Dry needling for medial knee pain can make a massive difference in how your knee’s feeling, and even completely relieve pain. You may be dealing with medial knee pain that’s new, or yours is the result of a chronic process. In either case, it’s definitely worth a few minutes to learn about how dry needling may help. Surgery and medication aren’t the only options for medial knee pain, and even if you’ve tried therapy before, you may not have tried dry needling as it’s relatively new. Let’s dig in and educate you on the details of dry needling for medial knee pain. I’ll go over a few topics that you’re often wondering about like:

  • First of all, what’s causing my medial knee pain?
  • What areas are you going to dry needle to relieve medial knee pain?
  • Is it dangerous, expensive, or time-consuming to have dry needling for medial knee pain?

If you’re experiencing lateral knee pain, which is a pain on the outside of your knee, and are interested in dry needling for lateral knee pain I discuss that topic here –> Dry Needling for Lateral Knee Pain

First of All, What’s Causing My Medial Knee Pain?

Before you even consider dry needling for medial knee pain, you need to have a professional take a look at your knee. I’d recommend a good progressive chiropractor or physical therapist. An orthopedist may be good too, as long as they’re not going to run up your bill with imaging before it’s necessary.

There are 3 fairly common conditions that are the reason for knee pain in the majority of cases. There are outliers, and it certainly depends on how you injured your knee, but let’s talk about these three and leave the other conditions for another time. Here are the 3 common reasons for medial knee pain:

  • Meniscus irritation or tear
  • Medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprain
  • Quadriceps tendinopathy

Besides being some of the most common reasons for medial knee pain, they’re also ones that you can address favorably with rehab (chiropractic and PT) and will respond well to dry needling a lot of times.

A Little More About These Causes of Medial Knee Pain…

  • Meniscus irritation or tear is when you damage the meniscus, a cartilaginous structure between your upper leg and lower leg that keeps your knee in place. These are classified based on how and where they tear. A knee meniscus can tear can be minor, or major to where it restricts you from bending your knee.


  • Medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprain is when you have some degree of tear in the main supporting ligament on the inside of your knee. This ligament provides support to the inside of your knee and is one of the structures that prevent your knee from collapsing inwards. MCL sprains are graded based on severity from minor trauma to a complete tear of the MCL which may cause instability in your knee.


  • Quadriceps tendinopathy is when you have tendon damage where your quadriceps muscles attach at the inside of your knee. The damage involves micro-tears in the tendon and the tendon has an inability to heal itself completely. It’s essentially getting re-injured over and over.

Is knee osteoarthritis the cause of your medial knee pain? See this content I wrote about acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis –> Acupuncture for Knee Osteoarthritis

What Areas Are You Going to Dry Needle to Relieve Medial Knee Pain?

Your case of knee pain is unique compared to everyone else’s. This means that there’s no set of specific points that I will dry needle to treat medial knee pain on everyone. There are some pretty obvious and common areas that I always examine and typically treat, however. Here’s a list of some of those common areas:

  • Groin muscles (hip adductor muscles) like the adductor magnus.
  • Lower leg (calf muscles) like the gastrocnemius and soleus.
  • Quadriceps muscles like the rectus femoris and vastus medialis.
  • Hamstring muscles like the semimembranosus.
  • Muscles in the back of the hip like the gluteal muscles.

I’m not going to dry needle all of these muscles right away. That would be a lot of needling! I’m also only going to dry needle these muscles if they have myofascial trigger points that are contributing to your knee pain.

Not familiar with trigger points and myofascial pain syndrome? Check out this content if you’re not super familiar with this topic –> Dry Needling for Knee Pain

In this post, I discuss the general experience of dry needling for knee pain. It’s also a good one to look at before you decide to try dry needling –> Dry Needling for Knee Pain Explained

Is it Dangerous, Expensive, or Time-Consuming to Have Dry Needling for Medial Knee Pain?

The quick answer to this question is no, no, and no.

Dry needling for knee pain is not inherently extremely dangerous, especially when compared to other medical procedures like surgery or cortisone injections. There ARE risks, but they’re especially minimal when working around the knee. The most serious thing that can happen during dry needling is a pneumothorax. A pneumothorax is when a needle punctures the lining of the lung, causing a collapsed lung. I’ll discuss this at another time because it doesn’t really apply to dry needling for medial knee pain. I don’t needle around the chest in dry needling for medial knee pain.

Dry needling for this type of discomfort shouldn’t be expensive either. Our chiropractic office offers flat rate visits for dry needling that include dry needling and any other supportive therapies that are recommended. If you’re googling for “dry needling near me” make sure you find an office that’s not going to sell you on a big expensive treatment plan.

It’s not time-consuming to have dry needling for medial knee pain. I start with a trial of care of 4-6 visits. We’ll know whether it’s providing relief by the time we’re done with this trial of care. A lot of patients are having complete relief of medial knee pain by the time we get through this trial. My dry needling treatments take about 30 minutes, and you don’t need months and months of treatment to get relief.

Dr. Jason Williams DC is a chiropractic physician practicing at AccessHealth Chiropractic in Cary, NC. He treats neuromusculoskeletal pain and injuries using chiropractic manipulation, dry needling, acupuncture, rehab exercise strategies, and other supportive therapies. Primary areas of focus include back pain, neck pain, muscular pain, extremity pain, and orthopedic injuries. Dr. Williams is experienced in treating athletes, especially those in the CrossFit, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and MMA community.

If you’re interested in whether he or another AccessHealth provider can help you, navigate to our contact page or follow this link to request an appointment.