Does Arthritis Cause Stabbing Knee Pain at Night?

can arthritis cause stabbing knee pain at night

How bad it is when you wake up from your sleep because you feel stabbing knee pain at night.

Getting a comfortable sleep is everyone’s need. However, a stabbing knee pain at night that comes to kick you out from your dream is something that you have to deal with.

Knee pain at night itself is a condition that is difficult to be verified.

Some people who suffer from knee pain when sleeping just experiencing mild symptoms, but others may experience excruciating pain.


What is knee pain?

Knee pain is a typical joint discomfort or pain that occurs at the knee joint areas.

It can be felt in the front of the knee, inside or inner knee, and the back of the knee. The pain can come from any joint structure like the bones, nerves, kneecap, ligaments, and cartilage.

People may perceive pain when walking, kneeling, bending, and straightening. Even some of the discomfort arises when lying down.


How common is nighttime knee pain?

In general, knee pain is widespread and will usually disappear after the activity is over and a little treatment.

However, stabbing knee pain at night can be experienced by elderly patients.

Though middle age people also tend to have the same risk factors considering the specific condition such as arthritis.


Is it possible that nighttime knee pain caused by arthritis?

It could be yes. Not only in the knee joint but also the back as well.

One of the main symptoms of arthritis is joint pain and stiffness that usually caused by deteriorating cartilage along with the increase in age.

That is why joint pain at night often experienced by the elderly.

Although other conditions are also marked with this symptom, the usual signs are; joints stiffness, cramping, pain in the morning, and pain while lying down.


What causes stabbing knee pain at night?

1. Fatigue

We start from the usual ones.

Fatigue or tiredness maybe was not discussed in many people, and it was not noticeably the reason for stabbing knee pain at night.

However, tiredness is the first possible root of the strained ligaments, and muscle problem in your hip and knee.

Knee pain also has a strong relation to hip muscle soreness. Imagine you walk or hiking through the day. How does it feel in the night?


2. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the main subject.

This is a condition of weary cartilage tissue in the joint that causes painful joints, stiffness, and swelling.

Furthermore, osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis experienced by adult people.

This type of arthritis joints most frequently attack the hands, knees, hips, and spine.

But there is also the possibility that other joints can also be affected.

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage tissue is slowly degraded. The cartilage itself is a dense connective tissue that is supple, slippery, as well as elastic. This act as a protective layer.

This complex system is covering the ends of bones in joints to protect them from friction.

When there is an inflammation or damage in the cartilage, the slippery texture will be rough.

Then, bones will scratch each other over time, and the joint will become damaged.


Who have the risks of getting knee osteoarthritis?

Sharp-shooting knee pain at night due to knee osteoarthritis is common in middle-aged and older adults.

The pain usually felt when you sleep on one side when the knee joint is on top of each other.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, the global knee osteoarthritis is reported to be approximately 13% in women and 10%. All of them are aged 60 plus.


3. Weather

How can weather cause knee pain at night?

According to WebMD, it is common when there is a change in the weather that can ignite the joint pain.

Again, many health practitioners believe that people, especially the elderly, can feel knee joint pain on cold rainy days.

However, scientific research on the relationship between the weather and joint pain is still going on.

Until now, scientists have done any research on joint pain and how the weather affects them.

The answer is still based on the opinion. One of the problems is the studies themselves only using surveys of just a small number of people.

This makes it far from a reliable way to measure a fact.


On the other hand, there are a few theories about how weather can affect the joint.

Severe knee pain at night, especially knee osteoarthritis may be sensitive to changes in barometric pressure.

It could be when the nerves in the exposed bones due to worn cartilage might sense the changes in air pressure.

Also, in a bedroom with low temperatures can make the fluid inside the joints thicker. It will lead to stiffness sensation.


How to relieve stabbing knee pain at night?

If you can get comfort in the knee while trying to get some sleep, then it would be nice.

We don’t want to deal with nighttime knee pain when it already wakes us up in the middle of the night.

You need to prepare yourself before it happens.

1. Drink plenty of water

Make sure you drink enough water as it is a massive contributor to relieving joint pain.

But don’t drink so close before you go to bed, so you don’t have to go to the bathroom.

2. Pillow placement

One of the best thing you can do to relieve knee pain while sleeping is to put a pillow between your knee and hips in a good position.

Sleeping with a pillow between the knee will help your knee and hips in relaxing posture, and eliminating pressure on both of the knees.

3. Set your room temperature

The cold temperature often complained by the elderly as a cause of knee pain at night that wakes them up in the middle of the night.

A warm room with good air circulation is such an ideal condition to increase sleeping quality.

4. Over the counter pain relief medication

If needed, consuming pain relievers such as paracetamol and anti-inflammation such as analgesics and ibuprofen is another option when your conditions went very disturbing.

Make sure to read the regulations of use, contraindications, and side effects before taking any medication.

5. Compressing the pain with ice


In the end

Stabbing knee pain at night can be very annoying, painful, and decreasing your quality of life.

But no need to worry. There are a variety of treatments to alleviate the problem. Most of the case doesn’t require surgery.

If your knee pain is unbearable, you should consult the orthopedic specialists near you so they will be doing a thorough examination.

Be sure to understand the diagnosis and follow the treatment plan given.

Auxiliary tests such as blood tests, x-rays, CT Scan could be the way to get rid of knee pain if necessary.



  • Arthritis Foundation: Osteoarthritis.
  • WebMD: Weather and Joint Pain.