Inside or Outside Knee Pain? Causes, Symptoms, and Relief!


Research shows that close to 15 million Americans suffer from severe joint pain.

Are your knees the source of your discomfort? If so, even the simplest tasks, such as walking up the stairs, can be incredibly painful.

Knee Pain Symptoms

What starts out as a nagging little soreness can quickly snowball into an excruciating condition. When you know the signs of knee pain, you're already one step ahead.

 A few of the symptoms that often accompany knee pain include:

  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Instability
  • An inability to stretch or straighten your knee

In addition to these physical signs, you might also feel a constant ache or dull burn in your affected knee(s). Then, when you go to use your knee, that might change into a sharp, shooting pain.

Knee Pain on Inside of Knee

There are a few common culprits that could be causing your inner knee pain. 


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease. It attacks by breaking down your cartilage, causing the bones in your joints to rub against each other and grind together.

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Strain

Your MCL is the ligament that runs along the outside of your inner knee. It's supposed to stabilize your joint, but it's easy to overstretch or tear.

Most MCL strains or injuries are associated with contact sports. They usually happen when excessive force is applied to the outside of your knee.

Other Causes:

A few other commonly diagnosed issues include:

  • Injury to your medial meniscus
  • Knee bone bruises
  • Irritated medial plicae

Knee Pain on Outside of Knee

There are a few causes of knee pain on the outside of your knee. Let's take a look at a few of them.

IT Band Syndrome

Many runners suffer from IT band syndrome, which causes a sharp sensation when your knee is touched.

How does it happen? Your fibrous iliotibial (IT) band starts in your knee and inserts onto the outside of your shin bone. When it's overused or irritated, the friction can lead to painful inflammation. 

Sometimes, the syndrome is caused by natural bow-leggedness or weak hip muscles. Other times, it's related to overtraining. 

Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) Injury

Did you sprain or strain your LCL? This is the ligament that connects the outside of your thigh bone to your fibula.

You can hurt it when substantial force presses against the inside of your knee. Such pressure can force the joint laterally outward. In response, your LCL usually tries to resist but its fibers can often tear away if the force is great enough. 

Lateral Meniscus Tear

Did you know your knee had a built-in shock absorber?

Your meniscus is responsible for absorbing impact to this joint, preventing your knee bones from hitting each other. If you've made a sudden twist or contortion, it can create tiny tears or fissures in this tissue.

While medial (internal) meniscus tears are more common, lateral ones do happen. When they occur, they can impede your mobility and prevent you from fully using your knee.

Knee Pain Causes

As discussed, there is a wide range of causes that could lead to mild to severe knee pain. These include:

  • Physical injuries
  • Mechanical issues
  • Different types of arthritis 
  • Other medical conditions

Any of these can affect the ligaments in your knee, as well as the tendons or fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that surround joint.

Knee Pain Relief

Are you suffering from knee pain? If so, you want to find relief, ASAP!

The good news? Depending on the cause of your condition, there are many treatment options available. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Pain-relieving medications
  • Shoe Inserts to reduce impact on the knee joint
  • Physical therapy
  • Injections (corticosteroids)
  • Surgery (arthroscopic surgery, total/partial knee replacement)

Orthotic arch support shoe inserts can help relieve pressure on your knees. These make everyday mobility much easier and can provide a much-needed source of instant comfort.

For something that affects so many people, knee pain isn't talked about often enough. Generally part of the welcoming wagon of "getting old," knee pain can be serious enough to make the simple act of walking tough for anyone - regardless of age and fitness.

For many, the answer is arch support shoe inserts, sometimes known as orthotics. 

Why do arch support shoe inserts relieve knee pain?  Arch supports optimize the function of your foot, maximizing the amount of shock your feet absorb, BEFORE it reaches your knees!  By accomplishing this, arch support shoe inserts can sometimes dramatically reduce knee pain in a very short amount of time!   

These are often custom-made by a podiatrist. Custom orthotics can cost hundreds of dollars, and can often end up limiting the types of shoes you can wear.

However, many cases of knee pain can be addressed with a pair of over-the-counter orthotic arch support shoe inserts.

Not only do they average a tenth of the cost, but they are available in many different shapes and sizes, so you don't have to get rid of what's in your closet.

It's also important to understand cushioning is not the answer!  While you would think a cushioned shoe insert is what would be needed, a more supportive insert that supports the arch and absorbs shock is actually what's needed to relieve knee pain!


Our Top 5 Knee Pain Orthotics for 2020

🏆 "Our 2020 Top Pick" 🏆


🏆 #1- Samurai Insoles Ninjas ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Never heard of Samurai Insoles? You will! This company has taken the foot care market by storm recently, and there are no signs of them slowing down anytime soon. Why are Samurai Insoles Ninjas our top pick for 2020 for Knee Pain?

✔️ Great Reviews: "They work", "Amazing", "A Miracle", "A must have"; this is just some of the tremendous feedback Samurai Insoles Ninjas are getting from customers with knee pain recently.

✔️ Design: Samurai Insoles Ninjas are one of the few products on the market that are an ACTUAL ORTHOTIC that is not super rigid. This allowes your feet to absorbs shock from the ground before it reached your knees, relieving certain types of knee pain.

