Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Why Is Arthritis Worse At Night

Wear A Knee Brace During The Day

Why Your Knees Hurt As You Age (and How to Fix It)

These devices work by providing external support to your knee, which in turn can help relieve pain during your daily tasks. This means you wont accumulate the symptoms for bedtime.

Now, there are several designs available when it comes to knee osteoarthritis:

  • Knee sleeves these compress the joint, which promotes blood flow and helps with pain management.
  • Hinged braces with side stabilizers and other features to add stability.
  • Unloader braces designed for decompressing one side of the joint, thus aiding pain.

The best brace for you will depend on your individual needs. Yet, there are thousands of options available out there. This can be a blessing and a curse when it comes to choosing the right garment.

This will help: The best knee braces for osteoarthritis available.

How To Relieve Knee Pain At Night

When you finally lay yourself down to sleep after a busy day, the last thing you want to experience is pain that keeps you awake. When knee pain at night sends you tossing and turning, though, there are ways to care for yourself during the day to make it better. Heres your guide to managing and preventing knee pain at night.

Orthopedic Doctors Throughout North Dakota Treating Nighttime Hand Pain

Here at The Bone & Joint Center, our medical team is highly experienced at successfully treating musculoskeletal issues and injuries, including hand pain of all types. To schedule a consultation with one of our orthopedic doctors, or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you get back to enjoying life without pain!

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How To Sleep Better When You Have Arthritis

If you have arthritis, you know what its like to live with daily pain. At night, though, you hope to get the restful, restorative sleep needed to relieve some of that arthritis pain. But the opposite is often true.

Chronic pain, like the pain you feel with arthritis, can actually make it more difficult to sleep. In fact, 80% of people with this condition dont get enough shut-eye at night. The lack of sleep makes your pain worse, and youre stuck in a vicious cycle of significant pain and fitful nights.

Dr. John Bassell and the team here at Nebben Physical Medicine in Clarksville, Tennessee, understand how important sleep is to your arthritis treatment. Were here to help you break the cycle and find the nighttime peace you need.

Heres our best advice on how to hit the hay when you have arthritis.

Exercise To Help Your Arthritis And Your Sleep

Osteoarthritis

Be as active as possible during the day. This will strengthen your muscles and joints — and it can help make you tired enough to go to sleep. Activity has also been shown to ease stress, which promotes a restful sleep. Being active isnât always easy when youâre suffering from arthritis. Still, activities such as swimming, water aerobics, and moderate walking are doable for many people with arthritis. âThe common wisdom is to exercise earlier in the day, since exercise itself can be arousing,â says Fontaine. âBut some of our patients like to do a little light activity in the evening — a walk around the neighborhood, for instance — to tire themselves out. The best advice is to find what works for you.â

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What Does Knee Pain Feel Like

Knee pain can take many different forms. You might experience burning knee pain at night as an uncomfortable, steady warmth in the joint. You may also have throbbing knee pain at night, no matter what position you lie in.

Some people have pain that is sharp when they switch positions after being still. Other forms are not pain at all but can consist of tenderness or swelling inside the joint.

Painsomnia Is A Term Used To Describe Different Types Of Pain

Combining the words pain and insomnia , it sums up the vicious circle we can feel at night when pain keeps us awake.

  • The sensation of pain stimulates the nerves
  • This activates the brain
  • As a result, people cant relax and are kept awake by the pain and anxiety

Because sleep helps the body heal, painsomnia can make chronic illnesses worse and hinder recovery from certain experiences, such as a painful operation.

Depending on the possible causes, sufferers may:

  • Feel a pain that comes and goes
  • Feel waves of pain throughout the night
  • Suffer all night with pain and sleeplessness

Read Also: What Can You Eat To Help Arthritis

Why Arthritis Symptoms Get Worse At Night

Researchers have several theories to explain why many people with arthritis experience worse pain at night.

One theory is that the bodys circadian rhythm may play a role. In people with rheumatoid arthritis , the body releases less of the anti-inflammatory chemical cortisol at night, increasing inflammation-related pain.

Other processes may also intensify RA pain, including the nighttime release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, an increased number of cells traveling to inflamed tissue, and changes in the bodys immune response.

Additionally, the body releases higher levels of melatonin and prolactin at night, both of which can cause an increase in inflammatory cytokines.

A persons arthritis inflammation and pain may worsen if:

  • they are already in pain when they go to bed
  • their mattress or pillow puts pressure on their joints and irritates their arthritis
  • they have other risk factors for insomnia, such as high stress levels or drinking caffeine before bed

Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Worse At Night How To Manage It: Food/ Drinks Modification

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To stop night-time RA joint pain, try cutting back on coffee, tobacco, alcohol, soft drinks and highly processed foods/ meats.

