Knee pain can affect anyone at any time, but if you have recurrent knee pain at night, you should see your doctor because it's often the result of a larger problem.
"It's usually because they have arthritis, most commonly osteoarthritis," orthopedic surgeon Kim Stearns, MD, told Cleveland Health Clinic.
"People with normal, healthy knees don't usually have nighttime pain." Osteoarthritis is a condition caused by wear and tear of the cartilage, which protects your bones and joints.
According to WebMD, other symptoms of osteoarthritis in the knee include swelling, a warm feeling in the joint, and a creaking or crackling sound when you move your knees.
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Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have serious consequences, according to Healthline.
Because knee osteoarthritis is more likely to strike at night, it can easily disrupt your sleep, reduce your productivity, and lead to weight gain.
Knee osteoarthritis can also progress to a stage 4 severe case, in which case bone realignment surgery or total knee replacement would be required.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 32.5 million adults in the United States have osteoarthritis.
One of the most commonly affected areas is the knee.
While osteoarthritis is the most likely cause of your nighttime knee pain, there could be another cause.
It could also be patellar tendonitis, a condition caused by inflammation of the knee's tendon, according to Jasmine Marcus, DPT, a physical therapist and certified strength and conditioning specialist.
The truth is, for two reasons, you're more likely to notice knee pain at night.
According to Marcus, some knee-related conditions, such as osteoarthritis or patellar tendonitis, "hurt more when you're at rest than when you're moving," and "you notice things in your body more when you finally slow down and are less busy," she explains.
Certain conditions may worsen," Marcus warns, which is why if you have recurring knee pain, you should always consult your doctor. For more on the aches to watch out for, check out the 25 Common Pains You Should Never Ignore.
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