They also can be worn in ANY shoe with a removable insole, giving you the flexibility of using them in many types of shoes! And the best part?

Because they aren't an insole made of foam and fabric, they last SO LONG!

There isn't anything to wear out, just put them under the factory insoles of a new pair of shoes and you're good to go.

✔️ Price: At $39.99 these are an absolute steal! (Edit: It looks like these are currently on sale on Amazon for $29.99) Custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis can easily cost more than $500. For less than 1/10 the price, these are nearly as good.

✔️ Greater than 30 Day Return Policy: Samurai Insoles Ninjas have a 60 day return policy, and a one year warranty! No other product we reviewed even comes CLOSE to a one year warranty. Apparently they'll even accept a return if you've worn them for 59 days and then decide they don't work for you. Wow!

✔️ Made in the USA: Samurai Insoles are made in an orthotic lab in the USA. The fact that an American made orthotic can be purchased for under $40 still amazes us.






#2- Protalus Insoles ⭐⭐⭐⭐

If you've been on the internet in the last year, you haven't sneezed without seeing a Protalus ad. They are comfy and can be very beneficial for flat feet. Protalus' hefty price tag remains their biggest negative.
✔️ Great Reviews: "Solid insoles", "Almost pain free", "They work"; Protalus has built a very loyal fan base over the past 2 years.
✔️ Design: Protalus "kind of" has an orthotic merged with an insole. Protalus took a different approach by combining a thick piece of plastic on the bottom of the insole, instead of inside. This definitely does the job, but it also makes them thicker than Samurai Insoles, reducing the choices of shoes they'll fit in well.
Price: Here's the problem with Protalus; they're $99.95. Oof. For that kind of money you'd better REALLY love them. It also reduces the chances you'd buy a whole bunch of them to put in all of your shoes.
✔️ Greater than 30 Day Return Policy: Protalus has a 90 day return policy. We always wonder about very extended return policies like this one. If something fits you for 60 days, is there a chance you'll change your mind in 90 days? I suppose it's possible...
Made in the USA: Protalus insoles are NOT made in the USA unfortunately. For the price we had hoped they were.

#3- Superfeet GREEN Insoles ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Superfeet have been around a LONG time. They got their start being sold in retail sporting goods stores, and have transitioned to selling online in recent years, but this has presented the company with some challenges.

Great Reviews: When looking through the reviews for Superfeet you'll surely find many who have been helped by the GREEN insole line. Unfortunately, they have apparently had issues with cheap knock offs sneaking their way onto Amazon and Ebay, which has led to many complaints by customers that they have received fakes when buying online.

✔️ Design: If you've checked out the Protalus design, just know that the Superfeet did it first. They were one of the first to incorporate an orthotic plastic layer on the outside of the insole. Once again, this does the job, but it also makes them thicker than the Samurai, reducing the choices of shoes they'll fit well in.

✔️ Price: Superfeet retail for $49.99, that's getting into the pricey range.

✔️ Greater than 30 Day Return Policy: Superfeet GREEN has a 60 day return policy.

Made in the USA: Superfeet are not made in the USA unfortunately. Once again, for this price we had hoped they would be.

#4- Dr. Scholl's "Custom fit" Orthotic Inserts ⭐⭐⭐⭐

✔️ Great Reviews: Overwhelming positive on Amazon at the time of writing this.

✔️ Design: Not a full length insole (but neither is Protalus), which may make it difficult for some people to adjust to the feel of this. Once again, Dr. Scholl's Custom Fit combine a thick piece of plastic to the bottom of the insole, instead of inside.

Price: Dr. Scholl's "Custom fit" Orthotic Inserts currently retail for $53.95 on Amazon, our second most expensive selection.

✔️ Greater than 30 Day Return Policy: Dr. Scholls Custom Fit Orthotic Inserts has a 90 day return policy. Once again, we wonder if something fits you for 60 days, is there a chance you'll change your mind in 90 days?

Made in the USA: Dr. Scholl's "Custom fit" Orthotic Inserts are not made in the USA unfortunately.

#5- Dr. Scholl's Pain Relief Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis ⭐⭐⭐

Great Reviews: Mixed reviews on Amazon "More time will tell", "Didn't really help much", "It's OK".

Design: Well, unfortunately, there isn't much of one. Dr. Scholl’s Pain Relief Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis are a very thin insole with a *very* thin piece of plastic glued to the bottom. It's unclear how much weight they can hold before flattening out, but by the looks of it, not much.

✔️ Price: Well, they are affordable! Dr. Scholl’s Pain Relief Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis retail for $18.99 on Amazon.

✔️ Greater than 30 Day Return Policy: Dr. Scholl’s Pain Relief Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis have a 90 day return policy.

Made in the USA: Dr. Scholl's Pain Relief Orthotic Inserts are not made in the USA unfortunately, and at $18.99 we wouldn't expect them to be.


Whichever you choose to fight your knee pain, choose now!

The longer you allow knee pain to linger, the harder it is to get rid of, and the longer it will take!