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Behind Knee Pain When Walking

If You Have Pain Behind Your Knee After Sitting:

What is Causing the Pain Behind Your Knee, How to Tell

It is likely you are experiencing a symptom of Chondromalacia Patellae. This is the most common cause of chronic knee pain. Chondromalacia Patellae is caused by your patella being pulled to the outer side of your femur, rather than in a straight line. This will cause discomfort when you stand up from sitting in a chair for a long period of time. In order to prevent this at work, taking microbreaks will help to keep your body loose. You may also feel discomfort after physical activity or a tightness or fullness in the knee area.

Pain Behind Knee When Walking: Top 10 Possible Underlying Causes

Pain is how your body communicates with you. A pain in your head might mean you’re dehydrated, pain when touching a hot stove lets you know that’s a bad idea, and pain in your joints could be an indication of injury or arthritis. But what does pain behind your knee when walking mean? This article details potential conditions that could be causing this leg pain so you can address the issue before it becomes chronic and debilitating.

Understanding The Anatomy Of Pain Behind Knee

Before we go on to explain the causes of posterior knee pain, it is crucial that we have a hint of what composes the back part of the knee.

A complex network of soft tissue structures i.e. muscles, ligaments and tendons are present at the back of the knee that extend support to the knee. These stabilizers may be active or passive.

The important knee ligaments are:

  • Medial collateral ligament

The ligaments connect the knee to the leg bones .

Active stabilizers of the joint are:

  • Hamstring muscles
  • Extensor muscles

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Pain Behind The Knee Faqs

Why do I have pain in the back of my knee when straightening my leg?

There are many different causes for pain behind the knee when straightening the leg, including jumpers knee , a Bakers cyst and chondromalacia.

Why do I have pain behind my knee when bending my leg?

You may have damaged a ligament, tendon or cartilage, which prevents full range of motion in your knee without pain.

Why do I have pain behind my knee when walking and after/during running?

There are many different causes for pain behind the knee on activity, such as arthritis or a Bakers cyst, as well as injuries, such as a meniscus tear, anterior or posterior cruciate ligament injury or hamstring injury.

Why do I have pain in the back of my knee after sitting?

There are several conditions that can cause pain in the back of your knee after sitting for a long time, including arthritis and chondromalacia.

Signs Of A Knee Injury

Knee Tendon Rupture

The first sign of a knee injury that most people feel is pain. Though the pain may be severe, often there is only a very mild stiffness or discomfort around the knee joint, especially while making certain repetitive motions with it.

Other important warning signs of a serious knee injury include:

Pain while climbing stairs

Pain while climbing up the stairs is indicative of a torn meniscus, whereas pain while going down the stairs is a sign your kneecap is pushing painfully against the femur bone in the leg.


Some kinds of swelling can stop you from bearing weight on your knee or bending it at all, whereas you may have no problem whatsoever walking in other cases. Either way, a swollen knee shouldnât be ignored.

Immediate pain

Sometimes the injury shows itself right away, such as a sharp pain in the middle of exercising. In this case, the pain and swelling will happen immediately, suggesting a torn ligament or even a bone fracture has occurred.

Gradual pain

Some injuries appear a few hours or even days after the injury actually took place. An overuse injury, for example, develops little by little in response to prolonged pressure and is often a sign of cartilage or meniscal tearing.

Some more signs to look for are:

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What Causes Pfp Syndrome

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is an overuse disorder. These happen when someone does the same movements that stress the knee over and over again.

In PFP syndrome, repeated bending and straightening the knee stresses the kneecap. It’s most common in athletes.

Some people with PFP syndrome have a kneecap that is out of line with the thighbone . The kneecap can get out of line, or wiggle as it moves along the thighbone, because of muscle weakness, trauma, or another problem. If this happens, the kneecap doesn’t glide smoothly over the thighbone when the knee bends and straightens. The kneecap gets injured and this causes the pain of PFP syndrome.

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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Pain Behind The Knee When Walking: 10 Possible Causes

Pain is how your body communicates with you. A pain in your head could mean it’s youdehydrated, Pain when touching a hot stove lets you know it’s not a good idea, and pain in your joints can be a sign of an injury or arthritis. But what does pain behind the knee when walking mean? This article describes possible conditions that could be causing this leg pain so you can address the problem before it becomes chronic and debilitating.

