“There are several possible causes for medial knee pain when deadlifting,” says Dr. Tom Carpenter, corrective exercise specialist, certified personal trainer and chiropractor, inventor of Stand Corrected™, a portable harness-like stretching tool that helps alleviate back, neck and shoulder pain.

“Initially, I would suggest having an evaluation to eliminate the possibility of injury to the medial collateral ligaments and the medial meniscus,” says Dr. Carpenter.

“Also, have the feet checked for over-pronation due to fallen arches, as this can directly affect knee mechanics.”

To help keep the ankle and foot closest to the neutral position as possible, try arch supports. A really good brand is Birkenstocks.

Birkenstock arch supports

“Other causes could be from overtraining or using poor form,” continues Dr. Carpenter.

Remedies to Inside Knee Pain During Deadlifting

“If the problem is overtraining, rest is the best remedy, and then reduce reps and frequency of workouts.

“Using a Sumo style deadlift [below] can lessen the strain on the knees. With the feet about two feet apart, hold the bar inside the ankles and then perform the lift.


“Also, the VMO muscle (vastas medialis obliquus) is an important medial knee stabilizer. It’s not a very large muscle and difficult to isolate in order to strengthen it.

“Three exercises that can help this muscle are Peterson step-ups [see video below], foot elevated squats and rear leg elevated squats.”

dr. carpenter

Photo credit: Aleesia Forni

Based upon 30+ years of experience, Dr. Carpenter’s practice approach reflects his belief that restoring optimum health and function will enable his patients to enjoy a much greater amount of vitality and wellness. Chiropractic care is true health care, not sick care!
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. 
Top image: Shutterstock/LightField Studios