How To Prevent Knee Pain At Night
The best way to deal with knee pain at night is to stop it from developing in the first place prevention is better than cure! There are a number of things you can do during the day to reduce your risk of developing knee pain at night:
- Keep healthy with a combination of a good diet, healthy weight and regular exercise can all help to prevent nocturnal knee pain
- Warm up before & cool down after physical activity
- Do exercises to strengthen and stretch the leg muscles regularly
- Avoid activities that put extra stress on the knee joints e.g. heavy lifting, repetitive jumping and squatting
- Choose supportive, cushioned, flat footwear to relieve the pressure going through the knees
- Wear knee braces if you are getting pain when playing sports
- Exercise regularly. As well as strengthening your knees it helps reduce stress and produces endorphins natural painkillers
Nighttime Knee Pain In Adolescents
Many teenagers and adolescents suffer from a condition thats called anterior knee pain. This causes pain in the front or center of the knee and can often be worse at night.
Doctors from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons describe this type of knee pain as dull and achy. The pain may come on gradually, and physical activity can make the knee pain worse. The other symptoms of adolescent anterior knee pain include:15
- Popping noises in the knee when climbing stairs
- Nighttime knee pain
- Pain when bending the knee
- knee pain during intense physical activity
Treatments That Have Already Been Instituted
Many patients have undergone physiotherapy, steroid injection or previous arthroscopy. The success of previous therapies guides further management.
If a patient has not undergone physiotherapy this may be the first port of call particularly in anterior knee pain related to patellofemoral joint dysfunction. History of previous surgery, in particular total knee replacement or cruciate ligament reconstruction, associated with new onset of symptoms should warrant a referral to the orthopaedic surgeon.
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Treating Knee Pain At Night
There are a number of things you can do to help relieve knee pain at night such as gentle exercises, over the counter medication and home remedies such as ice or heat packs, relaxation and deep breathing.
The best treatments for knee pain at night are:
- Ice or Heat Packs:Knee ice wraps typically work better in the short term following an injury, heat pads tends to be better with longer term conditions. Use them for 10-20 minutes before going to bed.
- Elevate Your Legs: Rest with your legs elevated up on cushions or pillows for around 20 minutes before bedtime. This helps to reduce any swelling in the knee. Elevation is most effective when you are lying down with your knee resting higher than the level of your heart.
- Find A Comfortable Sleep Position: If you sleep on your side, try placing a pillow between your knees, if you sleep on your back, try placing a pillow underneath your knee. Make sure you have a good, supportive mattress.
- Take A Warm Bath Before Bedtime: Not only is it relaxing, it also helps to soothe aching joints
- Try Relaxation Techniques: Listen to relaxing music, use visualization techniques, deep breathing or try a meditation app my favourite is Headspace
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.
solar22 / Getty Images
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Feels Like: Pain On Outside The Knee That Extends Up To The Hip
Might be: IT band syndrome
Its name might sound daunting, but IT band syndrome is actually super treatable. The iliotibial band is a long band of tissue that runs down the side of the hip and attaches to the side of the knee. Runners, cyclists, and anyone else who repeatedly bends and straightens the knee are most likely going to overuse the muscles attached to the IT band. The tightness can cause rubbing of the band over the side of the knee, causing inflammation and pain, Tanaka says.
But because the IT band is “firmly and uniformly anchored to the femur like a barnacle to a ship, Rethorn says, it can be very difficult if not impossible to stretch. However, relative rest, like taking an extra day off of working out, and using a foam roller on the outside of the leg and knee can help.
Other Inner Knee Pain Treatments
If your inner knee pain worsens after several days, or if basic at-home remedies dont alleviate symptoms, you should go see your doctor.
Some treatment methods for more serious knee injuries include:
- Steroid injection. This injection is used to treat pes anserine bursitis.
- Physical therapy. Therapy often involves stretching, exercises, and ultrasound therapy.
