IS YOUR KNEE PAIN WORSE AT NIGHT?
Contact with another joint, such as the opposite knee or the bed, might create pain. Arthritis can reduce one's range of motion. It can create flexion contracture, which causes their knees to bend a few degrees, and it also causes this in restless patients while sleeping.
Even if you don't make contact with anything, nighttime knee pain can be debilitating. It's not like knee discomfort just occurs in the evenings. Many people claim that the situation is worse at other times of the day. Many people experience joint pain in the morning. Knee discomfort, according to patients and experts, can be especially troublesome in the middle of the night when a person is attempting to get comfortable and fall asleep.
According to studies, 60 to 80 percent of knee osteoarthritic patients will have pain at night. Bursitis (inflammation of fluid-filled sacs) and tendonitis (tendon inflammation) are two disorders that can induce nocturnal knee pain.
Night time Swelling
Knee pain results from both physiological processes and how that pain is experienced when seeking to relax the body and mind in preparation for sleep, according to orthopaedic experts. Knee discomfort is usually particularly uncomfortable when people are attempting to get ready for bed and get comfortable.
On the knee, the stressors of the day can mount up. Knee inflammation can produce pain at any time, without notice or action.
As we bend our knees to stand up, walk, or be active in other ways, the synovial fluid inside our knees is normally distributed throughout the joint, resulting in less swelling when we're moving. The “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” recommends 150 minutes of "at least moderate physical exercise" every week to help manage osteoarthritis symptoms.
Those diseases include:
- Heart disease
Exercising for at least 150 minutes per week is connected to decreased osteoarthritis knee pain, according to research published in the journal Pain Research and Management in 2015.
Many people are more sedentary in the evenings before going to bed, which might aggravate nighttime knee pain.
When we go to bed, our tendons and muscles contract, and the fluid has nowhere to go and isn't actively pushed around through our knees. As a result, your knees may swell, causing you to experience particular symptoms at that time.
Stopping the Cycle of Pain-Sleep Relationship
According to the Sleep Foundation, research indicates that a lack of sleep can aggravate pain and that pain can negatively affect sleep.
According to the foundation, "short sleep intervals, fragmented sleep, and poor quality sleep might generate heightened sensitivity to pain the next day in chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis." There's a connection between pain and sleep as well.
So, what options do you have? Take these measures to relieve overnight knee discomfort, which will also benefit you throughout the day, according to experts.
- Treat the underlying problem.
- Practice good sleep hygiene.
- Don't substitute sleep aids for treating the cause of the pain.
- Don't use alcohol to "medicate" your pain.
- Make adjustments at bedtime to accommodate the joint – like using a knee pillow.
Treating the Illness
Knee discomfort is frequently caused by incurable conditions, such as osteoarthritis. That isn't to say that it can't be treated to alleviate pain and improve function.
To begin, seek an accurate diagnosis and learn about your solutions for increasing knee function and pain relief. That involves exercising regularly in ways that are comfortable for you, such as walking or swimming, and eating a well-balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and complex carbs while avoiding processed foods like refined carbs and sugar. According to experts, losing even a tiny amount of weight might help you feel better.
Sleep hygiene is essential
Treating your knee is only one half of the puzzle. It's also a good idea to work on your sleeping patterns. This is because poor sleeping patterns might increase the likelihood of pain keeping you awake at night. Furthermore, a lack of sleep may exacerbate pain.
In that vein, you've probably heard how important excellent sleep hygiene is. You should follow this advice even if you don't experience knee pain:
- Maintain a consistent nighttime routine.
- Ensure that your room is cool and dark.
- Caffeine, big meals, and any other food or drink that will keep you awake should be avoided before going to bed.
- Screens should be turned off at least an hour before bedtime.
Exercise is one approach to alleviating knee discomfort caused by osteoarthritis. Moving hurts, especially if you have knee discomfort, but people who move experience less pain overall. Experts encourage physical exercises that place little or no strain on the knee.
Experts recommend these low-impact exercises:
- Elliptical workouts.
Don't rely solely on sleeping aids to get you to sleep
While you may opt to use a sleep aid for a variety of reasons, doctors advise against doing so for an extended period of time. Patients and their primary care physicians should make decisions on sleep aids, according to experts.
When it comes to knee discomfort, experts say it's more vital to address the underlying condition that's causing it rather than relying on sleep aids to get through the night - which have their own set of issues. "That isn't genuinely treating the symptoms of knee discomfort."
Don't use alcohol to ‘medicate’
Women should have no more than one alcoholic drink per day, while men should have no more than two.
Drinking too much alcohol can keep you awake and impair your sleep. While a nightcap may help you fall asleep, alcohol consumption lowers REM sleep, which means you won't wake up feeling as refreshed.
Large amounts of alcohol consumed before night have been related to a delay in sleep initiation, according to the Sleep Foundation. As a result, people who consume alcohol before bed may take longer to fall asleep. These people are more prone to experience sleep interruptions and poor quality sleep, according to the foundation, because "liver enzymes metabolise alcohol during the night and the blood alcohol level declines."
Make Bedtime Arrangements for Your Knee
Patients with knee pain should do three things before going to bed, according to King:
- Soak in a warm bath to ease discomfort and stiffness around the knee.
- On the affected area, use a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory lotion (available over the counter and as a prescription).
- Use a "knee pillow" to support your knees.