Pain on Inside of Knee? The Problem No One is Talking About

Pain on Inside of Knee? The Problem No One is Talking About Barefoot Rehabilitation Clinic

01 Jun Pain on Inside of Knee? The Problem No One is Talking About

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Pain on the inside of the knee can be frustrating, especially when it isn’t going away with traditional advice from your friend (“Just ice it”) or your doctor (“Go to physical therapy”).

Fortunately, some problems can be easier for an Annoying Pain Specialist to diagnose.

If you’ve have had a trauma, you probably have meniscus or medial collateral ligament (MCL) damage.

Especially if the pain is behind your knee sometimes. It would feel like you put your wallet inside of a door hinge.

meniscus

If you’re over 50, you probably have osteoarthritis.

These days, more and more people aren’t fully trusting their doctors’ opinions about the cause and solution to their inside the knee pain problems.

Rightfully so … there’s a very common cause of pain inside the knee that no one is talking about.

Before we get there, let’s rule out the more common problems.

How To Figure Out If You Have Meniscus, MCL, and Arthritis Damage

Certain problems are easily diagnosed by most doctors.

Trauma is a simple indicator that you need an MRI and have probably meniscus or medial collateral ligament (MCL) damage. Other data points that contribute to these diagnoses include:

face-up-laying-heel-to-butt

During the heel-to-butt test, a healthy, pain-free knee would let your heel touch your butt the way it does for Amanda above.

If you’re over age 50, you could have meniscus or MCL damage. It’s more likely that you have arthritis. Arthritis is a garbage can term for bone growth or cartilage shrinking or tearing. Other data points that contribute to this diagnosis includes:

  • Pain during inactivity that gets better with some activity (and worse with a lot of activity).
  • The presence of pain/no pain or with/without restricted flexibility are not super relevant when you bring your heel to your butt.

The diagnosis of arthritis in the cartilage under the patella goes at the top of your diagnostic list when you feel pain under the patella at the bottom of a lunge forward with your other leg.  If you’re not comfortable lunging, you can do the Lunge Stretch Test and have someone pick up your foot when your hip is at the end range of being pushed forward. If there’s no pain, you don’t likely have articular cartilage damage under the patella.

do-not-couch-stretch

When your pain inside the knee doesn’t fit any of these diagnostic puzzles, there’s often another problem that is causing your pain. Unfortunately, almost no doctors are talking about this problem. Fortunately for you, this problem is very easily addressed by an expert.

The Problem No One is Talking About

When you’ve had your pain more than 2 months and you’ve seen 3-5 other doctors without more than 50% relief, you and I can probably both agree that there’s something else going on.

The pain on the inside of your knee can be caused by failed ankle or hip tests.

You would fail any of the following:

Important-Knee-Ranges-of-Motion

If you failed any of those tests, your knee would start as inflamed and get better with rest.  As time went on and you didn’t fix the failed test, you’d be risking the meniscus, MCL, or arthritic damage you currently don’t have.

In order to get the failed test fixed and passing so that your knee operates at 100%, you need to find a adhesion specialist to find out if you have adhesion for any muscles that are responsible for stopping the joint in the correlated test.

If all of those tests are passing, the adhesion specialist would look at the knee joint itself.

Adhesion in the Knee Capsule is One of Most Common Causes of Pain On Inside of Knee

When it comes to pain on the inside of your knee, they’d look for adhesion inside of your knee capsule.

The knee capsule is a paper-like sheath that surrounds the whole knee joint (notice the green lines above and below the patella).

pain-on-inside-of-knee-Neutral-no-adhesion

Adhesion acts like glue (red squiggles) in the knee capsule.

pain-on-inside-of-knee-Neutral-adhesion

Normally, your heel should touch your butt like it did for Amanda above.

pain-on-inside-of-knee-Flexed-no-adhesion

When you have adhesion in your knee joint capsule, you’d feel a slow-building tightness or mild pain in your knee joint with the Heel to Butt Test.

pain-on-inside-of-knee-Flexed-adhesion

Your range would be restricted too. Amanda’s knee flexion range was 4 finger-breadths away (3″) from being full (see picture below).

restricted-knee-flexion

Remember, a restricted Heel to Butt Test that is NOT caused by adhesion, but by meniscus damage, would have moderate or significant pain (that is often “pinching” in nature and felt behind the knee).  When the restriction is arthritis, the pain would typically get better with exercise (not worse).

