Blog , Health and Wellness

Why Do My Joints Hurt at Night?

Posted on Monday, September 18, 2023
by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
White haired woman laying in bed holding neck in pain with text next to her

Pain in joints

A common medical question people ask is, “Why do my joints hurt at night?” There are numerous reasons why this might occur.

The musculoskeletal system

Bones, muscles, and joints are parts of the musculoskeletal system. So, too, are cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissue. Together, they work to give the body structure and support movement. Joints, specifically, describe areas where two or more bones come together. In other words, they connect bones. Joints in the arms and legs are referred to as synovial joints. This is because the bone ends are covered with cartilage and are separated by the joint cavity. Inside this cavity is a thick gel substance called synovial fluid. This fluid lubricates and nourishes the cartilage.

Some musculoskeletal health facts

World Health Organization (WHO) shares the following:

  • Approximately 1.71 billion people have musculoskeletal conditions worldwide.
  • Musculoskeletal conditions are the leading contributor to disability worldwide, with low back pain being the single leading cause of disability in 160 countries.
  • Musculoskeletal conditions can significantly limit mobility and dexterity.
  • Population growth as it relates to ageing is causing the number of people with musculoskeletal conditions to increase.
  • Conditions which affect the joints may include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, spondylarthritis, and more.

Generally, folks can help keep the musculoskeletal system strong by managing their health and by practicing rehabilitation and medical interventions.

My joints hurt at night! Why?

Chronic joint pain can deprive people of sleep, decrease energy, and affect mood and appetite. If pain continues more than three or four days consecutively, or is severe, do seek prompt medical evaluation. Also see your doctor for pain management if you have medical conditions such as arthritis. Even in the absence of conditions which affect the joint, some people still experience joint pain. Let’s explore some possible reasons why:

  • Having a bad mattress can cause uneven distribution of weight and misalignment of joints which may lead to pain.
  • Failing to exercise adequately and properly can contract and tighten muscles which may lead to pain.
  • Staying in a fixed position for too long can cause pain. Lack of movement at night can lead to joint swelling, stiffness, and pain.

Ouch! Why do my joints hurt at night?

Should you typically wake at night with aches and pains, or have your sleep disturbed due to joint pain, consult your primary care physician. Your doctor will likely evaluate your health and troubleshoot ways to discover sleep relief so that you can get a good night’s rest and wake up refreshed and ready to face a new day! Do not simply accept a non-answer to this question: “Why do my joints hurt at night?” Seeking out a sound medical explanation will likely lead to a resolution and increase your personal comfort. For more information about joints, click here

Disclosure: This article is not intended as a medical resource nor is a substitute for medical advice.

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Hannan Ahmad
Hannan Ahmad
8 months ago

The exploration into nocturnal joint discomfort delves into the intricate workings of our musculoskeletal system, particularly the role of synovial fluid in our joints. With musculoskeletal conditions as a predominant global health concern, the piece aptly highlights intrinsic factors like osteoarthritis and external contributors such as mattress quality. It’s noteworthy to mention the potential ramifications of sustained immobility, reinforcing the importance of regular movement and alignment for joint health. For those vexed by persistent nighttime joint pain, seeking a comprehensive medical evaluation remains paramount to discerning the root causes and forging a path toward alleviated discomfort.

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