Phone: 613-672-2200

Inner Knee Pain: Effective Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Whether you're an athlete or experiencing knee discomfort in your daily life, understanding the underlying factors and seeking appropriate care from a physiotherapist can help you find relief and improve your knee function.

Inner knee pain is a common issue that can affect people of all ages and activity levels. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, overuse, or certain medical conditions. Understanding the possible causes and symptoms of inner knee pain can help you identify the most appropriate treatment and prevention strategies to alleviate discomfort and improve your overall knee function.

One of the most frequent reasons for inner knee pain is a deterioration of cartilage, typically due to wear and tear over time or damage caused by a sports injury or trauma. Other possible causes of inner knee pain can include rheumatoid arthritis or bursitis. In addition to pain, you might experience swelling, stiffness, or difficulty moving your knee normally. To diagnose the cause of your inner knee pain, a medical professional will typically examine your knee for signs of swelling, tenderness, and limited range of motion. From there, they can recommend the most suitable treatment options, including physical therapy, medication, or in some cases, surgery.

Causes of Inner Knee Pain

Inner knee pain can be caused by various factors, including injuries and medical conditions. In this section, we will discuss some of the common causes of inner knee pain and how these may affect you.

One potential cause of inner knee pain is an injury to the medial collateral ligament (MCL). The MCL is a band of tissue on the inner side of your knee, responsible for providing stability and support. If you experience a direct blow to the outer side of your knee or twist your knee awkwardly, it can result in an MCL injury, leading to pain and swelling on the inside of your knee. Knee injuries like this can range from mild to severe and may require medical attention.

Another common cause of inner knee pain is a medial meniscus tear. The medial meniscus is a piece of cartilage located on the inside part of your knee joint, acting as a shock absorber between the thigh and shin bones. This type of tear can occur due to a sudden twisting movement or overuse of the knee joint, leading to pain and stiffness in the medial region.

Bursitis, particularly pes anserine bursitis, is another possible cause of inner knee pain. Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction between tendons and bones. Pes anserine bursitis occurs when the bursa on the inside of your knee becomes inflamed, causing pain and localized swelling. This condition can arise from overuse, stress on your knee, or an underlying health issue.

In some cases, medial plica syndrome can lead to inner knee pain. Your knee joint contains several folds of connective tissue called plicae; the medial plica is the one located on the inside part of your knee. Inflammation or irritation of the medial plica can cause pain, swelling, and even a locking sensation in your knee.

Arthritis, specifically osteoarthritis (OA), is a degenerative disease that can also cause inner knee pain. OA breaks down the cartilage in your knee joint, causing bones to grind together and eventually resulting in pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis often occurs with age, but factors such as genetics, obesity, and knee injuries can also contribute to its development.

Symptoms of Inner Knee Pain

Initial symptoms of inner knee pain vary depending on the cause of the pain. As you experience inner knee pain, the location and severity of pain may differ. Be aware of common symptoms, such as mild to sharp pain on the inside of your knee, often referred to as medial knee pain.

In some cases, you may notice swelling and stiffness around the affected area. Redness and warmth to the touch could also be signs that something is not right with your inner knee. Pay attention to any weakness or instability in your knee as you move or put pressure on the joint.

Apart from these general symptoms, you might feel a sudden onset of pain or chronic knee pain that persists over time. Pain during specific activities, such as walking up and down stairs or sitting in a chair, can also indicate an issue with your inner knee. Experiencing a popping or crunching noise as you move your knee may also be a cause for concern.

Twisting your knee during sports or other physical activities can result in inner knee pain, too. If you experience pain and swelling after a twisting incident, it is essential to seek medical help to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.

Keep in mind that the severity of your inner knee pain will depend on several factors, such as the cause of the pain and any underlying medical conditions. To pinpoint the source of your discomfort and determine the best course of action for treatment, consult a medical professional when your symptoms persist or worsen.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

To diagnose inner knee pain, doctors often start with a physical examination and evaluate your medical history. In some cases, imaging tests such as an X-ray or CT scan might be suggested to detect bone fractures and degenerative joint disease. Your doctor may also consider other tests, such as an MRI or ultrasound, depending on the suspected cause of the pain.