How to Fix the Pain Inside of Your Knee

When you get the adhesion removed from your knee, you can expect flexibility changes like this:

Knee-Flexion-range-increase

This gentleman’s heel-to-butt flexibility went from 3″ to 0.75″ in 5 minutes.

Treatment to get this type of quick and permanent change requires an expert who is able to feel exactly where the adhesion is:

The coolest thing about this type of treatment is that you’d notice relief immediately afterwards.

If You’re Going to Do Anything for Your Knee, Make Sure It Works

My heart breaks when people have been getting any pain treatment for 10, 20, or 30 visits without any significant relief.

This type of healthcare is not OK by me.

That’s why we have a 5 Visit Rule at Barefoot Rehab.

The 5 Visit Rule

You should notice permanent relief in your pain in 5 visits or less. Often after one visit/treatment.

So if you’re going to get treatment for pain inside your knee, make sure it’s working. If it isn’t, find another doctor or healthcare provider.

Have you found a treatment that works for the pain on the inside of your knee? Tell us about it.

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Dr. Chris Stepien, DC, Full-Body ID Certified, ART Certified, CSCS, and CrossFit Level 1 Certified, fixes your annoying and frustrating pains, even when it's been over 6 months and you've seen 3-5 other doctors or therapists without lasting relief Barefoot Rehab in Denville, NJ. And when you're sad, depressed, or not enjoying life, Dr. Chris wants to hug you. He invites you to reach out, no matter what your concern is. Barefoot Rehab is here to serve you.
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10 Comments
  • Lenore Hata Williams
    Posted at 17:31h, 22 June Reply

    Your website is amazing. Whether elbows or knees ( I have both problems) you addressed it in ways no other specialists have. While the best ‘ treatment’is to have you look at it ( and fix it, lol!) I can stop spending unnecessary time and $$ on things that haven’t worked.
    What can you tell me about Plantar fasciitis on the same side as my knee problem?

  • Boyd Kirk
    Posted at 16:34h, 25 July Reply

    Hi. Can you refer a clinic in Sasktoon, Saskatchewan. I have knee flexion pain and its terrible. Ive been going to physio for over 3 months with minimal benefit. I still have shooting pain when I do the knee to butt test. Please reach out to me, your website is amazing. 306-270-8584 or kirkis11@hotmail.com. Thanks, Boyd Kirk

  • Dr. Chris
    Posted at 12:35h, 26 July Reply

    Responding over email.

  • Simon Ramos
    Posted at 11:50h, 27 July Reply

    Hi. I recently received a blow to the inside of my knee a week back and the pain is progressively getting worse. The pain is amplified when I bend the knee and then extend it and the pain is usually a dull pain that radiates up my thigh. Although the pain is more in the lower area of the inside of the knee. I have physical therapy for underlying arthritis but it has not gotten any better with exercise. Keep in mind I am a 16 year old male with underlying chronic illness. My dad is going to find a orthopedic knee specialist and surgeon since he works at Texas Children’s Hospital. I was wondering if that is the correct move?

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 21:26h, 28 July Reply

      Hi Simon, what’s the diagnosis your PT is working with? Is the pain bending and extending the knee in the middle of the range or the end of the range? What’s the exact tissue-specific diagnosis of the “arthritis”? Have you had an MRI? I would definitely see an adhesion removal specialist first, but you would probably have to travel out of state.

  • Chris Myrick
    Posted at 00:28h, 20 September Reply

    Hi Chris,

    I am an avid hiker and had an undiagnosed knee injury that left me unable to walk down stairs. A few months later, after rest, stretching and stregthening, on the decent from a hike I started feeling pain in the same place, on the inside of the knee and numbness in the patellar tendon. I just found your article and fail all three tests for adhesion. What steps should i take?

  • Chris Myrick
    Posted at 16:06h, 21 September Reply

    Thank you for your prompt response I’ll be sure to look into this.

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 12:38h, 23 September Reply

      : )

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