Burning Pain on the Sides of the Knee

If you have experienced a burning on the left or right side of your knee, you know that this type of pain is excruciating. Many have compared it to sticking a dagger into the knee joint.

What is generally going on in this situation is that your knee joint is pushing down on your meniscus, which is the knee’s shock absorber, and forcing it to squeeze out the sides of the knee. Just like if you were to put bubble gum between two bricks and press down, it can ooze out the sides. If there is excess tension in your knee, the meniscus will start to do the same thing and squeeze out the sides of your knee joint, causing the intense pain to emerge.

Many times this can cause the knee to feel unstable because that shock absorber that guided and cushioned the knee’s movements is dislocated. Fortunately for you, there is a pain free solution to this burning pain.

The first thing you need to do if you have this type of knee pain is to relax. If your knee is in a comfortable position and the tension is removed, the nerves in your knee will relax as well. The key here is to create space in your knee joint so that the meniscus can go back into its normal position. Once this happens, the relief is immediate.

I have had clients with the same burning pain and after I helped them create space in the knee and relax the joint, the pain was gone very quickly. One important ingredient in this method is to drink a lot of water. If you are properly hydrated, the knee will become lubricated, making it easier on the joint as well as the meniscus.

The stretches you need for this condition are presented in the video series called the “Comfort Zone”. For info on that click here Comfort Zone videos.

Leave me some feedback and comments here on the page. I look forward to hearing from you.

66 comments on “Burning Pain on the Sides of the Knee

    • Marge – Sure I have lots of suggestions. Have you begun working with my book, “The Comfort Zone”? That’s your first step and the second would be let’s have a conversation and figure out a strategy for your knee. That is of course if you want your knee to be out of pain…Bill

  1. Bill, I have previously emailed you but as of yet have not received an answer. I had meniscus surgery last October and been in increasing pain since then. I got your stretches and talked to you regarding this. I changed my diet and added lots of water also. Pain was increasing so I went to the doctor and have been diagnosed with a vascular necrosis medial femoral clondyle. I am on crutches (no weight bearing) for six weeks and then needing to have surgery to get rid of dead bone and partial knee replacement. Do you know of anything else I can do to try and heal this condition or eliminate the surgery.

    • Beth – If the bone is dying, there must be some tension pattern that is causing it to die. Have you been working with my program at all other than the diet and water? Bill

  2. Hi Bill:
    as you have explained about burning sensation , my problem is I do get in the in the side below the the knee. Also my swelling on right does not go away. when I sleep I am ok but as soon as I walk the swelling comes back and I have difficult time in walking. doctor told me it is inflamtion from arithrites and to take pain killers, that does not help. Can you Pls advice.

  3. Hi Bill, I bought your Comfort Zone Book which is excellent. It has prompted me to see an ortho surgeon. I just had an MRI. I will probably need surgery on my right knee. I’ll know more at my next appt. In the meantime, my right ankle has begun burning. I know how to release the tension on my knees from your book. Any suggestions for the ankle? Thanks!

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  5. My knee doesn’t hurt but the left side of my knee is numb & every now & thn I get a burning sensation, it has some swelling & it feels like I have fluid. Can you tell me what it cld be. Thank you .

  6. I am a 33 year old male 135lbs 5’5 with no major health of knee issues to date. About 6 weeks ago when I squat real low and put all my weight on my knees, the lower lateral femur area and right side of my patella on only my right knee will suddenly generate a sudden burn type pain that is so intense I have to stumble away and walk it off immediately. doesn’t last more than 3 or 4 mins, and this is the only way I can get this pain to trigger. I’ve had no injuries, and other than working on my house in the fall, I do not spend my days on my knees. any idea on what it is causing it? The pain is so acute and intense it feels like a hot dagger, but there is no inflammation or discoloration and it disappears rather quickly. thank you

    • Chris
      ALL knee pain is caused by an irritation of the tiny nerves in the knee caused by a stress to the body which creates a “pain-tension loop” which it sounds like you’re stuck in. What needs to happen is a “pain-pattern interrupt” by creating comfort in the knee reducing the acuteness of the pain and giving you immediate relief. Your best next step would be to take my Complimetary Knee Pain Assessment here –> http://www.thekneepainguru.com

  7. while sleep no problem, stand, walk for few minutes knee bottom and inner side of both knees are
    burning sensation and light pain….age 63… I had undergone l4,l5 spinal surgeory in 1988..pl help suitable medicine etc.

