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How To Sleep With A Baker’s Cyst

A Baker’s Cyst can leave you feeling uncomfortable during the day and restless at night. However, you can use some tips and tricks to sleep better and feel refreshed the next day. You're in the right place if you’re tired of being tired.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to sleep with a Baker’s Cyst, helpful information about the condition and general tips for managing it. Scroll down to start learning today.

Baker’s Cyst: What Is It & How To Diagnose It

So, what is a Baker’s Cyst?

Baker’s Cysts are fluid-filled lumps that form on the back of the knee. They’re also known as synovial or popliteal cysts. These cysts develop from knee joint or tissue damage as extra fluid drains from the knee and builds up in the back of the joint (Cleveland Clinic, 2016).

Unlike other growths, Baker’s Cysts are benign growths and not a symptom or cause of cancer.

However, you should still visit your healthcare provider if you notice a new lump or growth. Only a medical professional can diagnose a Baker’s Cyst, and it’s essential to have your knee checked out if you’ve recently injured it or have arthritis.

What Causes & Aggravates a Baker’s Cyst?

Baker’s Cysts are usually caused by damage to the knee. This is because damage or impact can cause joint and tissue swelling and cysts to develop. They can also be caused by knee arthritis (e.g. by gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis).

Specific damage and injuries that can lead to a Baker’s Cyst include:

  • Meniscus tears
  • Hyperextensions
  • Dislocations
  • Bone fractures
  • Sprains
  • Repetitive strain injuries

Aside from a bump or lump at the back of your knee, other Baker’s Cyst symptoms to look out for are knee pain, swelling, stiffness, and trouble bending the knee (limited motion).

In rare cases, Baker’s Cysts can cause swelling and discolouration similar to blood clot symptoms. Contact a healthcare provider immediately if you think you have a blood clot.

What Aggravates a Baker’s Cyst?

Baker’s Cysts can be aggravated through activity or when the knee is fully bent or straightened (Mayo Clinic, n.d.). If you notice your cyst is more painful or swollen, it’s a good idea to rest the leg and contact a doctor for further advice.

If excessive pressure is applied to the cyst, it may rupture, leaking fluid into the calf muscles and ankle joint. This can cause further pain and swelling.

The Impact of Baker’s Cyst on Sleep

A Baker's Cyst can impact sleep through discomfort and pain. The growth and additional swelling can compress blood vessels and nerves on the back of the knee, making certain sleeping positions uncomfortable or painful.

In severe cases, a Baker's Cyst can be so painful it wakes you from sleep. If this happens, you should make a doctor's appointment as soon as possible.

Disrupted sleep isn't a defining symptom of Baker's Cyst. If you're sleeping well and still worried you have a cyst, contact a medical professional for an expert diagnosis.

When you have a Baker’s Cyst, you want to be getting high-quality sleep as this can promote the healing process and overall health. Keep reading to find out how to improve your sleep.

How To Sleep With a Baker’s Cyst

If you want to sleep better or calm down a Baker’s Cyst, you can take a few steps to promote better rest.

Create a pre-bedtime care routine with gentle exercises to stretch the knee. This can help with the healing process, as exercise increases blood flow and helps you get more oxygen-rich blood to your muscles (Harvard Health, 2019).

You can also apply cold compresses to your leg before you sleep to reduce inflammation. These compresses can also numb the area, reducing pain and tenderness (John Hopkins Medicine, 2022).

Optimal Sleeping Positions for a Baker’s Cyst

Alongside a caring pre-bedtime routine, you should optimise your sleeping position for extra comfort.

You should aim to take the stress off the back of your knee. Instead of lying on your back, switch to lying on your side. This can minimise pressure on the knee and promote a better night of rest.

Proper side sleeping involves lying on your chosen side with your head on the pillow. Your neck and chin should be aligned in the centre of your shoulders, and your hips and shoulders should also be aligned. Keep your head looking forward to ensure you don’t wake up with neck pain.

If you want more support, a memory foam pillow or mattress can help you maintain a healthy sleep posture throughout the night. You can also introduce a specialised pillow for your lower legs (like the Groove X pillow), as these can take away extra pressure and promote a more comfortable sleep.

You may also want to elevate your leg if you have a Baker’s Cyst. This can help your knee heal and is the recommended treatment for a ruptured cyst (, 2028)

How Long Does a Baker’s Cyst Last?

Baker’s Cysts generally heal within a few weeks. The first signs of healing include reduced swelling and pain.

If you notice more swelling, pain, or restricted movement, contact your doctor. If you experience any symptoms similar to blood clots, go straight to A&E.

While most cases resolve independently, proper medical care is critical for Baker’s Cysts. Doctors will provide a roadmap for proper pain management and faster healing.

Final Words

Baker’s Cysts are relatively common conditions that should resolve within a few weeks. While not always painful, they can cause pain and interrupt your sleep, so taking extra steps to care for them and removing pressure is essential for a healthy healing journey.

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Publishing, H.H. (2019). Exercise and your arteries. [online] Harvard Health. Available at: