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Pain in the inside of your knee? Learn what the causes are and what to do about it

‘Inside of knee’ pain is the most common complaint when we assess knee issues in the clinic. It is pain which is typically described as being underneath the kneecap, deep within the knee or behind the front of the knee. If this sounds like you, then read on!

Typically such conditions are caused by an inherent muscular imbalance regarding the muscles surrounding the knee, or a knee mobility & flexibility issue.

What are the conditions causing this type of pain?

1. The most common condition causing this type of knee pain is patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS).

PFPS which is an umbrella term for any anterior knee pain that arises from the patellofemoral (knee-cap) joint, or immediate surrounding area. This usually occurs due to excessive patellofemoral joint pressure from poor kneecap alignment, which can likely be caused by muscle imbalances and poor biomechanical control, and/or overuse.


  • Overuse of the knee joint

  • Poor surrounding muscular stability and support for the knee joint

  • Poor technique with running/jumping or squatting

  • Recent changes in footwear.


  • Pain during movement (running/sport/bending the knee/climbing stairs)

  • Pain after sitting for long periods of time

  • Crunching or popping sounds in the knee when bending/walking.

2. The next most common condition which can cause you ‘pain inside the knee’ is patella maltracking.

When a knee experiences a patella maltracking issue, this means the kneecap is not moving in its normal position and therefore tracks sideways, most commonly laterally. This type of knee condition is usually sustained from high stresses which travel through the knee, especially rotational/twisting stresses which can be experienced in running sports.


  • Weak quad muscles (which help support the kneecap)

  • An imbalance between the anterior (front) and posterior (rear) leg muscles

  • Muscular/tendon tightness around the knee

  • Structural issues (such as valgus knee collapse or internally rotated hips).

3. Finally, chondromalacia is the next most condition which can cause this type of pain.

As this is a degenerative condition, it is on the more severe end of the spectrum. This is where the cartilage on the inside of the kneecap softens and begins to deteriorate. This condition predominantly affects young athletes, but may also occur in those with arthritic knee changes (more likely elderly).


  • Pain at the anterior (front) aspect of the knee

  • Grinding & cracking when bending the knee

  • Sitting or standing for long periods

  • Pain increasing with exercise (including squatting, running or jumping sports).

Here's what to do about it!

Strengthening the muscles which act upon the knee will help to improve the stability of the knee cap & its internal structures. This can decrease the pain on the ‘insight’ of your knee. As a taster, here is a link to a post which focuses on this type of knee pain:

Should I see a professional for my knee pain?

Since knee rehabilitation requires a precise assessment to understand the type & variations of exercises required for your pain, it is best to catch up with a professional.

A Sports Physio or Exercise Physiologist would be the best health professional to see if you’re currently experiencing pain, or have been suffering repeat set backs to your knee whilst training.

They will be able to kick-start your healing process through either manual therapy and/or an exercise program, in order to ensure your rehabilitation is appropriate to your injury.

Want to begin your journey to pain-free knees?

Click the button below! We have physio's and exercises physiologists available in 4 locations throughout Sydney. Alternatively we also off Online Coaching for those out of Sydney or not from Australia!

We hope you enjoyed the read!

If you'd like to read more of our educational articles then click here


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