Pain is not an uncommon symptom. In fact, it’s something that affects a large portion of the population. One study found that about 27.5% of people[1] experience pain at any given moment when looking at the global population. Knee pain, in particular, also affects a large number of people.

One study reviewed the prevalence of knee pain among a group of people, where 46.2% of participants[2] had experienced knee pain. The pain sensations can differ based on why you have these symptoms. Burning knee pain is one possibility that can be quite uncomfortable, so let’s take a closer look at it.

What is burning knee pain?

We should start by considering what exactly burning knee pain is. Just as the name suggests, it’s generally pain that is accompanied by a burning sensation. These burning pains can actually affect many parts of your body, and your knees are one of these areas.

If you’ve got a burning pain in your knee, then it’s important to get to the root cause. That’s because it’s usually linked to something bigger. The cause isn’t necessarily serious, but taking care of it can help to prevent the symptoms from becoming worse.

Without understanding why you’re having these burning pains, it’s difficult to know what type of treatment will be the most suitable choice for you. Plus, if you learn more about the causes and risk factors, you could even implement the right strategies to prevent them from happening in the future.

Where does Burning Knee Pain usually happen

The knee is the general area that has this burning sensation, but even though it’s not the biggest joint area in your body, there are still several parts that form part of the knees. That’s why it’s important to understand where burning knee pain can develop and affect you.

Of course, it’s going to be a bit different for everyone. However, we can still take a closer look at some of the more common areas of your knee that may be affected by these burning sensations.

In most cases, it’s going to affect the front area of your knee. Additionally, it’s also not uncommon to have this type of burning pain in the back region of the knee. There are cases where you can have this type of pain on the sides of your knees, even though this is less common than in the front and back areas.

Make sure to take note of where you’re experiencing the burning sensation. When you decide to see your doctor about your concerns, it’s important that you pinpoint the location of the symptoms. This will give your doctor the ability to better determine what may be the cause behind the burn and pain. That’s because the location of burning pain that affects your knee plays a role in understanding what to look for during the diagnosis process.

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Burning knee pain types and symptoms

If you’ve got burning knee pain, then the burning sensation is surely the main symptom that you’re going to experience. However, it’s often not the only symptom that you’re going to notice. This is because the possible underlying causes can actually cause additional symptoms to develop.

This is why it’s important to consider making a complete list of symptoms you have before you decide to visit a doctor. Similar to helping the doctor understand where in your knee you have the burning sensation, making sure they know about other symptoms helps to make sure you get a faster and more accurate diagnosis.

That’s why we’re going to take a closer look at a couple of other possible symptoms that you may experience, too. Remember that these symptoms are generally associated with different reasons why you might have a burning knee. Thus, they won’t all affect you, but it’s still a good idea to consider whether you have some of these accompanying symptoms.

  • Swelling in the affected area, which is especially common if you suffer an injury. This might be due to a fall or perhaps a direct impact while you play sports.
  • You may notice that your range of motion in the affected knee is much more limited than usual. Perhaps you’re used to being able to rotate and bend your knee freely, but now, this is not possible. When you do decide to bend your knee, you might experience an increase in pain symptoms.
  • When you walk or put pressure on the knee that’s affected by the burning pain, you may feel like it is not stable. Some people describe this as feeling like their knee is giving away.
  • Stiffness is also a relatively common issue that can accompany these burning sensations. The stiffness may further affect the range of motion and mobility. If you stretch your leg, the pain may worsen.
  • It’s also possible for the accompanying symptoms, along with the burning knee pain, to make walking difficult. You may find that the pain increases in intensity whenever you take a walk.

What causes burning knee pain?

We’ve considered what a burning pain in your knees is, and we looked at some of the accompanying symptoms that you shouldn’t overlook. Now, let’s take a moment to focus on some of the burning knee pain causes. These are the reasons behind the burning sensation that you should understand.

While it’s a good idea to focus on home remedies and treatments, without knowing why you experience these symptoms, it’s going to be tough to find the right treatment options that work for you. That’s why we have to consider some of the most common potential causes that you can focus on.

  • Ligament injuries: Even though there are certain conditions that can cause your knees to have burning pain, it’s usually a good idea to start with the possibility of an injury. There are different parts of your knee that can be injured, and one common element is your ligaments.

    There are a couple of reasons why you might experience a ligament tear. A direct force is often the case in these injuries. You’re at a higher risk of ligament tears in your knees if you play contact sports, such as football. The tear will not only cause burning, but also pain, inflammation, and a reduced range of motion.

  • Runner’s knee: When considering various burning knee pain causes, runner’s knee is often one of the most commonly mentioned contributing factors. It’s called runner’s knee because it affects a lot of people who regularly go for a run. While running is generally not an exercise that puts a lot of stress on your body, it can still take a toll on your knees.

    This condition is also called chondromalacia[3]. It happens when you overuse the joint that’s located in your knee. This joint plays an important part in providing cushioning between your bones. It also facilitates normal movement of your knee. While common in runners, other people who regularly overuse their knee joints can also develop this condition. With runner’s knee, the cartilage that supports your knee joint generally begins to deteriorate.

  • Arthritis: This group of diseases affects joints in your body, and when they target your knee joints, it’s possible to experience burning as a symptom. There are different kinds of arthritis. Osteoarthritis of the knee is a rather common problem, especially among older people. It’s estimated that about 365 million people have osteoarthritis that affects one or both knees[4].