Once your doctor has identified the root cause of your inner knee pain, there are several treatment options available. For minor pain or inflammation, over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications can be helpful. Additionally, physical therapy and targeted exercises play a crucial role in managing chronic knee pain and promoting mobility. Massage and ice treatments can also help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.

If you are experiencing inner knee pain due to osteoarthritis, you may benefit from wearing a knee brace to help support and stabilize your knee joint. The brace can reduce pressure on the affected area and may alleviate pain during daily activities.

For more severe cases, such as a torn meniscus, your doctor may recommend surgical intervention. This can involve arthroscopy, which is a minimally invasive procedure that enables a surgeon to view and perform repairs inside your knee joint. Recovery time varies depending on the severity of the tear and the specific surgical technique employed.

In cases where inner knee pain is caused by a sprain or tear in the medial collateral ligament (MCL), conservative treatment is typically preferred. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) can help ease pain and swelling, while wearing a knee brace can provide added stability during the healing process.

Prevention and Exercises for Inner Knee Pain

To prevent inner knee pain, it's essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle, strengthen the muscles around the knee, and avoid overuse of the knee joint. Incorporate low-impact exercises into your routine to help protect your knee and minimize the risk of injury.

Stretches and exercises can also play a crucial role in relieving inner knee pain caused by various factors, such as osteoarthritis, meniscus tears, and sprained ligaments. Here are some recommended exercises for inner knee pain:

1. Inner Thigh Stretch: Lie on your back and use a stretch strap to loop around the bottom of your right foot. Bring your toes up toward the ceiling, keeping your knee relatively straight. This exercise helps to stretch the medial side of your knee.

2. Step-Ups: Find a low step or platform and step up using one foot, then the other, and then step back down in the same order. Repeat the exercise for several repetitions. Step-ups can help alleviate pain caused by degeneration or thinning of the knee joint cartilage.

3. Quadriceps Strengthening: Sit on the edge of a chair or bench with your legs at 90 degrees. Slowly extend one leg until it's parallel with the floor, hold for a few seconds, and then return to the starting position. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times on each leg to strengthen the muscles around the knee.

4. Hamstring Curls: Stand next to a wall or chair for balance. Slowly bend one knee, bringing your heel towards your buttock, and hold for a few seconds. Repeat 10-15 times on each leg to help support the knee joint.

When experiencing inner knee pain, avoid high-impact activities that can worsen the pain or cause further injury. Wearing a knee brace can provide additional support and help alleviate some discomfort. Discuss your symptoms and treatment options with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action for managing your inner knee pain.

When to See a Physiotherapist

Experiencing inner knee pain can be bothersome and affect your daily activities. It's important to know when to seek professional help to get the best possible care for your condition. In this section, we'll discuss when you should consider seeing a physiotherapist for inner knee pain.

If you notice persistent knee pain that lasts for more than a few days or worsens over time, it may be a sign that something more serious is going on. Contact a physiotherapist if your inner knee pain is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:

  • Significant swelling
  • Redness
  • Tenderness and warmth around the joint
  • Limited range of motion
  • Weakness or instability in your knee.

Another reason to consult a physiotherapist is if you experience sharp pain during certain activities, such as walking, running, or climbing stairs. This may indicate a more specific issue like a ligament or cartilage injury that requires targeted treatment.

In cases of inner knee pain that worsens over time and affects your ability to perform daily tasks or enjoy your favorite physical activities, a physiotherapist can provide an effective treatment plan. They will assess your knee pain, identify the underlying cause, and recommend tailored exercises and techniques to help reduce your pain and restore function.

Finally, if you have recently undergone knee surgery or suffered a significant injury, it is crucial to follow up with a physiotherapist to ensure proper rehabilitation and recovery. They can guide you through a safe and effective therapeutic program to get you back on track as soon as possible.

Related Articles

January 19, 2024
Sarah Peters - BKIN(CH), R.KIN, CAT(C)
January 19, 2024
Sarah Peters - BKIN(CH), R.KIN, CAT(C)
January 19, 2024
Sarah Peters - BKIN(CH), R.KIN, CAT(C)

Contact Us

Your message has been received.
We will get back to you within 24 hours.
Oops! Something went wrong.