Why Does My Knee Hurt When I Wake Up?

Why Does My Knee Hurt When I Wake Up?

Are you waking up every morning with knee pain? Joint pain that wakes you from your sleep in the wee hours or makes itself known as soon as you start moving can sour your outlook on the upcoming day.

At CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center, with multiple locations in Maryland, our providers can diagnose the cause of your knee pain and treat chronic conditions, such as arthritis, to provide you with lasting pain relief.

Common causes of knee pain and stiffness 

An acute knee injury can cause knee pain during the recovery and rehabilitation period. However, if you routinely wake up with knee pain in the morning, the cause is more likely due to a chronic condition. 

One out of every four adults experiences arthritis pain. Your risk of developing arthritis and its associated pain can increase due to certain factors, such as age, occupation, and athletic history. Types of arthritis that are most likely to cause knee pain and stiffness include:

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease, which means the immune system attacks part of the body, often the joints. This condition causes severe inflammation in the joint during cyclical flare-ups.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a type of arthritis in which joints get overused. This causes the cartilage — which provides cushioning at the ends of joints — to break down. This condition can occur due to age, injury, or obesity.

Other causes of knee pain can include the following:

Knee bursitis

Bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs around your joints that help reduce friction between your bones, tendons, muscles, and skin. If a bursa in your knee gets inflamed, the condition is called knee bursitis.

Patellofemoral syndrome

Patellofemoral syndrome is a condition that causes inflammation and tenderness around the kneecap. While the exact cause is unknown, a number of factors may contribute to it, such as overuse, playing on hard surfaces, or using improper equipment.

Knee pain can also be caused by an undiagnosed injury to a tendon, a breakdown of the cartilage behind the patella (kneecap), and even cancer of the bone.

How to stop morning knee pain

At CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center, we treat each case of knee pain individually, taking into account various factors, such as your age, gender, medical history, potential damage due to your job or your chosen sport, and so on.

We may need to order diagnostic tests, such as X-rays or bone scans, to confirm a diagnosis. We then work with you to customize a treatment plan to help you recover your mobility and enjoy better sleep and reduced pain in the mornings. Common treatments for severe chronic knee pain include:

If your knee hurts when you wake up, we can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center today. 

Our Maryland offices are located in Hyattsville, Gaithersburg, Lanham, Dundalk, Oxon Hill, Rosedale, and Olney, and we have two offices in Baltimore.

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