  8. Hello, I am 14 years old and yesterday I was experiencing a strong burning pain in the inner side of my right knee. I am currently playing on the high school football team and was wondering if I tore my knee, or just affected the nerves.

    • Luke!

      Thanks for reaching out. First things first…Go get your knee checked out by your doctor. Once you have a diagnosis. Talk with your parents and then reach back out to me…


  9. I have burning on the outside of my knee, just slightly to the low side. Only when I put weight, as in kneel or something solid bumps it. Can’t make it hurt by touching or pressing it myself. The pain is sharp and burning. Goes away in about a minute. Rubbing feels good.

    • Suzanne
      In my experience burning has been an indication of something going on with the meniscus. At least that’s what my meniscus has felt like when I’ve had issues with it.

      When you went to the doctor, what did they have to say?


  10. Burning pain on upper outer side of knee is there only when I kneel. What can / should I do to improve this situation?

  11. Bill,
    I too have burning pain in my left side of my left knee which only hurts when I kneel on it and only on the side. What do you think its from? It goes away immediately after I stop kneeling on it. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

      • Bill have not gone to the doctors yet. Was thinking if I should go or not but would you suggest I go? must admit I am rather nervous to go. Thanks so much.

        • Jackie
          It’s ok to be nervous however realize that you are in complete control of the process. All we are looking for is the diagnosis to determine if something is broken or torn in the knee. Once we know that we can figure out a solid strategy to get you out of pain. This may involve the doctors or not however we need to know what we are dealing with first.

          The following post will help you find the best doctor in your area. I apologize for the formatting. Knee pain is my expertise, technology is not! 🙂

          Great questions by the way…

          • Hi Bill,
            I made an appointment for the Monday after Thanksgiving at the Rothman Institute. I have used them before and they are wonderful. I will get back to you as soon as I get the diagnosis and will go from their. Thank’s again for all your time and help.

    • Ed
      I ask you questions to understand the bigger picture of what is going on with your knee so I can give you an answer. You don’t answer my question, then I can’t give you an answer. I won’t play your game. You’re stuck with knee pain for a reason…

      Based on your resistance to answering my question I suspect you haven’t gone to your doctor and are trying to get out of taking responsibility for what is going on with your knee.

      This is a pattern in your knee as well as the rest of your life. Until you choose to differently it will continue to repeat itself and your knee won’t get better.

      Like I put in my initial response. I play a bigger game getting rid of knee pain. If you want to play small then so be it…

      Good luck with your knee.

  12. Fell yesterday my knee is really swollen and hurts. When I bend it past a certain point if burns and feels like it’s ripping

  13. Hi, I’ve had burning pain in the sides of my right knee for over a year…..a snapping/popping painful sensation when lying on my side in the evening taking my leg from bent to straight or visa versa. I also have pain behind my knee cap, front of the knee and the bottom….together with aching shin and burning/aching ankle. I’ve had 2 MRI which have shown nothing and an MRI on the back….also showing nothing. I’ve had physio but I’m no further forward. I’m 43yrs, healthy, good weight, active…..however, some days I can barely walk. Any advice would be very much welcomed!!

  14. Hi Bill,
    I am a 57 year old male that has had double knee replacement. I still have a burning sensation behind my knee cap and along the sides of my knees. Its worse when the weather changes. I’m on pain management drugs, but would like to get off. Is there any hope? My last knee replacement was about 18 months ago.

    • Jeff
      Get a hold of my buddie Jonathan…

      I’ve heard some great things about his “JBIT device” post knee replacment surgery.

      Go here to check out more—> http://jbintensive.com/
      Call 888-224-6160 and mention “kneepainguru” code for 5% off the “JBIT”

      Keep me posted as to how it goes.


  15. Hi Bill, I am not sure if you still check this post, but if you do, I would appreciate your help.
    I am a 24 year old female and suffered with knee pain for as long as I can remember. My left knee in particular. After countless doctor and hospital appointments they came to the conclusion that my knee pain was caused by an inflamed fat pad. I have have three cortisone injections in the last two years, and up until yesterday haven’t experienced knee pain for a while. However, yesterday I must have done something to tweet it and the pain had come back with a vengeance. Previously, I have never had this unbearable burning session underneath the skin, but I do now. The rest of my symptoms are the same as before, can’t put much weight on it, a feeling like an air bubble is trapped and needs to pop, and not trusting that it won’t give way (not that it ever has done this).
    I have taken pain relief, iced it, and applied pain relief gel. But any other help would be very much appreciated

    Many thanks,

  16. Amy

    I just wrote an email to “Deb” that I believe applies to you as well…

    Subject: Does it burn when you pee?
    Does your knee burn? Does the pain shoot down your leg? Have you tried EVERYTHING?

