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.
Do Gentle Bed Isometric Exercises While You Drift Off To Sleep
Dont worry, no ones suggesting you work up a sweat before falling asleep!
However, these gentle exercises can help alleviate and swelling in the joints that can keep you from falling asleep altogether.
Isometric exercises are one of the most powerful strategies to eliminate joint pain. And better yet, they are so simple and gentle, you can even do them while you are in bed. You really dont need to exert much force for them to be effective simply contract the muscle just enough to squeeze excess fluid out.
Why Is The Back Of My Knee Swollen
Generally, swelling at the back of the knee is due to a Bakers cyst. However, Bakers cysts are not usually painful. If you experience severe pain and swelling behind the knee, then you must see your doctor. Sometimes, large Bakers cysts can become painful. Other causes include DVT or popliteal aneurysms.
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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
Arthritis Of The Knee Causing Pain Behind Knee
Osteoarthritis is a common cause of pain behind the knee. Typically, arthritis causes bone spurs leading to inflammation at the back of the knee. Often, you feel tight and restricted in the movement of the knee joint.
Generally, the best form of treatment for knee arthritis is exercise and load management. Also, wearing a knee sleeve can help. Occasionally, we use injection therapy to help with arthritis such as cortisone or platelet-rich plasma.
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Practice Better Sleep Hygiene
Tossing and turning at night when unable to sleep may cause a person to notice and fixate on their pain. Good sleep hygiene may help a person fall asleep faster and remain asleep longer. People can try the following:
- going to bed at the same time each night and establishing a bedtime ritual, such as taking a bath, meditating, or doing another calming activity
- avoiding daytime naps
- exercising during the day to ease arthritis symptoms and support better health, but avoiding exercise for 4 hours before bed
- avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine, especially in the afternoon and evening
- refraining from drinking alcohol or only drinking it in moderation
- developing strategies for managing daytime stress to prevent negative thoughts from keeping a person awake or triggering joint pain
- eating a balanced meal a few hours before bed and trying a light snack just before bed if nighttime hunger is a problem
- using the bed only for sleeping and sex and not for watching television or doing work
- keeping the bedroom cool and dark, potentially by using blackout curtains
- investing in a comfortable, supportive mattress and quality pillows
- trying different pillow positioning, such as putting a pillow between the knees or under the hips, to ease joint pain
While they are working on improving their sleep hygiene, a person may find it helpful to get back up if they cannot fall asleep. Doing this helps the association between bed and sleep remain strong.
Osteonecrosis Of The Knee
Osteonecrosis is a condition in which bone tissue dies due to a lack of adequate blood supply. People typically notice severe pain on the inside of the knee with tenderness and joint swelling as well as pain when bending or straightening the knee. These symptoms may cause a person to limp when walking.
Osteonecrosis in the knee is not common. It is most likely to occur after an injury, but it can also develop gradually in absence of a trauma. Older women who have osteoporosis are at the greatest risk for osteonecrosis.
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Do Corrective Exercises During The Day
Just because you arent experiencing pain during the day, doesnt mean you shouldnt work toward correcting things while you are awake.
If you notice constant shoulder pain at night, try these simple corrective exercises. If hip pain at night is driving you to insomniac madness, give these exercises a go. As well, knee pain at night can easily be address with these daily corrective exercises.
Diagnosis Of Pain Behind The Knee
Your doctor will examine your knee and ask about your medical history and symptoms, including:
- the type of pain you have, when it started and whether it comes and goes
- how active you are
- any activity, accident or injury that could have caused it
If they suspect a posterior cruciate ligament injury, they may refer you to have an X-ray or a magnetic resonance imaging scan. If you have signs of a popliteal cyst, your doctor may suggest you have an ultrasound scan.
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How To Stop Neuropathy Pain At Night
There are options we can explore if your neuropathy pain seems to be worsening at night, explains Dr. Claytor. There might be oral or topical medications we can prescribe, or maybe its getting your stress under control and being more mindful.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, physical therapy and meditation may be complementary tools to reduce pain as well.
Dr. Claytor stresses the importance of talking to your doctor sooner rather than later. Often times people will wait so long to see their physician that theres permanent nerve damage that might have been avoided.
I think one of the most important things I can discuss with a patient who comes in with neuropathy pain at night is getting to the root cause of what is actually driving it, says Dr. Claytor. Depending on what the underlying cause is, treating that first and foremost can usually help reduce the pain overall especially at night.
When To See The Doctor
Sure, its tempting to use an online knee pain symptom checker to try to figure out whats causing your pain. The problem is, because joints are complex, knee pain self-diagnosis is very difficult. Like all your joints, your knees are designed to function without pain or stiffness. No amount of pain or stiffness is normal.If you notice any type of discomfort in or around your knee joint, its always a good idea to schedule an office visit with Dr. Van Thiel.
As a leading orthopedic surgeon in Rockford and Crystal Lake, Dr. Van Thiel uses advanced diagnostic methods to make sure you receive the best, most appropriate care for meaningful pain relief. To find out whats causing your knee pain, call OrthoIllinois at 398-9491 or schedule an appointment online today.
