What Causes Knee Pain At Night - How To Relieve It

Knee pain at night

Just Imagine! After spending an exhausting day, when you land on your bed for a good sleep, just then the knee pain creeps. Knee pain at night is very common among adults and senior citizens. Such pain can be persistent while sleeping and even the day after, disturbing your entire sleep cycle and day routine.

There are many causes of throbbing knee pain at night. Some are caused due to specific knee diseases, and some are caused due to daily knee stress, sprains, workouts etc. Let’s discuss them in detail.


What causes knee pain at night while sleeping? 




a man suffering from arthritis


There are three types of arthritis: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and Post-traumatic arthritis. They cause the protective cartilage in the knee joint to wear away and cause knee pain.

70% of knee pain at night is caused due to osteoarthritis in patients above 50 years of age. 




man foot suffering from gout


Gout occurs when the concentration of uric acid increases in the bloodstream such that it forms crystals around the knee joint. As a result, the knee joint becomes stiff and swollen, especially at night. The pain exacerbates because we stop moving, and blood flow within the joint reduce.


Patellar Tendonitis


Patellar tendonitis also called “jumpers knee“, mostly affects people who engage in sports activities. It is a condition where the ligament that connects the patella to the shinbone is inflamed due to knee overuse and causes pain below the knee cap. You can read more about patellar tendonitis here.




Bursitis is inflammation of the bursae, the sac-like fluid-filled connective tissue in the knee joint. The cushions reduce friction between components of the knee joint and take away the excess knee pressure. They can inflame due to excess friction or overuse. Although all the bursae can be inflamed, bursae in the inner part of the knee joint are more prone to damage and inflammation.


Inflammation and Activity


The knee may suffer an injury or infection due to various reasons that make connective tissue inflamed and painful. Knee inflammation can occur due to sports injury, overuse of the knee, residual knee disorder, knee infection, or knee flexing. In some cases, sports injuries may have symptoms that might subside in the daytime but can cause excruciating knee pain while sleeping.


Also Read: Complete GUIDE To RUNNERS KNEE

Ways to relieve knee pain at night


There are many things you could do to prevent knee pain, for example:

  • Apply compression knee pads
  • Exercise knee joint in sitting position
  • Use a cushioned footstep when sitting for long hours
  • Elevate your knees regularly while sitting to take off excess pressure from the knee.
  • Maintain body weight
  • Exercise and walk regularly
  • Avoid smoking as it makes your connective tissues more prone to self-damage.
  • Wear cushiony footwear to take off excess pressure from your foot.


Some preventive measures to relieve knee pain at night


While going to sleep, take the following preventive measures.

  • Apply warm compress on knee joint for twenty minutes before going to bed. This will increase blood circulation and relieve knee pain.
  • Practice elevation. While sleeping in the supine position, place some pillows beneath your feet and elevate them above chest level. Do it for twenty minutes before sleeping, and this would alleviate knee pain to a significant extent.
  • Consult a knee specialist. A specialist can prescribe various knee treatments, such as steroidial and knee lubricating injections, physiotherapy, and NSAID medications to treat knee pain. However, if knee pain does not subside, they can help you with a more elaborative diagnosis and minimally invasive treatment.


Also Read: Everything You Need To Know About Golfers' Knee Injury


Note: it is important to exercise, move, and use the knee joint sufficiently to maintain knee mobility, healing, and proper functioning. 

Also, note the frequency and intensity of knee pain you have been having. Some knee sprains lead to regular throbbing knee pain at night  if ignored

On the contrary, early diagnoses and treatment of knee injuries and debilities can reduce the episodes of knee pain, especially nocturnal knee pain. Dr. Rik Kundra is one of the best specialist knee surgeons in Dubai with a special interest in knee preservation treatment

Dr. Rik Kundra’s preservation surgery can save your knee’s natural anatomy and prevent knee pain in the long run. Hence, if you witness nocturnal knee pain regularly, book a consultation with Dr. Rik to seek a proper knee pain treatment.


All content and media on this page are created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Meet Dr. Rik personally for appropriate medical diagnosis and advice.

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