What Can I Do For Knee Pain At Night?

Dr. Saurin Shah MS
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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.

Here’s knee pain at night treatments:

Apply Ice or Heat Packs: Knee ice wraps typically work better in the short term following an injury, heat pads tend to be better with long 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. The 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.

Try Relaxation Techniques: Listen to relaxing music, deep breathing or try a meditation.

Take Medication: Talk to your doctor about over the counter pain relief and anti-inflammatories, or whether you need something stronger. Make sure you take your medication around 30 minutes before going to bed to allow the analgesic effects to kick in before you settle down to sleep. If knee pain is waking you up during the night, talk to your doctor about switching to slow-release medication to help you sleep through until morning

Prioritise Healthy Sleep Habits: ban electronics from the bedroom, have a consistent bedtime and wake up time, plan to get a full 8-hours, and avoid stimulants such as caffeine in the afternoon and evening

Try A Topical Analgesic: If you don’t want to, or can’t, take oral medication, talk to your doctor about topical analgesics. There is a whole range of gels, creams, sprays, and patches that can be applied directly to your knee. They soak through the skin directly to the knee joint to help reduce pain and inflammation

Take Regular Rests: give your knees a break regularly during the day, preferably with your legs elevated to reduce any swelling

Wear Compression Wraps: during the day e.g. elasticated knee sleeves to reduce swelling and support the knee.

NB don’t wear them overnight

Use Walking Aids: If you are getting knee pain during the day, try using a stick or crutches to reduce the pressure and stress on your knees so the pain doesn’t build-up

Have a Massage: Either during the day or before bedtime to help to relax you and reduce pain levels

Try Supplements: Talk to your doctor about whether any natural supplements that can relieve pain of arthritis

Don’t Smoke: smoking affects blood circulation which decreases healing time following an injury