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Pain In The Front Of The Knee: 6 Common Causes
Howard J. Luks, MDUpdated May 23, 2022
Pain in the front of the knee or anterior knee pain is very common. Do any of these scenarios seem familiar to you? You come to a stairway and cringe at the thought of having to walk downstairs. You love to run, but the anterior knee pain you have when running downhill has taken the joy out of running. If youve been sitting for a while, the thought of having to get up is becoming too much to bear. While I could say youre not alone, thats not very comforting. You are here for answers. Lets see how we can help educate you on why the front of your knee hurts so much.
What Causes Knee Pain At Night
Our knees are complex joints responsible for bearing the weight of our bodies as it travels to our feet. They literally help us move through the world smoothly, connecting four bonesthe femur, the tibia, the fibula, and the patellaand two major muscles groups .
Connecting and stabilizing these bones and muscles are ligaments and tendons, including:
- The anterior cruciate ligament : Located on the front of the knee, the ACL prevents the femur from moving backwards onto the tibia
- The posterior cruciate ligament : The PCL keeps the femur nestled back where it belongs
- Medial ligaments: Stabilize the inside of the knee
- Lateral ligaments: Stabilizs the outside of the knee
In addition to this, articular cartilage lines the patella to smooth movement, as does the meniscus tissue that allows the femur and tibia to glide together. Bursa are fluid-filled sacs inside the joint. They further cushion movement, preventing painful bone against bone rubbing.
Any part of this structure can develop painful conditions or suffer from issues that could cause knee pain at night. In general, the five main causes of knee pain at night are:
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You Cant Put Weight On It
If its immensely painful to stand or put any weight on your injured knee, theres definitely something serious going on.
Inability to bear weight after a knee injury could be caused by a fracture, bone contusion, cartilage injury or ligament tear, explains Dr. Brown. Initial treatment includes using crutches or a steerable scooter to take pressure off the injured limb and minimize additional damage to the knee.
If this sounds like you, listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Dr. Brown warns that the old adage of no pain, no gain doesnt apply in this situation.
He advises seeking orthopedic evaluation as soon as possibleeven that same day if you can.
After a minor injury like a twist or fall, you might not be able to put weight on your leg immediately. Thats not necessarily a cause for alarm, but if you dont feel like youve recovered within a few minutes, this could indicate something more serious.
Its similar to when you injure a wrist or ankle. If you fall on your wrist or twist your ankle, you may experience searing pain for a moment or two. When the injury isnt severe, youre able to shake it off and resume your life after a few minutes at the most. However, if youve experienced a sprain, the pain doesnt subside. Instead, it gets worse.
Are You Getting Any Other Symptoms With The Pain
The first thing we need to do is to exclude the red flags. Two potential causes of unexplained pain are infections and tumours. Emphasis on the word potential: these causes are unlikely, so we dont want to be alarmist. But a consultant will want to eliminate them. If your pain is severe, if it occurs particularly at night, if theres increased heat, redness or swelling in the knee these are good reasons to seek prompt medical advice.
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Is The Sound That My Knee Makes Bad
As we reviewed in a popular post about the sounds that our knees make, we discussed that the majority of these sounds are not mechanical or dangerous! That means that you are probably not bone on bone or grinding away the insides of your knee when you bend it. Yes, these sounds can be annoying or even embarrassing, but they are rarely dangerous. The most common cause of this grinding sensation or sound is actually due to inflammation of the tissues inside the knee. You do not need cortisone or lubricating injections to treat these sounds or sensations.
There Is No Easy Surgical Solution For Anterior Knee Pain
The mere fact that there are likely to be ten or more described surgical techniques to try and treat pain in the front of your knee should give you pause. That usually means that none have been very successful, so we keep trying new ones. Surgery for anterior knee pain has not been proven to be more effective than a proper exercise program.
Some procedures have drilled holes into the patella, thinking that excess pressure may have been the cause of pain. Did it work for some people? Maybe but with that pesky placebo thing, we always hear about, we dont know because this procedure was never tested against control or sham. Besides having holes drilled through your patella might cause it to break if you fall on it or if you are hit in front of your knee.