    Osteoarthritis is a likely cause if you’re an older individual who experiences this burning sensation at the rear side of your knee. However, other causes can also affect this area. Note that it is not only osteoarthritis that can affect your knee. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause these burning sensations. It’s a type of arthritis that’s classified as an autoimmune disease, which means your immune system actually attacks joint tissue and other cells that are healthy.

    Gout is also a possible cause and is classified as a type of inflammatory arthritis. The thing with gout is we often associate it with the feet, but other parts of your body can be affected as well. This includes your knee.

Why do my knees burn at night?

The burning sensations you have in your knee can actually happen at any time. They may come and go. For other people, the burning pain is more consistent, which can affect their ability to perform daily chores, do their work, and get through the day.

However, sometimes, this burning knee pain gets worse at night. While it’s still bothersome during the day, if you experience the burning sensations at night, it’s something that can easily keep you up. Sleep plays an incredibly important role in your health, and when you’re sleep deprived, pain perception may change, you’ll feel tired the following day, and you’re reducing your body’s natural ability to heal injuries.

There are a couple of reasons why you might have burning knee pain at night, but gout remains one of the more common reasons for this. Gout, as we’ve previously mentioned, is actually a form of arthritis. However, it’s quite a complex type. When you’ve got gout, it can cause pain that comes on suddenly. The pain is often also severe.

When you have a gout attack at night, it’s definitely something that can quickly wake you up with severe levels of pain.

Gout happens when there is too much uric acid in your body. When there are excess amounts of this acid, it’s going to start forming crystals in areas where your joints are located. For most people, the first area where they experience these symptoms is their big toe – but your knees can also become a target for the formation of these crystals.

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Potential treatment options for burning knee pain

Burning knee pain treatment is not a simple approach, as you need to understand that there are different reasons why you might experience this symptom. Thus, the very first step before you can actually treat it is to find out what’s causing the pain and burning in the first place. Once you are able to know why you’re having the symptoms, it’s actually much easier to find out what treatment will be right for you.

There are a couple of general strategies that can also help. It’s a good idea to use these strategies if your symptoms are not severe and don’t necessarily require a visit to your doctor. Let’s take a closer look at a few at-home treatments that you can consider:

  • Pain medication: There are several over-the-counter medications that can help to lessen the pain you’re experiencing. Talk to your pharmacist to see what they have available without a prescription. Be sure to provide a complete overview of any medications you’re already taking. This ensures they don’t give you something that might cause interactions. Some medications, such as ibuprofen, can also help to reduce inflammation in your knee.
  • Ice pack: If you notice swelling in your affected knee, then an ice pack can also do wonders. Get an ice pack and wrap it in a towel. You shouldn’t place the ice pack directly onto your skin, as this can cause damage. The towel helps to provide protection, while still allowing the cold temperature of the ice pack to reach your skin. The ice pack helps to lower swelling. It can also reduce the pain symptoms that you’re experiencing.
  • Rest: When your burning pain is caused by an injury, then it’s important to ensure you give your body time to recover and heal. That’s where rest comes into the picture. Make sure you get plenty of rest. It’s not only going to facilitate the healing process, but also reduce the risk of further contributing to pain when you’re too active.

There are also more specific treatments if your doctor determines that you have an underlying condition. For example, if burning knee pain causes are linked to osteoarthritis, then your doctor may suggest getting cortisone injections. These injections are made into the area that’s affected and help to lessen the overall severity of the symptoms you have.

Stronger prescription medications can also help in cases where you have severe pain levels. Sometimes, your doctor may recommend you go for physical therapy, which can help with a number of different conditions linked to burning knee symptoms, as well as when you have an injury.

Taking proper care of your bones and joints is important. This strategy can even serve as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of experiencing burning sensations and pain in your knees. That’s where a good supplement comes into the picture. If you take a look at a Flexoplex review, for example, you’ll notice that a supplement like this can go a long way in strengthening your joints and reducing the risk of these symptoms.

Other options include exercising regularly, while taking into account your own capabilities. You should also make sure you eat healthy and maintain your weight. If you’re overweight, your body puts more stress on your knee joints – and that can actually increase the risk of several things linked to these burning symptoms.

Frequently asked questions

Why does my knee hurt?

There are a couple of reasons why you might have pain in your knee. If you’ve hurt tendons, joints, or muscles in your knee, then this can be the reason. Other than this, some diseases can also cause knee pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Can sciatica cause burning knee pain?

Yes, it’s possible. If you’ve got a problem with the sciatic nerve, it can radiate down into your legs - and that includes your knees.

Why is there a burning pain in my knee?

There isn’t really a single cause that accounts for every person. Instead, you’ll have to consider your situation. Runner’s knee is a common cause, but if you’re overusing your knee, it could also play a role in why you’re having burning sensations in the area.

What does burning knee pain indicate?

It can indicate an injury, or even a disease. Since there are so many reasons for burning knee pain, it’s a good idea to see your doctor, especially if a couple of home remedies don’t seem to work for you.


If you’re struggling with burning knee pain, then it’s really important to understand why it’s happening. It’s possible that you stretched a muscle or perhaps suffered an injury, which is more likely if you’re very active. However, don’t overlook the possibility of health problems, like sciatica. Start with a couple of home remedies and see what they do for you. If you don’t get relief, however, then it might be time to call your doctor.