Chiropractor Chandler AZ

Causes of Knee Pain Inner Knee

knee model patella labeled
Causes of Knee Pain Inner Knee

It is common for inner knee pain to occur because of the muscles and soft tissues surrounding the kneecap (patella). If the muscles become weak or tight, it affects the way the patella moves. The tightness of the muscles causes more force to be put on the inner knee joint instead of the weight being evenly distributed among the whole joint. The extra force upon the inner joint can cause damage and result in inner knee pain.

The knee is an incredibly complex joint that goes through a tremendous range of motion. It has many muscles that cross the knee joint to help control its movement while walking, running, squatting, or going up and down stairs. All of this movement occurs while supporting your body weight. Inner knee pain is often most felt when damage has occurred to the muscles and soft tissues surrounding the patella.

Most Common Causes of Inner Knee Pain

There are many causes to inner knee pain, but some are more common than others. The most common reasons for inner knee pain include: pes anserine bursitis, adductor longus insertion tendonitis, vastus medialis muscle pain, chondromalacia patella, and patella tendonitis pain referral.

knee tendons medial labeled

Pes anserine bursitis is the inflammation of the inner knee bursae. Bursae are small synovial-filled sacs that help tissues easily glide over one another, like when a tendon slides over a bone or another tendon. When the bursae become irritated or damaged, it can cause severe pain. The pes anserine bursa is located on the proximomedial aspect of the tibia between superficial medial collateral ligament and hamstring tendons (i.e. sartorius, gracilis, and semitendinosus). It is the insertion point of the conjoined medial knee tendons into the anteromedial proximal tibia. Pes anserine bursitis is most common among overweight females and people who have diabetes. It can be treated with stretches, rest, and the prescription of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Adductor longus insertion tendonitis is the damage and swelling of the tissues of the adductor tendon at its attachment to the pelvis. The adductor muscles are commonly known as the groin muscles and are responsible for stabilizing the pelvis and moving the leg toward the midline of the body. Contraction of these muscles places tension on the adductor tendon at its insertion point to the pelvis. Excessive tension due to repetition or high force can cause damage to the tendon. Typically the injury is an overuse injury during activities such as running and kicking. Pain can be felt at the attachment site and down the femur to the inside of the knee. Simple therapy can help reduce the pain and find relief.

knee model posterior labeled

Patellar tendonitis is tissue damage and inflammation of the patella tendon causing inner knee pain. The quadriceps muscles at the front of the thigh connects to the knee cap which attaches to the tibia via the patella tendon. The quadriceps muscle is used to straighten and hinge the knee during activities such as running, jumping, and kicking. When the quadriceps are contracted, force is put on the patella tendon and too much force can damage the tendon. Strain from repetitive activities causes the damage to the tendon. It commonly occurs in people who partake in sports with frequent jumping such as basketball.

It is best to contact a doctor when the pain first begins. In less severe cases, and if the injury is caught in time before permanent damage can be done, surgery won't be required and the injury can be conservatively treated.

Home Treatments

At home the first step is always PRICE: protect, rest, ice, compress, and elevate. Reduce the stress and strain to the knee. Over the counter nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as recommended by your doctor can help reduce pain and inflammation. Ice helps block the knee pain and reduce inflammation.

tissue progression sm

Medical Treatments

NSAIDs are often prescribed for the initial acute injury stages. In severe cases that involve multiple joint regions, muscle relaxers or oral steroids can be given. Trigger point injections, botox, or steroid injections can be treatment options, as well. Pain management is not usually required unless stronger medications or joint injections are involved in treatment.

MRI and X-rays will not usually be ordered to evaluate mild to moderate muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries. Severe cases may utilize advanced imaging to rule out bone fractures, edema, nerve entrapments, tendon or muscle ruptures. Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) testing may be utilized in cases that also involve muscle, sensory or reflex loss.

GT therapy
Conservative Treatments

Therapeutic treatments for addressing soft tissue injuries involve massage therapy, manual therapy, trigger point therapy, Graston Technique, or Active Release Technique. These treatments increase blood flow, decrease muscle spasms, enhance flexibility, speed healing, and promote proper tissue repair.

Iliotibial band Syndrome is common in runners who develop the injury because of weakness and poor stabilization of the leg and hip muscles. Specific knee exercises are given to increase strength and endurance. Proprioception exercises help teach the muscles how to work together again to stabilize the knee during walking or running.

When these treatments are incorporated into a treatment plan, patients heal faster and are less likely to have long-term pain, soft tissue fibrosis, or scar tissue in the injured muscle. These soft tissue treatments are incorporated with therapeutic exercise and flexibility programs.

Improve Movements to Eliminate Hip Pain

The back, hip, and lower extremity work as a comprehensive unit allowing for many of the repetitive tasks you complete at home, work, and during recreational activities. Injuries to one area of the musculature often indicates that additional damage has been incurred by adjacent muscles.

vibration squat exercise

Many therapeutic exercises can help restore proper strength and endurance to the leg muscles. Isometric exercises are often the initial treatment exercises, followed by single plane rubber band exercises for the hip, knee, and ankle: flexion, extension, adduction, abduction, circumduction, inversion, and eversion. Dynamic exercises involving stability foam, rubber discs, exercise ball, and BOSU balls can be performed on the floor. The more unstable the surface, the more effort and stabilization is required of all the lower extremity muscles.

Vibration plates enhance neuromuscular learning throughout the ankle, knee, foot, hip, and back muscles. Additional strength exercises can be found on the hip, knee, and foot strengthening pages. More information for injuries and treatments for knee pain and foot pain.

Our Chandler Chiropractic & Physical Therapy clinic treats patients with a variety of muscle, tendon, joint, and ligament injuries. The clinic provides treatment for runners, tri-athletes, and weekend warriors in addition to common headache, neck, and back patients traditionally seen in Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy clinics. We work with all ages and abilities of the residents in Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, and Chandler AZ.