Why do I have Knee Pain at Night?

Knee pain at night can be caused by several different problems. The most common reasons are due to injury or arthritis.

Is Your Knee Pain at Night Due to an Injury?

If there was a direct injury such as twisting or hitting the knee, it is important to make sure there is no fracture.

You may have little pain during the day after an injury but that night or even the next several days the pain can be worse. Signs of more serious injury include swelling and being unable to put weight on the leg.

If you are concerned go your doctor who is a knee pain specialist and get it checked. An x-ray is the best way to screen for a fracture.

Other Reasons for Knee Pain at Night

Other reasons you may have knee pain at night include having knee arthritis that is exacerbated from running around during the day. Because you are busy and distracted during the day the knee may not hurt. Then that night, you sit down and finally relax and the knee starts to hurt.

This is very common in many of my patients who have little time to take care of themselves during the day when they are busy taking care of work or their families. When they can finally relax, they realize their knee is sore or even swollen.

Many people also have leg cramps at night especially in the calf muscle. This can usually be resolved easily with simple calf stretching before you go sleep at night.

Make sure you are eating healthy and the leg cramps are not related to some dietary deficiency such as lack of potassium.

Treating Knee Pain at Night Due to Arthritis

A good initial treatment is to put ice on your knee. If you are medically allowed, taking an anti-inflammatory such as Motrin can help. However if the knee pain at night does persist, get it checked out.

If your knee pain at night keeps you from falling asleep or awakens you, you will be very unhappy in the morning. A good night of sleep is important for your mental and physical health.

If Your Knee Pain at Night Continues

If the problem is within the joint, whether it is arthritis or a sprain an injection into the knee can provide some pain relief. Physical therapy may be required as well which helps most people.

If you’re experiencing pain at night due to your knee, see a orthopedic knee specialist and get yourself checked out.

Dr. Michael Gott is a Westchester orthopedic surgeon who is fellowship trained in sports medicine. He has also been an active member of the National Ski Patrol as well as a Member of the Windham Mountain Ski Patrol for 18 years.