    Here’s a question I got over the weekend from Deb…

    “Hi, I have been having burning/shooting pain on the right side of my right knee for a few days now. It’s traditionally when I bend my leg and I have tried everything to stop it from icing, heating, Epsom salt baths, to KT tape but nothing works. I normally run twice a day but can barely bend my leg. Please help!!!”

    Now I’m NOT a doctor…

    I don’t even play one on television


    I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last not…

    Well not really…

    Anyhow, In my own personal experience when ever I’ve dealt with burning shooting pain in my knee.

    I was having an issue with my meniscus.

    The feeling I’d describe it would be that of a “bee sting.”

    Here’s the deal through…Especially to you Deb!

    Get your knee checked out by a doctor first so we both know what your dealing with.

    IF it really is your meniscus


    IF the meniscus is torn OR NOT

    There’ll be a very different strategy to get you out of pain…

    However, we have to know what were dealing with first.

    So if you haven’t gone to the doctor…GO DO THAT!

    IF you have gone to the doctor then you’ll want to take advantage of the $1 “Knee Club” OFFER in August.

    As a member of “Knee Club” you’ll:

    – Stop destroying your liver with drugs. Take ten minutes after waking to work with your knee and get dressed easily so you make it to work on time.

    – Quit needlessly exercising yourself back into pain. Understand different types of knee pain and discover the keys to unlocking your body’s ability to move easily again.

    – Never hope your knee pain will stay away. Get your confidence back in ONLY 10 minutes a day and feel great squatting to pick up the towels on the bathroom floor.

    Click below to become a “Knee Club” member and get started today for ONLY $1! (Coupon Applied at Checkout)

    This way your knee doesn’t have to burn when you pee…

    (The Knee Pain Guru)

  17. Have Burning pain on inside of left knee which I had scoped back in 2011. Have been recovering from foot surgery on right side for a year. During this time I believe I have put more pressure on my left knee to compensate. Knee started to have slight burning at night when sleeping but has increased now where it is very uncomfortable. Back and forth motion doesn’t bother me but any twist in knee hurts bad. Went to doctor and they took x-Rays. Said I have moderate arthritis in knee on left side. Doing Physical therapy but hasn’t provided much relief. Applying cold and hot helps but still pain is pretty much constant.

  18. Hello Bill
    I am having pain in my left knee and it is a kind of hot when i touch the left side of the knee please what should do and what is happening and when i am walking i feel pain in the knee as if it wants to pull off

  19. $60 for a book on how to do stretches for your knee! $700 a year to join your Knee Club which you make sound so exclusive cause you’re not letting everyone in, yea I bet! No thank you!!
    It’s funny how going thru all the comments and Bills replies, all he says is Have you used my Comfort Zone technique? Or he asks what has your doctor said.
    No where in here is there mention of Iliotibial Band Syndrome or anything like that what so ever. I think all Bill is trying to do is sell his book which i’m sure is not much more than some stretches that don’t really do much to treat the actual pain. Stretches help but not heal the actual issue.
    He even says on his own site, “Who is this guy, show me some credentials”. But yet, there are no credentials anywhere, he doesn’t even list his own last name! The Ortho-Bionomy method he claims to know is just a massage technique! Go see a real Physical Therapist which it doesn’t sound like most of the commentors on here have done.

  20. hi,

    Does anyone know how to treat a partial tear of the femoral collateral ligament? I was told i should not need surgery – but i have intense burning sensation around that area… which comes and goes

  21. I would like to know why my knee still burns and hurts after knee arthroscopy with lateral release. Pain got worse after I had second surgery to clean out infection called knee arthrotomy. All I know when I do a lot of activity or go for long walks it really hurts and burns. Even kneeling causes me pain also. I been wearing knee brace and using ice. X-rays were taken beginning of the year and they said I was fine. I tend to hear lot of loud popping coming from it when walking or exercising not Sometimes I get pain deep in bone when burning and pain starts

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