Inside Knee Pain: Causes and Treatment Options

Inside knee pain

Inside Knee Pain: Causes and Treatment Options

Are you experiencing sharp pain in the inside of your knee? Inside knee pain is a frustrating and debilitating condition affecting people of all ages and fitness levels. It can occur due to an underlying medical condition, injury, or overuse. If not treated quickly, inside knee pain is likely to impact the quality of your life negatively. Fortunately, various treatment options exist to manage and treat inside knee pain. But before that, you must understand the causes of inside knee pain.

In this comprehensive guide, our experts will explore the causes of inside knee pain and delve into the best treatment options. So, continue reading to take the first step towards a pain-free life.

Causes of Inside Knee Pain

A man suffering from inside knee pain while doing exercise


Understanding the possible cause of inside knee pain is essential in determining the most suitable treatment plan. Inside knee pain occurs due to various factors, ranging from underlying medical conditions to minor injuries. Once your healthcare professional identifies the root cause of your pain, they will be in a better position to develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

So, let’s uncover the most common causes of inside knee pain:


Meniscus Tear

Meniscus tears are among the most common causes of inside knee pain. The meniscus is a C-shaped cartilage that cushions and stabilizes your knee joint. Unfortunately, it is susceptible to tears due to sudden twisting movements and overuse. In most cases, meniscus tears manifest themselves through pain inside your knee, stiffness, and swelling. You might also struggle to move the knee joint. Sometimes, you might hear a popping sensation at the time of injury.

Ligament Injuries

Medial collateral ligament injuries often occur due to twisting movements that tear or strain it or a trauma. These injuries are often characterized by tenderness, pain, and swelling. You may also struggle to bear weight on the affected leg. Similarly, ACL injuries are usually the result of sudden twisting motions or direct blows to the knee. Common symptoms of these injuries include instability, swelling, severe pain, and a popping sound at the time of injury.


It can result from genetics, previous injuries, or obesity. Common symptoms of osteoarthritis include stiffness, swelling, and pain on the inside of your knee. You might also notice cracking sounds when moving your knee joint. Moreover, the pain is likely to be worse after periods of inactivity.


Your knee joint contains tiny fluid-filled sacs that provide cushion and lubrication. These small sacs can become inflamed, causing bursitis. In most cases, bursitis occurs due to repetitive movements, prolonged squatting and kneeling, and direct trauma to the knee. Common bursitis symptoms include tenderness in the knee joint, swelling, and pain. In addition, you may struggle to bear weight on the affected leg.


Gout is another common cause of inside knee pain. It’s a condition that often occurs due to excess uric acid in the blood. The uric acid combines with the blood, forming sharp crystals accumulating in the joint. Gout usually manifests through severe and sudden pain in the knee joint, especially at night or in the early morning. You will also notice swelling and redness in the affected knee. Sometimes the pain can be so intense that even lightweight objects, such as bedsheets, can cause discomfort.

Patellofemoral Syndrome

Patellofemoral syndrome, famously known as a runner’s knee, occurs when your kneecap rubs against your thigh bone instead of effortlessly grinding over it. Factors like repetitive movements, muscle weakness, poor foot and leg alignment, trauma, or muscle imbalances cause this condition. Symptoms of patellofemoral syndrome typically include sharp pain in the knee joint.

At-Home Treatment Options for Inside Knee Pain

A woman resting her knee


While seeking medical attention for inside knee pain is always the best option, there are some at-home remedies and self-care measures to promote healing, prevent further damage, and alleviate symptoms.

Let’s discuss some treatment options for inside knee pain you can try at home.


✔ Rest: Taking some time off will allow your knee to heal properly. Moreover, avoiding activities that can exacerbate your symptoms can help prevent further damage.


✔ Ice: Applying ice to your knee can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation and swelling. However, don’t apply the ice directly on the affected area. Instead, use ice wrapped in a towel or a cold pack for around 15 to 20 minutes. Remember to apply it several times a day.


✔ Compression: Another effective at-home strategy to manage inside knee pain is compression. Wrap a compression sleeve or a bandage around your knee to alleviate swelling and provide stability and support for the joint. However, don’t wrap it too tightly since it can restrict blood flow.


✔ Elevation: Elevating the injured knee above your heart will help promote circulation and reduce swelling. You can use a pillow or a cushion to prop your leg up while lying down or sitting.


✔ Gentle Exercises: Depending on the severity and the causes of your inside knee pain, gentle exercises can help strengthen the muscles around your knee, improve flexibility, and enhance your range of motion. However, consult your healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program.


✔ Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: Pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Just be sure to follow the recommended dosage and consult with your healthcare provider before taking any medications.


Common Treatment Options for Inside Knee Pain

Apart from the above at-home treatment options, there are also other effective options depending on the underlying cause and the severity of your condition.

Let’s discuss these options below to help you understand your options.



When the above conservative measures fail to provide sufficient relief, you can consider injections to treat your inside knee pain. Doctors prescribe several types of injections, depending on the root cause of your pain. For example, your primary care provider can prescribe a corticosteroid injection. These injections can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Furthermore, these injections have proved effective at treating conditions like bursitis and osteoarthritis.

Another type of injection that can be used to treat inside knee pain is hyaluronic acid injections. Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in joint fluid and helps lubricate and cushion the joint. As such, these injections can help provide additional lubrication and cushioning. Although injections can be a valuable tool in treating inside knee pain, it’s essential to point out that they are not without risks. You might experience pain, swelling, and infection at the injection site. Besides, some people don’t respond well to injections.



Another effective treatment option for inside knee pain is surgery. The kind of surgery your doctor will recommend varies depending on your condition’s severity and cause. For instance, your doctor may recommend arthroscopy to repair or remove damaged tissues or bone. Alternatively, they may recommend knee replacement surgery if you are experiencing severe osteoarthritis or other degenerative conditions. Although surgery is one of the most effective options for treating inside knee pain, it’s worth noting that it’s usually considered the last result if other options fail. This is because it carries some risks and requires healthy rehabilitation and recovery.


Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a highly effective treatment option for inside knee pain and is considered the best option by many. It involves working with a trained and licensed professional to develop a customized exercise and stretching program to help increase the range of motion, alleviate pain, and strengthen the muscles around the knee joint.

Your doctor of physical therapy will also use other modalities such as massage, heat treatment, and stretching to improve your flexibility, balance, and strength and allow you to get back to your normal lifestyle without aggravating the pain. Moreover, physical therapy can help prevent knee injury and is safer, more effective, and non-invasive than other options such as surgery, injections, and medications. In addition, there are no severe side effects associated with physical therapy.

A patient undergoing knee physical therapy

Treat Your Inner Knee Pain With La Clínica Today

Inner knee pain does not have to cause a significant disruption in your everyday life. Our skilled and experienced team at La Clínica is ready to help you overcome your inner knee pain and restore your entire range of motion without aggravating the pain. Schedule your appointment today to work with our Chicago physical therapy doctors.