Inside Knee Pain – What Causes Pain Behind the Knee

inside knee painInside knee pain, also known as Medial Ligament Disorder, can be one of the more serious knee injuries you can endure. The reason for this is that the knee ligament’s main purpose is to aid in sideways movement as well as balance. Experiencing pain inside the knee can be very uncomfortable and if not treated can become even worse.

As one of the largest and most complex joints in the body its important to understand how medial or inside knee pain can effect you and any future recovery.

Depending on the type or severity of the inner knee pain it can take between 2 – 3 weeks right up to 6 months for a full recovery. The latter type of knee pain would refer to a complete rupture of the knee ligament. Inner knee pain is usually associated with other injuries in that area of the knee as there are many interlinking ligaments that make up the complex knee structure.

This type of knee injury is usually the result of a sudden jerky type movement which involves landing abnormally and results in a twisting of the knee causing the knee to bend inwards. The knee has now moved in the opposite direction putting the ligaments under tremendous strain, creating more pressure than is bearable for the knee. The pain can be excruciating and will be followed by a swelling of the knee.

Pain on the inside of the knee and the reason for the pain can be better understood by way of a diagram.

The key ligaments in a knee are the Lateral collateral ligament (LCL), Anterior cruciate ligament, Posterior cruciate ligament, and the Medial collateral ligament (MCL).

Inside Knee Pain: A closer look

In the diagram below you can get a better visual idea of where and why the inner knee injury occurs. The most effected ligament is the Medial Collateral Ligament. The Lateral Meniscus acts like a cushion and takes up a third of the impact when the upper and lower leg bones come into contact with each other. This Ligament will disperse the load in a uniform manner to the adjacent bone reducing the stress in on area. When the stress load on this ligament exceeds what it can bear, injury will occur in the form of a small to large tear.

inner knee painAs mentioned earlier this excess pressure is caused due to an abnormal or sudden twisting of the knee in a forward bent position. This type of injury is very common in sports men and women due to the excessive pressure that the knee endures in fast contact sports.

Key Symptoms of an Inside Knee Injury:

  • Most common is pain and swelling
  • Pain involves the outer side of the knee.
  • Pain may be immediate and bleeding may lead to swelling. Swelling develops over a day or two as a result of accumulation of inflammatory fluid.
  • Pain is intensified when bending or rotating the knee.
  • Its tender around the front or back of the knee when pressure is applied.
  • Cracking or popping sounds

Treating Inner Knee Pain Injuries

For small recent injuries the best treatment is to use the RICE protocol (Rest, Ice application, compression & elevation) to sooth the pain and inflammation. Massage and Ultrasound session will also help further the recovery on the knee injury.

A course of Glucosamine sulphate supplements can also be taken or for a more severe injury Steroid injections can be administered.

If you have torn the Meniscus in a longitudinal way it can be repaired, however a horizontal tear cannot. If the tear is in the vicinity of the outer edge where the blood flow is still good, then the injury has a better chance of a being repaired.

In cases where the inside knee injury has occurred with a horizontal or oblique tear then the torn part is removed. It’s essential to preserve as much of the remaining meniscus in order to prevent it from deteriorating further. Post such treatment the knee is supported in a hinged knee brace and or crutches depending on the severity of the injury.

Knee Pain Strengthening Exercises

Inside Knee Injury ExercisesMany sufferers of inside knee injury are often too quick in trying to strengthen the injured knee through exercise. Strengthening exercises should only be performed if your knee injury is no longer painful to the touch, or painful when you stretch.

If you feel the pain in the inner knee is not effected by the above then you can start a gradual exercise process.

Types of Stretches:


Squats are great way to help strengthen the knee and can help strengthen other parts as well. Its important not to do thi stype of exercise of you still feel a twinge of pain.

Key Points when doing squats.

  • Make sure your feet are flat on the floor and are approximatley shoulder width apart
  • Make sure your lower back is straight
  • Its important to bend from the hips and knees
  • If you are adding weights then choose a weight that enables approx 10 – 14 reps



  • Stretches to be held for approximatley 30 seconds
  • Make sure you do some light walking or cycling on an exercise bike before stretching
  • The stretch should stop at the first point of tension
  • Any stretching should be gentle with no sudden jerk movements


Quadriceps Stretching


Groin Stretch

groin stretch

Hip (Flexor) Stretch