First Aid For Knee Injuries In The First 48 To 72 Hours
- Stop your activity immediately. Dont work through the pain.
- Rest the joint at first.
- Reduce pain, swelling and internal bleeding with icepacks, applied for 15 minutes every couple of hours.
- Bandage the knee firmly and extend the wrapping down the lower leg.
- Elevate the injured leg.
- Dont apply heat to the joint.
- Avoid alcohol, as this encourages bleeding and swelling.
- Dont massage the joint, as this encourages bleeding and swelling.
Serious Symptoms That Might Indicate A Life Threatening Condition
In some cases, pain behind the knee may occur with other symptoms that might indicate a serious or life threatening condition that requires immediate evaluation in an emergency setting.
Symptoms that may indicate a serious or life threatening condition include:
- bruising on the back of the knee or calf
- difficulty breathing
- redness or other discoloration behind the knee of one leg
- warmth behind the knee of one leg
- painful swelling on the back of the knee or calf
Common Conditions That Cause Pain When Bending Or Straightening Knee
Pain when bending or straightening the knee can sideline you for the weekend or for months at a time. There are many different causes of knee pain. It is important that you identify the specific cause of your pain so that a specific treatment plan can be created. There are 5 major conditions that can affect how the functions like difficulties in bending or straightening the knee:
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I Am Training For A Marathon And Have Started To Feel Pain Behind My Knee Whenever I Run Do I Need To Rest It Or Do I Need Treatment
If you experience pain behind the knee while running, it is better to rest and observe other symptoms that may develop. Because there are many reasons for knee pain, it is always best to seek the advice of a doctor or a physical therapist.
Resting the affected leg, taking pain medication, and refraining from high-impact activities can be enough to manage most conditions affecting the knee. However, if the pain and swelling do not resolve on the following day or worsen, or if you develop other symptoms such as redness and warmth in the affected area, you need to consult your doctor to obtain a proper diagnosis. Always remember that the earlier the injury gets treated, the better the healing and the faster you can return to your usual activities.
What Should I Do When I Feel Pain Behind My Knee When I Straighten It
Pain in the back of the knee, often called posterior knee pain, can result from a variety of reasons. The structures of the knee, consisting of muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and vascular system, can each be affected, resulting in a variety of injuries.
Some conditions may only require rest, pain medication, knee elevation above the heart and a warm compress to get better. However, others may need surgical interventions and may become worse over time if left untreated.
It is always best to seek a doctor if the pain does not resolve with rest and pain medication, if the swelling worsens, if there are considerable changes in the appearance of the knee, or if daily activities involving the knee become difficult.
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Loose Body In The Knee Joint
Loose bodies in the knee joint can cause pain by straightening out your knee. This is often a pain that comes and goes and can be difficult to diagnose. The onset of pain may seem completely random.
A loose body is a fragment of bone or cartilage that has become dislodged from where it was originally located in the knee. It can move around freely causing pain and restriction of motion if it gets lodged in just the wrong spot.
The cause of a loose body in the knee joint can be from many different things such as a previous injury, arthritis, or scar tissue from surgery.
Diagnosis can be difficult due to inconsistent symptoms and changing pain patterns. Loose bodies may show up on an x-ray or an MRI but they can be difficult to see if they are small in size.
Over time your body may be able to process the loose body but it may require surgery to go in and retrieve the foreign body.
Whilst Squatting With A Heavy Load I Heard A Pop And Experienced Sudden Pain Should I Go To My Gp
A popping or cracking sound on its own is not unusual and nothing to be worried about. However, if accompanied by sudden pain you may have damaged one of your knee ligaments , or torn a meniscus. You should consult your doctor. If the problem does not clear up I would be happy to see you and assess things further.
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The Back Of My Knee Hurts When I Straighten It
If youre experiencing pain in the back of your knee when you straighten it, it could be a sign of a meniscus tear. The meniscus is a crescent-shaped piece of cartilage that acts as a cushion between your femur and tibia, and a tear can occur when the knee is bent and then straightened suddenly. Other symptoms of a meniscus tear include swelling, stiffness, and a popping sensation. If the pain is severe, it may be difficult to walk. Treatment options include rest, ice, and physical therapy, but in some cases, surgery may be necessary.
A popliteal fossa, or pain in the back of the knee, is an unpleasant sensation. The condition can be caused by a variety of issues, including problems with the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, or the circulatory system. There are some causes that will get better over time with rest, while others will require surgery or worsen over time. In chondromalacia patellofemoral arthritis, the cartilage beneath the kneecap tears. In some cases, a person may experience swelling and stiffness in the joint. Arthritis can cause joints to swell, making them stiff and painful. There is no cure for arthritis, but there are ways to manage the symptoms.