You may need to adjust your lifestyle to avoid these triggers. However, if you feel that you cant do without one or more of these foods, then at least try and avoid them at night time.

If youre unsure about which foods trigger your RA symptoms, ask your doctor. He or she may be able to prescribe a herbal supplement to relieve your pain. Or your nutritionist, who might suggest some food list modifications to help ease some of the pain.

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Other Knee Injuries And Conditions

Because the knee is the largest joint in your body, it is prone to injury and strain. If you fall or bump your knee, you may experience pain from bruising. If youve fractured any of the three bones in your knee, you may experience weakness, sharp pain, or deep throbbing sensations.

Rheumatoid arthritis can present similar symptoms to osteoarthritis, but this autoimmune condition may require different treatments than joint damage caused by the typical wear and tear of aging.

Develop An Arthritis Pain Management Strategy

A person can work with a doctor to develop a plan for managing arthritis pain.

Where possible, it is important to avoid going to bed in pain. A doctor can recommend an appropriate pain relief medication to prevent pain before bedtime. They might suggest:

  • nighttime release arthritis drugs
  • drugs that work for 24 hours
  • an evening dose of pain medication

Identifying and managing arthritis triggers can also be helpful. A person can try keeping a pain and sleep log to determine and address any patterns that seem to worsen sleep or pain.

Read Also: How To Cure Rheumatoid Arthritis

Or Sleep With Ice Packs

Everyone says heat for arthritis but for me ice is the best, especially if I cant sleep, says Jennifer D., 28, of Washington, D.C. Heat makes the rashes from my psoriatic arthritis feel worse so I have ice packs I keep in the freezer and put them down my pajamas at bedtime. It takes some getting used to but its worth it for me to sleep better. Her trick is to buy ice packs that dont leak or sweat so she doesnt wake up in a wet bed.

Use A Neck Roll Or Towel

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When Nancys neck is particularly painful, making it so she cant sleep, she has a small foam neck roll that she places at the base of her neck when she lies down. The trick is to keep my neck as straight as possible while I sleep so it doesnt tense up, she says. She adds that when she travels a small rolled up hand towel can also do the trick.

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Common Causes Of Chronic Hand Pain

Hand pain most often originates in these common conditions:

  • Arthritis, which is inflammation in one or more joints. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, and it is caused by a degradation of the joint cartilage due to overuse.
  • Tendonitis, which produces constant pain and stiffness due to inflammation and overstretching of the tendons in the hands and fingers.
  • Stenosing tenosynovitis also called trigger finger which is inflammation in the tendon sheath. This is usually caused by overuse.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome, which is caused by compression of the median nerve which runs through the wrist. This results in hand pain, weakness, numbness, tingling, and poor function.

Causes And Risk Factors Of Osteoarthritis

Researchers suspect that osteoarthritis is caused by a combination of factors in the body and the environment. The chance of developing osteoarthritis increases with age.

Putting too much stress on a joint that has been previously injured, improper alignment of joints, and excess weight all may contribute to the development of osteoarthritis.

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More Tips For Sleep Relief

Dr. Dapul also offers some general sleep recommendations to help nearly anyone, not only pain sufferers.

  • Find the right mattress. For back, hip and knee pain, Dr. Dapul recommends a firm mattress. Add a foam pad on top if you need it to help evenly distribute your weight and keep your joints in alignment.
  • Take appropriate medication. If youre using regular acetaminophen or ibuprofen and your pain breaks through the night, consider switching to a different pain reliever. Dr. Dapul recommends pain killers that last between 12 and 24 hours, such as naproxen .
  • Maintain good sleep hygiene. Keep your sleep schedule as consistent as possible turn off the television, put all electronics away, turn off lights and keep your room as quiet as you can.
  • Perform stretches before heading to bed. Lengthening and restoring the natural length of constantly contracted and tight muscles of the low back, front of the hips and hamstrings have been found to assist with improved sleep.
  • Avoid substance aids. Alcohol might make you drowsy, but it wont give you restful sleep. People often wake up after a few hours of drinking.
  • Minimize how often you use over-the-counter sleep aids. If you take them too long, youll need higher doses and may have trouble breaking this habit.
  • Do low-impact exercises. Regularly scheduled low-impact exercise, like walking, bicycling or swimming, can help with both pain and sleep disorders.

Why is sleep painful?

Take A Nighttime Pain Reliever

Arthritis Pain Reliever

There are several types of over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers specifically intended to both relieve pain and help you sleep better.

Taking a medications daily can put you at greater risk for other health problems, so consider these only if other approaches for reducing pain and getting good sleep do not work. Also, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to make sure your sleep aid does not interact with any other medications or supplements you take.

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Avoiding Large Meals Before Bed

Large meals can disrupt your sleep because they take a long time to digest. Therefore, its best to eat light snacks if youre hungry at night.

