Stinging in the knee - causes, treatment and self-help

Stinging in the knee - causes, treatment and self-help

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Stinging knee pain causes, symptoms and therapies
Stinging knee pain is not a disease, but a symptom that can indicate many diseases. Below we show causes, complaints and therapies that can help with knee stinging.

How does stinging occur in the knee?

The knee joint is an important “hinge” of the human anatomy. Just as a door without a hinge does not open and close, the bones in the thigh and shin are useless for human movement if the knee joint does not connect them.

The knee as a hinge consists of cartilage, bones, muscles and ligaments. Two cartilage surfaces, the menisci, dampen the joint inside and outside. In front of them is the kneecap - a bone. This “skeleton” holds muscles and ligaments together, inside and outside the side ligaments, in the middle the two cruciate ligaments.

Where does it hurt

Knowing the anatomy of the knee allows doctors to find out the cause of the knee sting. The type, location, intensity, and recurrence of pain let you see whether the ligaments, menisci, kneecap, or muscles are affected.

If the pain occurs at the front of the knee, the kneecap is usually affected. It is often deformed or displaced.

How does it hurt

Stinging in the knee is not the same as stinging in the knee. The pain can be chronic or occur in certain situations. Sometimes it arises during exercise, in other cases especially when relaxing. The pain can push and sting at the same time or feel like a pinprick.

Causes of stinging in the knee

One of the most common causes of knee pricking usually doesn't need a long examination. The knee is often pricked as a result of an accident. The knee is an exposed part of the human anatomy: the muscles and cartilage cushion an impact, a fall or a blow, but with the elbows they are also the parts of the body where we are most often injured.

Pain in the front knee area can be due to incorrect strength training and can arise if someone exercises his leg muscles unevenly. Experienced strength trainers point out this danger to athletes, but if you go to the “Muckibude” on your own, you can easily do wrong exercises.

If the stinging knee pain occurs during exercise, the menisci and ligaments wear out. If the inside of the knee hurts, the feet of those affected are usually wrong.

An acute pain that suddenly appears indicates an injury, such as a ligament tear or a ligament stretch.

Pain on the outside of the knee suggests an injury to the meniscus or outer ligament.

Do the complaints occur when you climb stairs? Then it is probably an arthrosis; do you have cruciate ligament pain when you go down stairs? Then it looks like a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament.

Is the knee swollen? This indicates inflammation, either from a wound or from bacteria. Is the pain very deep? It can be an inflammation of the bones.


The doctor first has an intensive discussion with the patient. In this way, obvious causes such as a sports injury can be quickly identified or, if there are no such accidents, focus on other causes.

Not only the family doctor, but the orthopedist is in demand. He examines how flexible the knee is, how it absorbs pressure.

Other examinations include blood tests, X-rays, MRI, analysis of synovial fluid, ultrasound and, if in doubt, a reflection of the knee joint.

Treatment for stabbing knee pain

Treatment for knee injuries should start as soon as possible. Complications often occur, especially with knee problems, due to the particular strain. Doctors prevent complications by, for example, giving ointments that not only relieve pain but also strengthen knee functions.

Serious injuries can only be healed with medical help. You yourself can ensure that the symptoms do not get worse: keep the area warm, for example by warm baths, warm clothes or warm envelopes. If the knee is swollen, however, they cool it down.

With bacteria and viruses, they have to protect their knees, take antibiotics or medicines.

If the knee is acutely overloaded, for example due to extreme sports, the pain usually disappears when it relieves it.

If you have osteoarthritis, take painkillers and see a physiotherapist. As the osteoarthritis progresses, surgery is recommended to promote the growth of the cartilage.

Broken kneecaps can be treated with surgery. Sometimes only artificial knee joints help, for example with severe osteoarthritis. These are part of routine interventions today.

The pain itself can be alleviated with a lot of procedures: infections, acupuncture (shifting pain), reducing weight (in case of complaints due to overload), orthopedic shoes and pain relievers.

When to the doctor?

With a sharp pain in the knee, the cause of which is unclear and which does not go away on its own, you should definitely go to the doctor, especially since the consequential damage can be serious if treatment is not carried out.

If the knee is damaged, a ligament or muscle is torn, or the kneecap is damaged, you definitely need medical treatment or even a stay in the clinic.

If you do not see a doctor if there is damage to the knee, this can have serious consequences, from disturbances in the blood circulation to misalignments of the joints.


You cannot prevent a lot of knee pain, but you can reduce some of the risks. Obesity and lack of exercise lead to an overload of the knee joint. If you keep normal weight, this danger is averted.

Moderate but regular exercise and other physical activities train the joint and thus prevent arthrosis. Bicycling and weight training with professional support is particularly suitable.

Conversely, preventing sports also means avoiding overload from the start. Above all, competitive athletes who put a lot of strain on their knees, such as basketball players, pole high jumpers, long jumpers or high jumpers, should have themselves checked by a doctor on a regular basis and their training best given medical care.

Self-help for stinging in the knee

If you suffer from knee pain, avoid strenuous exercise. Swimming, for example, is not a problem as it relieves the joints, but please no jumping or running, no foot, hand, volley, base or basketball. Regular swimming is particularly useful for chronic pain, but not for acute injuries.

Here you can use ointments and gels and bring the leg into a resting position. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Carl Joachim Wirth, Wolf Mutschler, Dieter Kohn, Tim Pohlemann: Practice of Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery, Thieme Verlag, 3rd edition, 2013
  • Danielle Campagne: Injuries to the Knee Extension Mechanism, MSD Manual, (accessed 03.09.2019), MSD
  • Kay Bartrow: Knee weak point: Targeted practice for pain, injuries and arthrosis, Trias Verlag, 2015
  • Detmar Jobst, Martin Mücke: Knee pain with osteoarthritis signs, DEGAM S1 recommendation for action, German Society for General Medicine and Family Medicine (DEGAM), (accessed on 03.09.2019), AWMF

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