Sleeping With Knee Pain: Finding Relief

Knee pain can affect any individual at any age and at any time. However, knee pain is especially prevalent in older individuals and tends to occur more so at night, which may affect sleep. Sleep is one of the best recovery tools we have for our bodies and it is essential to living a healthy and functional life. As Physical Therapists, our job is help you return to what you love to do. Along with that, if you are not getting proper sleep, those functional activities are made harder to complete. We hope this blog, Sleeping with knee pain: finding relief can help you find some relief!

Possible Causes of Knee Pain

Knee pain can be caused by a variety of factors. Some causes include weakness around the joint, decreased mobility of the joint, joint arthritis, as well as, specific injury to the ligaments or structures in the knee itself. Some knee pain can be caused by an acute injury, whereas, some knee pain can occur slowly over the years, creeping in until you notice it. A comprehensive physical therapy assessment will help individuals seek out more information regarding the cause of their knee pain. The assessment and it’s findings can then help the PT put together a plan to assist in minimizing pain levels and returning to functional activities.

Methods for Finding Relief

Position can be a key factor in helping to improve knee pain for enhanced sleep and accelerated recovery. For example, many people prefer to sleep on their side to get a good night’s rest. It is recommended to sleep on the opposite side of the affected knee and add a pillow between your knees to allow for increased comfort and support. It may also be helpful to allow time before bed to add a heating pad to the knee that is bothersome for 10-15 minutes. This allows for improved blood flow to enter the area which helps the structures move better and decreases pain.

Ice can also be applied before bed to help reduce pain if individuals feel that ice is more helpful than heat. We also encourage individuals to utilize massage techniques either from themselves or another individual targeting the quads, hamstrings, and calves. The massage can help to improve the mobility of the muscles taking pressure off the knee joint. Massage guns can be used at a low frequency to allow for gentle relaxation of the muscles.

Getting A Better Night’s Sleep

It is essential to find a comfortable sleeping position at night to help promote rehabilitation. Changes can be made to the sleeping position to help find the optimal position for the individual. Every person’s body and body needs are different. Physical therapists can help assist an individual in devising a treatment plan specific to the patient’s needs and address these sleeping position changes and tweaks to increase patient comfort. Some people benefit from light exercise before bed. Gentle movements can help stretch tight tissues and help to increase blood flow to the area.

Treating the Root Cause

It is also vital to treat the root cause of knee pain to allow individuals to improve their function and decrease their pain levels. This can lead them to find the ability to enjoy more freedom in their life. Many times, other treatments and medications treat the symptoms but not get a the root cause.

Schedule a PT consultation today if you are suffering from nighttime knee pain that is getting in the way of sleep. We would love to treat you at Freedom Physical Therapy Services.

Joe has a passion for treating the overhead athlete and ensuring safe movement patterns for these individuals. He spends his off time coaching and working with baseball athletes through STiKS Baseball Academy in Waukesha. He also coaches the varsity baseball team at Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha.