Why Does My Knee Pain Get Worse At Night And How Can I Ease It?

This is a very common question that I get asked in the clinic and recently I had one person email me to ask the following question.


“Derek, I have had knee pain on and off for a year now. While it has never got too bad, in the last few months it is really starting to annoy me and I’m worried about it affecting my walking, when I go to Spain for my summer holidays. 

Recently, I have been getting a burning type of sensation in my knee at the end of the day that I can’t quite put my finger on. It seems to be coming from inside the knee. 

The strange thing is that it is fine in the morning and only comes on as the day goes on and can be very sore at night, even if all I have done is brought the dog for a walk. Can this be helped?”

Rachel, 57


So if we look at what is happening here. Rachel feels fine in the morning but as the day goes on her knees start to get sore and it can be worse after a walk in the evening. 

What is likely to be happening here is that the muscles around her knee are not doing enough to support her knee and as the day goes on they are tiring and becoming less able to.

This may be due to a weakness or imbalance in the way the muscles are working around the knee and often one muscle group can be working way harder than the rest, which can result in it getting ‘grumpy’, tired and becoming painful. 

If we look at why she has no pain in the morning, we can think of it like this. 

When you go to bed you are tired from all the stressors and jobs that have been placed on your body from the day. Your muscles have been coping with a lot of this too. 

When you wake in the morning you feel more refreshed because you have had a chance to rest and your muscles have had a chance to recover. 

But if there is a weakness or imbalance in your muscles around your knee, they are not going to be able to last the duration of the day and they will start to tire out again. 

When this happens, your joints are left a little vulnerable and they have to take more pressure than they would like. 

As we get above the age of 40 +, some wear and tear and arthritis will naturally start to set in as there is not as much cushioning around your bones. 

If they are taking more pressure, they will start to rub together and result in that sharp pain that is inside your knee and difficult to put your finger on.

It is also similar to when a child has a cold or cough. It is always worse at night because their bodies are tired and not as able to fight off the virus or bacteria. 

Come morning time they are often in much better shape as there body has had a chance to recover.

Tell me the solution….

The solution involves strengthening and addressing the muscles around your knee (and more than likely your ankles and hips) which will enable them to support your knees for a longer time each day. 

And unfortunately, walking will not do enough to strengthen your muscles and in fact, will probably lead to the problem getting worse as the muscles will start to tire out earlier and the cycle will continue. 

Specific exercise are needed that will strengthen the correct muscles around the knee, ankle and hips sufficiently to provide the correct support so you can last the duration of the day without been in pain that evening. 

If you would like to learn more and would like some help then you can download my knee pain advice on tips book for free. 

It contains 5 tips that can help you ease your knee pain naturally so you can return to activity and exercise without pain. 

Simply download it by clicking here and filling out the details so it can be sent straight to your email.

Of you can call the clinic on 09064 66761 and we will send you out your free copy in the post.

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