Dr. Van Thiel treats patients from all over Wisconsin and Illinois including Rockford, Elgin, Huntley, Dekalb, Crystal Lake, Barrington, McHenry, Beloit and Algonquin.
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Pain In Hips And Knees Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore
Image of the hip joint
When it comes to your hips and knees, there are 5 symptoms you shouldnt ignore. If you delay seeing a physician, you could make your pain worse. You should make an appointment if you have any of the following:
1. Not being able to maintain your normal active lifestyle. If you find yourself not able to do the activities you normally enjoy, such as tennis, golf, cycling, or walking, you should see a physician.
2. Pain that gets worse at night and interferes with sleep. Inflammation, which is your bodys reaction to pain, tends to intensify at night. This inflammation can trigger higher levels of pain.
3. Catching, popping, or locking. This is a sign that the cartilage in the joint has torn or that bits of cartilage has broken off in the joint space. The cartilage may wear away completely if it is left untreated.
4. Difficulty doing simple tasks. Some patients will experience difficulty putting on shoes and socks or doing other simple activities, such as bending down.
5. Swelling. This could also be a sign that the cartilage in the joint is breaking down. The cartilage may wear out completely if it is left untreated.
Pain in the Knees
Why Is My Knee Pain Worse At Night
Problems such as knee arthritis can cause pain and stiffness and stop you doing the everyday things you enjoy. For many their knee pain can also stop them getting a good nights sleep.
In a major study insomnia was found to be significantly more common among people with arthritis, affecting 10.2 million people and 23 percent of people with arthritis. A recent study from the U.S. suggests 34% of people with osteoarthritis report pain disturbed their sleep at least three times a week.
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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.
Face Up Tummy Presses For Shoulders
For nighttime shoulder pain, lay on your back with one pillow under your head and another between your knees.
Place your hands on your tummy and gently press into your tummy for 3 seconds then relax for 3 seconds. You should feel some tensing in the front of your shoulders the internal rotators.
Repeat 3 times.
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How To Relieve Knee Pain At Night
When you finally lay yourself down to sleep after a busy day, the last thing you want to experience is pain that keeps you awake. When knee pain at night sends you tossing and turning, though, there are ways to care for yourself during the day to make it better. Heres your guide to managing and preventing knee pain at night.
When To See A Doctor
There are times when inner knee pain requires more than an ice pack and Advil. You should consider seeing a doctor if:
- Your inner knee pain is due to trauma.
- The knee pain lasts more than a few weeks.
- The pain is significantly limiting your ability to move.
- The knee looks deformed or misshapen in any way.
- There is increased redness, swelling, warmth, tenderness, or pain .
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After An Accident Or Trauma
Any impact injury causing swelling, redness and pain, should be checked out by a physician. Use ice packs to reduce swelling and use your best judgement regarding your childs injury to determine if a visit to the ER is warranted. When in doubt, practice RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
Clear signs of when to see a specialist for your childs knee pain include the following:
- Pain that lasts over 2 weeks
- Pain in the morning
How Arthritis Disrupts Sleep
Many studies show a link between arthritis and sleep deprivation. People with arthritis may have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. They may also report lower quality sleep due to the pain that the condition causes.
A 2021 study involving 133 people with arthritis and 76 matched controls found that 54.1% of people with arthritis reported poor sleep quality. The issues included:
- greater difficulty falling asleep
- poor sleep quality
- more daytime problems related to poor quality sleep
A 2018 study reached a similar conclusion. The researchers compared 178 people with arthritis 120 with RA and 58 with osteoarthritis with 51 people with no arthritis. The rate of insomnia was comparable between the OA and control groups, at 32% and 33%, respectively. However, insomnia was significantly more prevalent among the RA group, affecting 71% of these participants.
Both studies also found a link between arthritis and mental health. People with arthritis were more likely to report marital problems and experience depression, suggesting that insomnia may be a reaction not only to arthritis but also to stress.
The link between arthritis pain and sleep goes in both directions. For example, arthritis can make it difficult to sleep, but sleep deprivation can also worsen arthritis pain. A 2018 study found that pain intensified as sleep worsened. In addition, a
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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.
What Your Hand Surgeon Can Do For You
Your orthopedic doctor will recommend the least-invasive measure possible to treat your hand pain. Noninvasive or minimally invasive medical interventions work well in most cases. These simple strategies can include:
- Supporting your hand and wrist area with a soft, removable splint
- Taking oral medications, such as NSAIDs or other over-the-counter pain relievers, to alleviate pain and inflammation
- Engaging in stretching and exercise techniques as recommended by your orthopedic doctor or your physical therapist
- Receiving physician-administered cortisone injections into the affected areas to reduce pain and inflammation in the hand
- Applying heat therapy or a cold pack to the area several times a day to alleviate swelling and discomfort
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Whats Behind The Knee
The back of the knee has complicated anatomy.
As well as the knee joint that sits in the middle, there are muscles from the thigh and calf that pass through this area. Firstly, the large hamstring muscles start from the pelvis and pass across the knee to attach to the lower leg bones. In addition, the large calf muscles start at the bottom part of the thigh and cross the knee to form the large Achilles tendon.
Finally, there are important nerves and blood vessels that cross the back of the knee to supply the lower leg and foot.