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  • Writer's pictureChloe

Inside Knee Pain: Causes and Relief Exercises

If you are having inside knee pain, you know that the pain can be debilitating at its worst and barely tolerable at its best. The inside of the knee is called the medial knee and is the area of the knee that is closest to your center line.

If you are one of the sufferers of inside knee pain, you are not alone. This is an incredibly common condition that many people battle with. Let’s talk about what causes inside knee pain and the steps we can take to mitigate it.

What is Inside (Medial) Knee Pain?

Inside knee pain is a condition that causes pain and discomfort in the medial side of the knee joint. While the pain can be constant, it generally is worsened when the knee is bent or the joint is moved, even if it is within the normal range of motion. The inside knee can also become tender to the touch and extremely sensitive to pressure.

What Are the Causes of Inside Knee Pain & What Can I Do?

There can be many reasons why you are experiencing pain in your inside knee, but here are some common causes.

woman holding her knee in pain


A contusion, commonly referred to as a bruise, is one of the common causes of inside knee pain. This happens when the soft parts of the knee, like the ligaments, tendons, and muscles, take a direct impact or blow, causing blood vessels in these tissues to rupture. This causes bleeding inside the soft tissues and results in swelling and inflammation.

The pain from a contusion to the inside knee can range from mild to severe and can be made worse if the knee is moved or is made to bear weight. In severe cases, the pain and swelling can radiate to other areas of the body, such as the hip or even the lower back.

Knee Bursitis

Bursitis in the knee can cause inflammation of the bursa, a small sac of fluid that is located between a bone and a muscle or tendon. When this occurs in the knee, it can cause significant pain in the inside knee area.

Knee bursitis is typically caused by overuse from repetitive motions such as running, jumping, or climbing stairs. The other causes of bursitis can include infection, misalignment of the knee, or a direct blow.

Depending on the severity of the knee bursitis, the pain can vary in intensity and quality. Mild cases may feel a dull ache but severe cases can have sharp, piercing pain and cause difficulty with performing the daily activities of living.


Osteoarthritis is a common form of arthritis that can affect the inside knee. It is a degenerative joint condition that causes pain in the inside knee due to the wearing and breaking down of the cartilage at the ends of the bones that are involved in the knee’s anatomy. This can cause the bones to rub against each other without any cushioning, causing pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the knee joint.

The pain can be most noticeable when the knee is bent or when you bear weight on it. Activities like squatting and kneeling can also worsen the pain as will long periods of inactivity or sitting.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that can attack the knee joint, causing stiffness, pain, and inflammation in the inside knee. This is an autoimmune disease that causes your body’s immune system to mistakenly attack healthy body tissue.

The inflammation that rheumatoid arthritis causes can make the soft tissues around the knee swollen, tender, and painful. This can lead to increased pressure on the inside knee which can cause those sharp and achy pains.

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What Exercises Can I Do For Inside Knee Pain?

Having inside knee pain can be excruciating and disruptive to your life. Fortunately, there are some simple exercises that you can perform to reduce the pain. Here are some of our favorites.

A woman swimming with her kids


Swimming is a great way to help with inside knee pain and maintain your fitness. Since swimming is a very low-impact activity, it reduces the risk of causing more pain or further damage. The buoyancy of the water will reduce the amount of stress and pressure on the knee and will improve the range of motion in the knee.

Recumbent Biking

Recumbent bikes allow the rider to sit in a comfortable reclined position which takes the pressure off the inside knee. This is an activity that is extremely easy on the joints since it is very low impact. Exercising on a recumbent bike can help strengthen the muscles responsible for supporting and protecting the inside knee, improving joint health and reducing pain.

Elliptical Machine

Exercising on the elliptical is a great way to exercise, strengthen the muscles that support your knee, and alleviate knee pain. The motion of the elliptical can help reduce the amount of stress and pressure the inner knee feels while exercising which makes it a great way to find relief from inner knee pain.

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Final Thoughts

Make sure you take care of that inside knee pain. Now that you know some of the common causes of inside knee pain and how to treat it, you do not have to live in pain.



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