go to an urgent treatment centre if you need to see someone now.
They’re also called walk-in centres or minor injuries units.
You may be seen quicker than you would at A& E.
Try Hot And Cold Therapy
Using a heating pad before bed can help to relax and soothe your sore and stiff joints. In addition, a heating pad is also a great way to help calm your body and mind down. This should help you to fall asleep easier and faster. If you use a heating pad, make sure to have layers between your skin and the heating pad and turn it off prior to falling asleep.
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Your Knee Feels Unstable Or You Felt A Pop
Most ACL tears and patella dislocations occur from a twisting, non-contact injury. A typical story is that you were turning or twisting hard, and you felt a pop. As I mentioned earlier, most patella dislocations will reduce or go back into their usual place on their own. But if your patella remains dislocated the knee will look strange.
If you felt or heard a loud pop as you twisted or turned to avoid another player, then you may have torn your ACL. Other causes of popping include a patella or kneecap dislocation. If you felt or heard a loud pop in your knee, then there is a strong chance that you have a severe knee injury. Most ACL injuries and patella dislocations are non-contact injuries. A running back turning to head upfield. A striker moving laterally to avoid the defense. These are familiar stories when we see high school and college athletes who have torn their ACL.
This post dives further into the immediate management of suspected ACL injuries.
Artery Blockages Are A Serious Reason For Leg Pain At Night
Artery blockages Many people with poor circulation have leg pain when walking or calf pain when walking. This is called intermittent claudication. But nighttime leg pain occurs without walking. If the cause are severe artery blockages, it is called rest pain. The pain is usually in the foot. But, it can also be in the calf. Rest pain is a severe form of peripheral artery disease which is known as critical limb ischemia. Patients need treatment quickly. The goal is to get blood to flow back to the foot to prevent gangrene.
Why do artery blockages cause leg pain at night?
People who have poor blood flow to their feet may not feel pain as long as they are upright. This is because gravity is pulling the blood to the feet. However, once their legs are raised in bed gravity is not helping the blood flow anymore. If there is not enough blood flow, muscle will starve for nutrients such as oxygen. That hurts. Many patients need to dangle their feet over the bed to get the pain to resolve. If that is your situation, you need to get help quickly.
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How To Treat It
Treating this knee pain is all about pain management and what you can do to reduce the stress on those joints. Losing weight is a helpful start. Besides being a key to overall good health, cutting excess pounds lessens the everyday stress on those knee joints and ligaments.
But there are plenty of other ways, too.
A lot of joint stress is caused by high-impact exercising, especially running on pavement. But there are ways to exercise that can keep you healthy and keep that load off your knee joints. Low-impact exercises like swimming, bicycling and elliptical are good because they exercise the knee joints but dont pound them, says Dr. Stearns.
Knee braces can also be a tool, he adds. There are special braces that work to keep pressure off of certain parts of the knee unloader braces that can sometimes help alleviate arthritis pain.
If youre considering over-the-counter painkillers to help ease the hurt, Dr. Stearns says its best to take naproxen or ibuprofen because they have anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease the swelling thats causing your knee pain.
Acetaminophen medications, like Tylenol, dont work as well because they mask the pain but do nothing about the source of the pain, he says.
He also recommends taking the dose after dinner as that allows you to have the maximum dose before you head to bed.
Cold versus heat
How to sleep comfortably
Lack Of Sleep Makes Pain Worse
It can be easy to get stuck in a cycle where you cant sleep because of knee pain. That lack of sleep can actually make your pain worse. Sleep is vital for healing and rejuvenation. Without sleep, you have less energy to expend on healing as you need to focus your bodily processes on staying alert and awake.If nighttime knee pain causes you to toss and turn, you may end up accidentally further straining your knee by sleeping in an uncomfortable position.
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Years Of Wear And Tear Can Take A Toll On Your Knees But There Are Strategies To Relieve Pain
Whether it’s a sharp pain or a dull ache, knee pain is a common problem in women particularly older women. One study of women ages 50 and older, published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, found that nearly two-thirds had some type of knee pain during the 12-year study period.
Dr. Rebecca Breslow, a sports medicine doctor and an instructor in orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School, says many of the active older women and the female athletes she sees in her practice have knee pain. While there are numerous pain-inducing knee conditions, three seem to be the most common culprits in older women:
Below is a guide on how to recognize these conditions and how to treat them.