Its also recommended to avoid the following close to bedtime:

  • high protein foods

Similarly, avoid drinking too much fluid close to bedtime. Otherwise, you might need to wake up during the night to use the bathroom.

Look Into Nerve Blocks

A nerve block is a specific type of knee joint injection that prevents nerves from delivering pain signals to the brain.

After a knee replacement, the most common kind of nerve block for knee pain is a saphenous nerve block. For patients who cannot have knee replacement surgery or who are experiencing chronic knee pain at night from other causes, genicular nerve blocks are another option.

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Get Exercise During The Day

Exercise can feel like the absolute last thing you want to do when youre in the midst of a painful flare but if you can muster the energy to do some type of movement, it may help improve your sleep length and quality. I love to swim and try to do it a few times a week, even if Im hurting, Mark says. I do feel like I sleep better after Ive done my laps. As for it making the exhaustion worse, well, Im tired all the time anyhow so I might as well be tired doing something productive.

Nodules Near Your Joints

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Another sign of rheumatoid arthritis is firm lumps that grow under the skin near the affected joints. They often appear at the back of the elbows, and sometimes people get them in the eyes.

They’re more common in people who have advanced rheumatoid arthritis but occasionally show up earlier, said Dr. Mandl.

The nodules can at times mimic gout, another form of arthritis.

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Lack Of Sleep Makes Pain Worse

It can be easy to get stuck in a cycle where you cant sleep because of knee pain. That lack of sleep can actually make your pain worse. Sleep is vital for healing and rejuvenation. Without sleep, you have less energy to expend on healing as you need to focus your bodily processes on staying alert and awake.If nighttime knee pain causes you to toss and turn, you may end up accidentally further straining your knee by sleeping in an uncomfortable position.

Ra Pain And Our Bottom Line

The claim that RA patients have low pain thresholds should not be stated as well established fact. Not every footnote in the Arthritis Research and Therapy article supported the assertion. It was a conclusion drawn from various sources, many of which supported that position.

I even found a study reported in the British Journal of Rheumatology stating that while osteoarthritis creates lower pain thresholds, other painful conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis do not appear to alter the pain threshold. They certainly did not treat it as well established fact.

What is well established is that Rheumatoid Arthritis patients say they have a great deal of pain which is not alleviated by medicine. Either they do or they do not. Either millions of people are magnifying, overfocusing, catastrophizing, and maladapting or they are telling the truth that this deadly disease which devastates bone, tendon, and organ tissue is more painful than others realize.

Postblog: When I first realized that this RA low pain threshold theory seems to be the prevailing academic view, I was discouraged. However, it does give clues about some questions Ive been asking about why things are the way they are. Its always exciting to find a clue. Read my more sassy reply here: Do Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Have a Low Pain Threshold?

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Why Pain Feels Worse At Night

Its long been a mystery why one of the most basic human experiencesfeeling physical painfluctuates in intensity throughout the day. Since the early days of medicine, doctors and patients have noticed that many types of pain tend to get worse at night. Most research so far has tried to link mounting nighttime pain to sleep deprivation or disrupted sleep, but with limited success.

In a recently published study, scientists led by Claude Gronfier at the Lyon Neuroscience Research Centre in France have finally shed light on changing pain sensitivity, suggesting that our circadian clock strongly shapes these shifts, with a characteristic peak and trough of intensity at different times of day.

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Even people who cant dance have internal rhythms thrumming through every system in their body. Known as circadian rhythms, these biological processes tune their activity to rise and fall at precise times across the day, driven by the bodys internal clock. They influence pretty much every bodily system, exerting control over almost all aspects of our physiology and behavior, says Lance Kriegsfeld, a circadian biologist at the University of California, Berkeley.

Early Signs Of Arthritis In The Back

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Arthritis in the back arises due to the inflammation of facet joints in the spine or sacroiliac joints between the spine and the pelvis. The main reasons for arthritis in the back include

  • Professions involving lifting heavy machines or loads

Some of the early signs of arthritis in the back include

  • Back pain especially in the lower back tends to be worse in the morning, particularly 30 minutes after waking up. The pain subsides with activity as the day progresses.
  • Intermittent joint pain that may be aggravated by motion
  • Pain and swelling in other areas of the body
  • Pain that disturbs sleep is often an indicator of osteoarthritis
  • Swelling and tenderness in one or more joints and these changes may also be triggered by weather changes
  • Feeling of bone grinding or rubbing when moving the spine
  • Loss of flexibility of the joints mainly experienced as an inability to bend or pick something off the floor
  • A sensation of pinching, tingling or numbness in a nerve or along the spinal cord
  • Bone soreness in the lower spine
  • Burning sensation after physical activity
  • Some of the late signs of arthritis in the back include

    • Pain that radiates to the arms and legs
    • Muscle weakness

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