What Are The Potential Complications Of Pain Behind The Knee
Because pain behind the knee could indicate a serious condition, not seeking treatment can result in complications. It is important to visit your healthcare professional when you experience any kind of persistent pain, redness, warmth, or other unusual symptoms.
Once your doctor has diagnosed the underlying cause, it is important that you follow the treatment plan they outline to reduce your risk of potential complications related to pain behind the knee, including:
- a loss of mobility
- poor quality of life from constant pain
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I Am Training For A Marathon And Have Started To Get A Pain Behind My Knee Every Time I Run Do I Need To Rest It Or Do I Need Treatment
The nagging pain or tenderness at the back of your knee which is causing you some discomfort could be hamstring tendonitis or an injury to the popliteus muscle. Both of these conditions are caused by overuse and repetitive actions. You should take a rest from training for a while and use the RICE treatment. If the problem does not clear up I would be happy to see you and assess things further.
Causes Of Knee Pain When Straightening Your Leg
Knee pain can come from a variety of direct causes, whether it’s sprinting downhill or even kicking a ball. However, the most common cause of knee pain is usually doing “too much too soon,” says Tyler Nightingale, DPT, a physical therapist with Bespoke Treatments in New York City. A rapid increase in activity or repetitive performance of a new movement can result in tissue overload, causing swelling or pain.
If you’re feeling pain while straightening the knee, it’s probably due to cartilage or joint surface damage between your larger leg bones , says Nightingale. When you extend your knee, contact between these bones increases, which can cause painful pressure. This damage is usually the result of an injury.
Here, we’ll break down the most common injuries that cause knee pain when straightening the leg, which can be categorized as either overuse injuries or traumatic injuries.
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Is Pain Behind The Knee Normal
Pain behind the knee, or anterior knee pain, is a very common complaint with high impact exercises like running. But just because its common doesnt mean it should be ignored or left untreated. If you experience swelling, clicking, popping, locking or giving-way of the knee, its important to see your physician to rule out ligament or soft tissue damage.
When you first notice pain behind the knee, it will be particularly helpful to track your exercise regimen with a fitness app to identify periods of intense exercise and how your activity level varies. Youll also want to make note of the intensity of the pain on a scale of 1-10, where the pain occurs, whether it occurs at different times of the day and whether it diminishes over time. Tracking all of this information will inform your physician on details that can be helpful in your diagnosis and treatment plan.
If The Back Of Your Knee Feels Tight Or Stiff:
You may have Osgood Schlatters Disease. This is an inflammation of the area just below your knee where the tendon of the kneecap attaches to the shinbone. It occurs during growth spurts or times when bones, muscles, and tendons are changing rapidly. Other symptoms include knee pain and tenderness or swelling.
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Treatment For Knee Pain
Having some pain when bending your knee doesn’t have to mean a lifetime of limited movement. Many of the most common knee issues can be treated with conservative remedies like exercise and physical therapy. More serious injuries, such as ligament tears, might require surgery, followed by rehabilitative exercises to restore strength and movement.
The following tips from our Hinge Health physical therapists and medical doctors can provide relief for mild to moderate knee pain.
If you have persistent pain, swelling, and evidence of structural damage, you may need surgery on your knee. Your doctor will likely order a variety of imaging tests such as X-rays or MRIs.
Reasons Why Your Knee Hurts When Straight
If the back of your knee hurts when you straighten it, several conditions may be responsible. A physician can easily diagnose some, while others require special diagnostic equipment to fully understand the condition.
Some of the causes of posterior knee pain are:
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
- The PCL and the ACL are the ligaments that form the X structure found inside the knee joint. The PCL is responsible for preventing the shin bone from moving backward excessively relative to the thigh bone. It is the strongest ligament of the knee and provides stability and support during walking and running.
- The most common cause of a PCL injury is a force applied to the front of the knee. A PCL injury often results from landing on the knee when falling or an automobile accident leading to a dashboard injury where the knee impacts the vehicles dashboard.
- The symptoms of a PCL injury include immediate pain and swelling, stiffness, knee instability, and difficulty in walking.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
- When the blood passes slowly through the deep vein at the back of the leg, a clump of blood cells could form, resulting in DVT. DVT is a potentially life-threatening condition as the clot can become dislodged and enter the bloodstream. When the clot reaches the lungs, it can cause blockage resulting in a condition called pulmonary embolism.
