What to Do About Inner Knee Pain︱IMPACT Physical Therapy

What to Do About Inner Knee Pain: Causes & Treatment

Inner knee pain is often caused by cartilage deterioration that occurs following an injury or due to a degenerative disease like osteoarthritis.

Knee pain is an incredibly common complaint among athletes and individuals of all fitness levels. The repetitive nature of walking, running, and even sitting and standing puts a lot of strain on this hard-working joint. Inner knee pain can be caused by repetitive overuse or trauma from a sports injury.

Your knee is one of the most complex joints in your body, with many interlocking parts. Bones, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, and menisci must all work together in perfect alignment to keep you moving fluidly. When one of these components becomes strained, torn, or injured, it throws the entire system off base, resulting in discomfort and difficulty when you move the joint.

What kind of cartilage issues could be causing your inside knee pain? Let’s explore the most common causes of pain on the inside of your knee and what to do about it.

Four Key Causes of Inner Knee Pain

1. Osteoarthritis

Adults over 60 are more likely to experience medial knee pain due to a degenerative condition. Osteoarthritis breaks down cartilage to the point where bones grind against each other. Without the protective cushioning that cartilage provides, this can create serious pressure in your inner knee. 

2. Bursitis

There is a group of tendons that all attach at the inside of the knee near a bursa called the pes anserine bursa. If these muscles and tendons are too tight, they can rub and cause friction over the bursa leading to pain and inflammation.

3. MCL Injury

You’ve probably heard of athletes tearing their MCL. This happens when the ligament that runs alongside your inner knee is stretched too far. Injuries to your knee ligaments can be mild or severe; torn ligaments may require surgery to heal, but slightly over-stretched ligaments—which may cause mild pain on the inside of your knee with mild swelling—can heal with rest and time away from your sport.

4. Knee Contusion

Landing hard on your knee or getting hit in the same area can bruise your knee bone and cause pain inside your knee. 

Treatment Options for Medial Knee Pain

Depending on your symptoms, there are several different treatment paths for inner knee pain:

  • Rest: If you’re experiencing mild pain on the inside of your knee with no swelling, you may only need time to let a stretched ligament or bruised bone heal.
  • RICE method: RICE—or Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation—is a common home remedy for inside knee pain. Staying off your knee as much as possible after an injury can help it heal, but if severe knee inner pain persists for more than three days, you may need to seek medical attention. 
  • Physical therapy: Working with a physical therapist helps you learn stretches and strength-building exercises to reduce and manage your medial knee pain.
  • Steroids and/or medication: Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen work to reduce swelling, while injectable steroids aim to restore mobility. 
  • Surgery: In extreme cases, knee surgery may be the only option to restore your full range of motion. 

Reduce Your Inner Knee Pain with Physical Therapy 

Inner knee pain can be a major disruption to your everyday life, but it doesn’t have to be. The team at IMPACT Physical Therapy is here to manage your symptoms and get you back to your full range of motion without pain. Request an appointment to set up a treatment plan for the pain inside your knee today.