Burning Pain in Knee: 10 Causes and Treatment


In this article you are going to know the causes of burning pain in knee and how to treat it both medically and self treatment.

The knee is one of the most used joints in the body and this may cause some inflammation and pain. A knee pain is mostly noticed behind, in front or along the sides of the knee cap in both knee. This pain can be very uncomfortable and irritating.

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When a knee pain occurs, you find it difficult to walk, run, sit and even sleep. A burning pain in knee results from larger problems and may require investigation and treatment.

burning pain in knee
burning pain in knee

Bones in the Knee

There are three types of bones in the knee. They include;

  • The lower pet of the thigh bone
  • The upper part of the shin bone
  • The knee cap

10 Causes of Burning Pain in Knee

Some of the causes of a burning pain in knee are;

1. Dislocated Knee Cap

A dislocation on the front of your knee can cause a sharp pain to the knee while moving.

2. Bone Tumor

Though this is very rare, it is one of the causes of burning pain in knee and it is accompanied by symptoms which includes; weight loss, severe pain, fever.

3. Osteoarthritis

This is caused by the lack of blood supply that weakens the bones and cartilages in organs like the hand, hips, spine and knees. The bones and cartilage wear down and is impossible to reverse. To get rid of this, you would need a joint replacement. Even if it cannot be reversed, it can be treated by the following;

  • Over-the-counter pain medication such as; ibuprofen, tylenol, paracetamol, panadol etc.
  • Physical and occupational therapies.
  • Cortisone injections.
  • Lubricant infections

4. Knee Cartilage Tear

A torn cartilage is a common cause of burning pain in knee. Symptoms of a torn knee cartilage includes;

  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Locking
  • Clicking
  • Catching

It could be treated through non survival methods which includes;

  • Pain relief medicines
  • Doing exercises that strengthens your muscles.

5. Steroid Injection

You could also use survival treatments that includes;

  • Osteochondral autograft transplantation (OATS)
  • Autologous Chondrocyte implantation.
  • Knee chondroplasty.
  • Knee debridement.

6. Knee Ligament Tear

A torn ligament can cause a burning pain in knee. The main types of knee ligaments includes;

  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)
  • Anterior Collateral Ligament (ACL)
  • Posterior Collateral Ligament (PCL)

This can be treated by using;

  • Protective knee braces
  • Muscle strengthening exercises
  • Limit the activities that causes further pains.

7. Chondromalacia

This is also known as a runner’s knee. As the name implies, it is common among runners and people who engage in spots. This occurs from the overuse if the knee joints. It lead to a determination of the cartilage under the knee cap and can cause pains around the knee.

Some treatment for this includes;

  • Applying an ice pack to reduce swelling of the knee.
  • Over -the – counter pain relief medicines
  • Use of braces to align the knee cap.
  • Resting of the knee joint.

8. Parellar Tendintis

This is common in athletes. It is the tension that connects the knee cap to the shine (patellar tendon). It causes burning pain in knee. A weak patellar tendon can tear which might cause an indentation at the button of  your knee cap.

Some causes of patellar tendon includes;

  • Swelling over the knee
  • Severe pain
  • A tearing Sensation

Treatments for a patellar tendinitis includes;

  • Applying and ice park to reduce the swelling of the knee.
  • Over-the- counter pain relief medicines.
  • Exercises that focus on the leg muscle.
  • Wearing a patellar tendon strap
  • Stretching to length the knee muscle.

9. Illiotibial Band (ITV) Syndrome

This is caused by the over use of the knee. It occurs when the connective tissue that runs along the length of the thigh rubs against the outside of the knee during physical activities. It mostly affects runners.

There is no said treatment for this but the following can help;

  • Applying ice
  • Taking some over-the-counter pain relief medicines
  • Getting massages
  • Steroids injection
  • Physical therapy
  • Strengthening your core
  • Avoid running
  • Rest

10. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)

This occurs at the front of the knee of one or both knees.

Some treatments for this includes;

  • Over-the-counter pain relief medicine
  • Exercises that focus on the hips and legs
  • Using supportive braces.
  • Resting

Treatments for Burning Pain in Knee

We have both medical and self treatments for a burning pain in knee;

The medical treatment includes;

  • Injection
  • Surgery
  • Use of Non steroidal  anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Other medication that eases pain

Ways of treating a knee pain by your self includes;

  • Use of ice pack
  • Use of supports like braces
  • Getting enough rest

Ways to Prevent Burning Pain in Knee

1. Wearing knee pads if you are going to overuse your knee.

2. Exercises that strengthens your muscles without putting pressure on your knee (e.g swimming and cycling).

3. Strengthening your joints.

4. Losing weight if you are obese.

When to visit your Doctor

If you feel constant pain even after treatments, it is important to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis. This diagnosis includes;

1. A physical examination which involves checking for swellings, stability, noises, range of motion.

2. The location of the pain.

3. The time of the day were the pain gets worst.

4. Symptoms of the pain.

5. Imaging through the use of an x-ray or an ultrasound.


A burning pain in knee occur in specific areas of the knee which includes; the front, back and sides. It can cause a lot of discomfort but there are many treatments to stop this knee pain which are mentioned above.

Applying ice is one of the safest way to treat a burning pain of the knee. Do not ignore a knee pain or take it as a normal body pain that would go within minutes. Get some treatments to avoid it from getting more complicated.