- The symptoms of DVT include throbbing or cramping pain, swelling, redness, warmth and tenderness in the affected area.
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Pain And Stiffness A Grinding Sound When The Knee Is Bent Perhaps Swelling Of The Knee And A Feeling Of Instability
These are often the symptoms of arthritis. Although there are many different forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common. It is more likely to affect women than men, and, if it occurs, it is more prevalent after middle age. It is caused by erosion of the articular cartilage within the synovial joint, so that the bone of the femur and tibia come into contact and rub against each other causing pain and inflammation. Osteoarthritis is often due to normal wear and tear over a period of time, although injury, repetitive activity, obesity and genetics can also be factors. There is no cure for osteoarthritis, and, although various methods can temporarily mollify the symptoms, surgery is the only permanent solution to eliminate pain and increase mobility.
Conditions Due To Cartilage Damage
There are two triangular, or wedge shaped, pieces of cartilage in the synovial joint which are called menisci. One lies on the inside, or medial side, of the knee, and one on the outside or lateral side. They act as shock absorbers between the femur and tibia, the end surfaces of which also have a cartilage covering called articular cartilage. At the front of the synovial joint is the patella which is an oval bone protecting the front of the joint and lined internally with cartilage.
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Exercise For Knee Pain: Movement Is Medicine
Once acute pain has improved with rest, ice, and OTC medications, one of the best remedies for knee pain is to move the joint as much as you safely can. “People think pain means they have to avoid that motion, but that’s not true,” says Dr. Anderson. “We want to make sure there is not a structure that is truly damaged, but if it’s just pain, bending the knee is actually good for it.”
It’s important to find a movement sweet spot as you recover. You should move enough to help your knee joint structures and surrounding muscles gain strength and flexibility, but not so much that you experience a lingering uptick in pain. A physical therapist can help you discover your sweet spot, says Dr. Kimbrough. Though results vary, it takes about six weeks to increase your strength and flexibility.
Healthcare providers will often send knee pain patients to physical therapy first, resorting to surgery only if they don’t respond. Even those who need surgery benefit from physical therapy beforehand so they go into the procedure as strong as possible. After surgery, physical therapy is again recommended to regain normal function.
You Felt Or Heard A Pop
Sometimes, a popping sound after a movement can indicate something is out of place.
Oftentimes this type of sound upon injury is indicative of a ligamentous injury, says Schwabe. Not all ligamentous injuries are full tears, though, and not all require surgery.
However, if you also experience excessive swelling and instability, get it checked out by an M.D. If you only have a mild sprain then you will be able to rehab it with physical therapy, he says.
The pop is what you hear as a result of a ligament tear, a meniscus tear, strained tendons, or a dislocated kneecap. Usually what happens is youll simultaneously hear and feel the pop.
If youre not familiar with the meniscus, its the cartilage in the knee that functions as a shock absorber. Each knee has two menisci, and theyre shaped like horseshoes. The medial meniscus is on the inside of the knee, and the lateral meniscus is on the outside.
The popping sensation can be difficult to explain, but youll certainly know it when it happens to you. Though the sound originates in the knee, youll hear it as though it was directly in your ear. Its as if the sensation travels up your body, and when it gets to your brain, it becomes audible.
If the pain is severe, youll want to visit a doctor as soon as possible. Surgery is often the recommended course of action, but physical therapy and other non-invasive remedies may be prescribed as alternatives.
Symptoms Of Pain Behind The Knee
Symptoms of pain behind the knee will vary, depending on the cause. You may have swelling or pain when you move your knee a certain way.
If you have a posterior cruciate ligament injury, youll probably have injured other parts of your knee too. But if youve only injured your PCL, you may just feel a bit of discomfort. You may feel pain behind your knee, especially when you kneel. If your symptoms dont improve, it may be uncomfortable going down an incline, for example walking or running downhill, or going down stairs.
A popliteal cyst causes swelling and sometimes pain at the back of your knee, which youll probably notice. If you have a very large swelling, it may stop you from fully straightening your leg. The swelling may come and go, and get worse or better over time. If your cyst bursts, you may hear a pop and feel warmth spread down your calf. It may start to look red or bruised anywhere from the back of your knee down to your ankle and the top of your foot.
If you have a swollen, tender calf, its very important to see a doctor. The swelling can also be caused by a clot in your leg , which you will need urgent treatment for.
Osteoarthritis usually causes pain when you bear weight on it, and gets better when you rest. Your knee may be stiff and you might not be able to move it as well first thing in the morning, or after you sit for a while. This usually eases once you start moving around. You may also have some swelling over your knee.