Dr. Steve Yoon says when experiencing knee pain, it may be more pronounced at night.
An ache or a twinge in your knee can interfere with your ability to sleep soundly. So if you’re plagued by nighttime knee pain, you’ll want to get to the bottom of it, and quickly.
Knee pain at night usually stems from an underlying condition or injury, Steven Yoon, MD, a board-certified physiatrist and director of the Regenerative Sports and Joint Clinic at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, California, tells LIVESTRONG.com.
“Most conditions that cause knee pain can occur regardless of the time. It’s just that the pain may be more noticeable at night,” Dr. Yoon says.
It’s not uncommon for knee discomfort to flare up in the evening as you’re trying to sleep. That’s partly because you’re more likely to notice painful sensations when you don’t have your daily activities to distract you.
Physiologic elements are also at play. “There’s some evidence that inflammatory mediators in the knee elevate at night, and
the body’s natural cortisol levels that may decrease inflammation in the knee decrease at night,” Dr. Yoon says.
Lying down deactivates your knee muscles, which can increase inflammatory mediators too.
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