Burning knee pain

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Burning knee pain might be a sign of various health conditions. The individual might experience a burning sensation that covers the entire knee, but it is often felt in a specific site, usually behind the knee and in front. In some cases, the burning sensation is focused on the sides of the joint.

What are the causes?

There are various causes for burning knee pain. Some of the usual causes include:

Burning knee pain in the front of the joint is often due to overuse specifically runner’s knee. If the pain occurs on the outside of the joint, it is often due to iliotibial band syndrome.

Management of burning knee pain

The treatment for burning knee pain is based on the root cause.

Burning knee pain
Burning knee pain in the front of the joint is often due to overuse specifically runner’s knee.

Knee ligament tear

If an individual is diagnosed with a partial ligament tear, the treatment includes:

  • Knee brace during exercise
  • Muscle-strengthening exercises
  • Limit activities that can cause further damage

For a full tear, it requires surgical removal.

Knee cartilage tear

The initial phase of treatment for a cartilage tear involves conservative measures such as:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Steroid injections into the joint
  • Muscle-strengthening exercises

Surgery is generally reserved for cases that do not improve with conservative care.


Osteoarthritis is irreversible thus the treatment is aimed on controlling the symptoms which includes:

  • Over-the-counter pain medications
  • Cortisone shots
  • Physical and occupational therapy

In some cases, joint replacement surgery is needed.


The condition involves the degeneration of the cartilage beneath the patella. The treatment typically includes:

  • Application of ice to lessen the swelling after exercise
  • Over-the-counter pain medications
  • Adequate rest for the knee joint such as avoidance of kneeling and squatting
  • Alignment of the patella with tape, brace or patellar-tracking sleeve

Patellofemoral pain syndrome

For a mild case, the treatment includes:

Allowing the joint to rest by avoiding kneeling or climbing stairs

  • Over-the-counter pain medications
  • Braces
  • Rehabilitation exercises for the hip abductors, hamstrings and quadriceps

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