One prolific Spanish author wrote about burning the tissues around the patella. We call that a denervation procedure. Thats because when you heat the tissues, you will fry the nerves to that region. The thought behind this procedure was that the patella is fed by nerves that could easily be burned using an arthroscopic approach. This procedure was also never evaluated against a control group or a sham group- so we just dont know if it works.
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Throbbing Knee Pain At Rest
The most common cause of throbbing knee pain is tendinitis, which is an inflammation of the tendons that connect the muscles to the bone. The pain is usually worse when the affected leg is used, such as when walking or climbing stairs. Treatment typically involves rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers. If the pain is severe, a doctor may prescribe stronger medication or recommend physical therapy.
It is not uncommon for nighttime knee pain to be caused by a number of different conditions. The runners knee is a common source of pain in athletes. It is critical to consult with your doctor before taking any medication for osteoarthritis because it is a chronic condition. It may feel as if the joints are stiff, aching, swollen, or throbbing in arthritis. There is no cure because there is no way to completely repair or replace the damaged or eroded joint tissue. Overbearing your knees is one of the most common causes of bursitis. Runners knee, as well as bursitis and rotator cuff problems, can be treated after a few weeks of rest.
Jolting Pain Behind The Knee
Pain in the back of the knee can stop you in your tracks making bending and straightening very difficult at times. The pain can be sharp and jolting or a dull ache. Possible causes of pain in the back of the knee include Bakers cyst, hamstring tendon irritation or inflammation, ligament instability, and posterior horn meniscus injury
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How Old Are You
Your age is also an important factor in determining why youve developed knee pain without any obvious injury. If youre over 50, osteoarthritis is a higher possibility . This is a very common wear-and-tear condition, where time and rubbing slowly reduce the protective layer of cartilage on your bones. This often leads to a constant aching pain after activity, or at night. But adolescents also seem to be particularly susceptible to unexplained knee pain. One of the most common issues is Osgood Schlatters, where tightened thigh muscle pulls on the knobbly bone below the knee , resulting in pain and swelling. Another is Plica pain the Plica is a congenital remnant of the shelf-like tissue on the inside of the knee. This normally disintegrates as we reach maturity. But in some young people it can persist, which results in painful friction in the knee.
This is of course just a starting point for unexplained knee pain. What happens next? In the first instance you may want to treat your knee with rest, icing and painkillers to see whether the issue disappears naturally.
But if it persists or becomes severe, youll want to see a medic as soon as possible. This might be your GP. But you can also do it directly with us here at Chris Bailey Orthopaedics we can often scan, diagnose and get you started on treatment within one or two appointments. Getting to the roots of any problem, after all, is the first step to overcoming it.
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What Are The Long
There are some long-term effects that can result from not seeking treatment for your knee injury.
First off, if your knee is in pain you will naturally be experiencing some level of immobility with the joint. Immobility can lead to further wear and tear on already-damaged cartilage. It can also cause muscles to tighten up due to lack of use, which results in additional inflammation throughout the body.
If you are experiencing acute knee pain without injury that lasts for more than one or two weeks, make sure you seek professional medical help right away so it doesnt turn into a chronic issue.
Knee Hurts When I Bend It And Straighten It
Do you have daily knee pain despite having no major trauma or precipitating event? Has physical therapy, rest and NSAIDs failed to provide relief? It is very frustrating and can keep you on the sidelines. To learn more please read below to answer the following questions: What are the different types of knee pain that are associated with bending and straightening? What are the eight most common causes of knee pain? What common conditions cause your knee to hurt when you bend it or straighten it? What treatment options are available? Lets dig in.
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Signs Your Child’s Knee Needs To Be Examined
If your child or teen is experiencing any of the following symptoms, he or she should be seen by a specialist at Nationwide Childrens Hospital Sports Medicine.
While at home, initial treatment should be RICE: