Do you often wake up in the morning with painful knees that make it difficult to move around? Do you find it hard to sit on chairs or climb stairs due to unbearable creaking noises and discomfort? If yes, then you might be suffering from knee pain at night.
Knee pain is a common problem that can be caused by various factors, and treating it without understanding the underlying cause can be challenging. In this regard, it is essential to identify the possible reasons for knee pain and learn about effective home remedies and sleep tips that can help alleviate your discomfort and improve your sleep quality.
Why is Knee Pain Worse at Night?
There are a couple of reasons why your knee pain is worse at night:
Pain is more severe at nighttime. As you lie down and shut your mind off, you become more aware of your pain than when you're preoccupied during the day with all the other things happening around you.
As a result of an active day and increased physical activity, your knee joints may experience some swelling. When you lie down to rest after a long day, your muscles and surrounding tissues tighten. The synovial fluid that moves around the knee joint will slow down, causing further swelling.
Knee pain when sleeping can be a frustrating and disruptive problem. It can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, leaving you tired and sore the next day.
Common Causes of Knee Pain While Sleeping
Knee pains during sleeping can be caused by a variety of issues, including common conditions such as arthritis or chronic pain, which are influenced by general health and age. Another reason might be linked to your mattress keeping you up at night! We've listed some of the more common causes below.
- Arthritis: Arthritis is a common cause of knee pain, and it can be worse at night when the joint is not moving.
- Injuries: A knee injury, such as a ligament or meniscus tear, can cause night pain.
- Overuse: If you overuse your knees during the day, such as running or playing sports, they may be more likely to hurt at night.
- Weight gain: Excess weight can put extra stress on the knees, leading to pain.
- Degenerative changes: As we age, the cartilage in our joints can wear down, which can cause pain.
- Sleeping position: Sleeping in certain positions, such as on your side with your knees bent, can put stress on the knees and cause pain.
Home Remedies for Knee Pain at Night
When you ca unable to sleep because of acute or chronic pain, it can feel like the mind is set against you. Your mind will start to fight as your body begs for rest with every inch of its being. Whenever there appears to be a glimmer of hope that perhaps you will soon get some much-needed rest, your mind brings in even more doubts, fears, and worst-case-scenario thoughts!
All you want is to sleep without pain, but when or if this finally happens, the moment stretches out too long, and everything seems heightened by the cut-off of sleep. But not all hope is lost!
In this Section, we cover various natural home remedies that are easy and effective at reducing knee pain naturally so you can improve your overall quality of life!
Heat or Cold therapy
A hot therapy relief Microwavable heating pad for your knee joint is the perfect way to end your stifling, stabbing pain. Instead of using cold packs that numb the area and constrict blood vessels in your knee, try something different! Heat and cold therapy can treat numerous conditions that cause one's knee to ache.
Using a herbal heated or cooled pad before bedtime has proved very effective in reducing joint inflammation, addressing certain conditions, and easing the discomfort of bruised knees and specific injuries with hot and cold therapy pads. Just ensure not to fall asleep with heating or cooling pads strapped onto your legs!
There are two types of pain medications available for injuries - over-the-counter and prescription. Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen are effective in reducing pain by minimizing swelling.
These types of medications are best suited for mild to moderate pain stemming from conditions like torn meniscus, iliotibial band syndrome, knee bursitis, gout, and chondromalacia. Individuals who suffer from knee osteoarthritis may also find relief with NSAIDs, however, they may need a prescription from their doctor for managing chronic conditions.
You can do a knee massage to help with sleeping through a physical therapy session or even self-massage before bed. An easier way to get your daily massage is by scheduling regular sessions with a partner who will perform self-massage on your knee and back. Conditions that are helped by this type of massage include rolled ligaments, iliotibial band syndrome, torn meniscus, knee bursitis, and chondromalacia.
Support and Comfort
Using knee pillows is an excellent way to support your body and relieve any pain that may be present. These small, lightweight pillows are explicitly designed to fit under your knees to alleviate pressure on your hips, back, knees, or another point of discomfort.
Some of the most common ailments knee pillows are used for include torn meniscus, iliotibial band syndrome, knee bursitis, knee osteoarthritis, and chondromalacia. However, anyone of all ages can find restful comfort at night when using a knee pillow.
Your doctor might recommend wearing compression clothing to relieve swelling caused by knee conditions like gout and osteoarthritis. Since the swelling will be relieved quickly without medication, this may be safer than pain medications for those with health concerns such as food allergies or heart disease.
Tips for Improving Sleep With Joint Pain
When trying to solve a stubborn knee pain problem, it helps to use some tried and true methods. Here's what helped the other people who came before you:
Take a Warm Bath Before Bed
Like the heat from a herbal heating pad, a warm bath will soothe your muscles with the bonus of creating a relaxing atmosphere. Try taking a warm bath before bed to help get your mind and body in the mood for sleep.
Check Your Sleeping Posture
Sometimes, it only takes a simple adjustment to your sleeping position to significantly change how you feel from head to toe. When you regularly sleep on your back, try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees.
Lose Excess Weight
Feeling extra pressure from excess weight on your knees can cause knee injury and pain. While losing weight can help offset this pressure, the best way to go about losing weight is to check in with our expert medical advisors, who will surely provide the right remedy based on your unique situation.
Change Daily Routines
Most people have heard the saying, "Nothing changes if nothing changes." The bones in your knee need time to rest and heal. Instead of always walking or exercising in the evenings, try changing your routine by reducing physical activity. This way, your knee doesn't stay warm for too long, leading to inflammation and soreness.
Swelling invariably follows the path of least resistance. By elevating your legs, fluid has less chance to pool in them, making swelling more unlikely to occur.
Things you can do to help prevent knee pain
In addition to treatment, there are also things you can do to help prevent knee pain when sleeping. These include:
- Lose weight: If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can help to reduce stress on the knees.
- Strengthen your knees: Exercises that strengthen the muscles around the knees can help to support the joint and reduce pain.
- Use a pillow between your knees: This can help to keep your knees in alignment and reduce stress on the joint.
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach: Sleeping can put stress on the knees, so it is best to avoid this position.
- Use a mattress that supports your back and knees: A mattress that is too soft or firm can worsen knee pain. Finding a mattress that supports your back and knees without putting too much stress on the joint is important.
Safely Managing Knee Pain
When it comes to sleep, let your doctor be the one who tells you exactly when you have to get in bed and what time you need to get up. With this regimen, you should feel less stressed while improving your work and family life quality.
If anything is keeping or causing stress at bedtime, don't hesitate to talk to a doctor about helping address those issues and develop a solution that makes optimal sense for your long-term health!