What Causes Pain In The Knee At Night: Home Remedies For Knee Pain

Knee pain is the commonest problem among all joint pains seen by orthopedic surgeons and rheumatologists. One can understand pain in knees when the person is walking or climbing, but knee pain at night may be something a person may never have thought of. Yes it is true, knee pain at night while taking rest or while sleeping is as much possible.

Nightly knee pain is more miserable since it disturbs your sleep and keeps you awake tossing and turning throughout the night. There are several reasons that can trigger knee pain at night, but the most common and frequent cause is osteoarthritis, due to growing age.

To find the exact cause, your doctor may suggest for an X-ray of the knee joint or other imaging procedures. Let us find out why your knee may be painful at night.

Causes Of Knee Pain At Night While Sleeping

When we are talking about knee pain at night we certainly mean, pain in the knee while sleeping or lying down.

  • Osteoarthritis: When you lie down at night, the muscles around the knee joint relax in the same way as other body muscles. As a result the lower end of thigh bone and upper end of lower leg bone tend to rub. This does not happen to everyone. But when the cartilage (a soft material that acts as a cushion between the bones of keen joint) becomes thin and fragile, the bones of thigh and lower leg rub against each other and cause pain. Regular wear and tear for a prolonged period since years can cause the cartilage to become thin and delicate. Thus night time knee pain is an indication of beginning stage of osteoarthritis.
  • Rhematoid arthritis: The second possibility is rheumatoid arthritis. It is an autoimmune disease which affects any joint of the body either in single or multiple joints at the same time.
    Usually, in rheumatoid arthritis the pain occurs in both the knee joints.
  • Gout is another type of arthritis. It affects major joints. Pain in gout aggravates during nighttime. The knee joints may become red and swollen.
  • Trauma and obesity: Besides the routine wear and tear, trauma to the knee joint and obesity can also increase the incidence of cartilage damage.
  • Certain drug (Statin): that is used to lower cholesterol level is known to cause pain in calf muscles and area around the knee. It may be one reason if you are taking any cholesterol lowering drug. In such case you should talk to your doctor.
  • Lax muscles and tendons of the knee joint can cause pain in knees.
  • Ankylosing spondylosis: an autoimmune disease which generally involves spine may sometime affect your knees and cause night time knee pains. The pain in this disease becomes worse when a person lies down and ameliorates in standing position.

Home Remedies For Pain In The Knee At Night

Popping up an anti-inflammatory pill gives instant relief from pain, but you cannot take it every night since it has many side effects. Besides, some people are allergic to such pills. There are several natural ways that can help to relieve knee pain at night without any side effects.

  • Warm compress: place a hot bag on the knee joint or dip a towel in warm water and place it on the affected knee. Warmth provides soothing effect on the knee.
  • Prepare a paste by mixing one teaspoon of turmeric powder, in half cup of goat’s milk, two to three teaspoon of wheat flour, and a teaspoon of castor oil. Mix all ingredients until the paste achieves a uniform thick consistency. Apply it on your painful knee before you sleep and wrap a clean cloth around the paste. In the morning wash the area. Follow this every night for a week.
  • Before retiring to bed, place tamarind leaves on your knees if you are getting pain in your knee at night. You have to boil the leaves for few minutes before placing on the knees. Wrap these two to three leaves with a cloth and let it remain throughout the night.
  • Place a pillow under the knee and ankle to get relief from sore knees at night. It helps to increase the blood circulation and reduce the swelling if present to due collection of fluid.
  • Using knee pads, knee supports provides cushioning for the achy knees at night. After wearing knee pads you can sleep sideways too. Knee supports keeps your knee in proper alignment.


  1. Tricia

    I have terrible pain in my left knee when I go to bed. One of your suggestions is to wear a knee pad. Should I only wear it at night or should I wear it during the day also. It does not hurt until I lie down on my side.

  2. Lisel

    I have been experimenting with various ways to relieve my knee pain at night when sleeping. I found that if I wear a heating pad around just one of my knees (both knees hurt) I don’t have the stiffness in the morning and I don’t wake up all night long. However, I noticed that my knee was more swollen. Now I just wear the pad without turning it on. So far the added warmth is enough to relieve the stiffness without causing swelling. I haven’t slept this well in a long time.

  3. Elen

    I have heard that Glucosamine sulfate is good for cartilage support. My question is do glucosamine sulfate and chloride have different effect? Is this supplement effective still for almost severe osteoarthritis and sinovitis? Also I want to know if Viatril S is better than the other Glucosamine sulfate/hydrochloride which is OSTEOFLEX.

  4. Kelley

    I have been experiencing pain in my knee for many years now. Climbing the stairs has become unbearable. I really do not want to have surgery. The pain at night is so bad that it affects my sleep. Can you please suggest me some effective so that I can avoid the surgery.

  5. Joy

    I have been suffering from inside knee pain, in both knees for several months now. Recently I went on holiday and forgot to take my statin medication with me. After about a week I realized that I had slept through the night without the usual pain. I am in a quandary now, as I need to keep my cholesterol low but I am enjoying the pain free nights. What should I do?

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