Painful Knee: Where Does It Hurt

What is Runners Knee | Pain in knee when walking | Runners Knee Pain

The exact location of your knee pain is an indicator of the cause. Your doctor will ask you to describe in detail the exact location and type of pain you experience in the knee. This can help the doctor determine the type of condition or injury responsible for your symptoms. Below are some possible causes of knee pain.

Patellar Tendonitis Usually, pain in the front of the knee is caused by a problem with the patellar tendon. Patellar tendonitis is a type of overuse injury. Running, jumping, a sudden increase in the intensity of an activity, muscular tightness, and imbalance can contribute to this injury. With this condition, it can hurt to bend the knee, kneel, and squat.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome Pain on the outside or lateral side of the knee usually indicates a problem with the iliotibial band or the lateral meniscus . Iliotibial band syndrome is common in long-distance runners, as well as cyclists and rock climbers. The repetitive bending of the knee can lead to this condition. Meniscus tears, on the other hand, are caused by sudden twisting movements of the knee, which is common in basketball, football, soccer, and tennis players.

Other Causes Pain in the back of the knee could mean different things: a cartilage injury, a ligament injury, a hamstring injury, Bakerâs cyst , and arthritis. There are many possible causes of pain in the back of the knee, which is why it should be evaluated by an experienced medical professional.

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Pain Behind The Knee: Symptoms

Each case of pain behind the knee is different. However, there are some typical signs and symptoms doctors have identified, including the ones listed below.

  • Inability to put weight on knee
  • Reduced range of motion in knee joint
  • Pain when trying to stretch the leg

There are some symptoms that can be an indication of a life-threatening health problem. For example, bruising on the back of the knee or calf, difficulty breathing, redness behind the knee of one leg, warmth behind the knee of one leg, and painful swelling can be signs of something serious.

What Is The Tendon Behind The Knee

The knee is held in place by the back of the knees anterior cruciate ligament. It helps keep the shinbone from moving too far forward, which can lead to injury. The medial collateral ligaments are located at the top of each knee. They support the kneecap and knee joint, as well as the femur and tibia.

The medial and lateral meniscus are connected to each other by a tendon called the patellar tendon. This tendon runs from the outside of your knee to your ankle, and is used to stabilize your foot when you walk.

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Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury/tear

Detailed analysis of posterolateral knee pain cases has revealed ligament injury and tear to be a major underlying cause.

Anterior cruciate ligament injury is yet another prevalent sports activity consequence that can cause pain in the extension of the leg.

In severe cases, there might be tearing of the ACL. The most evident symptoms of an ACL injury include pain on stretching/straightening the leg which interferes with walking. Swelling due to ligament injury is also evident.

Tennis Leg Causing Muscle Pain And Swelling Behind The Knee

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)

A condition called tennis leg can also cause pain in the back of your leg behind the knee.

Tennis leg is associated with damage to the gastrocnemius where damage to the muscle and the soleus muscle in the calf causes a buildup of fluid.

According to the journal Radiology Case Reports, tennis leg is often a result of sports injuries. Damage to the calf muscles can cause swelling and pain in the posterior knee.10

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You Notice An Obvious Deformity

If you notice your knee jutting outward in a way it never has before, take note. A dislocated or fractured patella can cause injuries like this, explains Brian Schwabe, C.S.C.S., board-certified sports physical therapist based in Los Angeles.

While some deformities occur over time, when the deformity is a result of an injury, it could be the result of a fracture or chronic wear on the knee joint. If you are already experiencing any kind of misalignment in your lower extremities, then you could be more prone to this type of injury.

If you notice a bone deformity after an injury, he recommends seeking the assistance of an orthopedic doctor immediately. The doctor will likely take x-rays as well as perform a visual diagnosis to determine if you need surgery.

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Pain Behind The Knee: Causes And How To Treat Back Of Knee Pain

Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer Health

Pain behind the knee can have a serious impact on your daily activities. Sharp pain at the back of your knee can affect walking and cause discomfort when standing or walking up stairs. Pain and swelling behind the knee can also cause stiffness in your knee joint, inflammation, and possibly, a lump at the back of your knee.

There are many reasons for mild to severe pain behind the knee. For example, a ligament tear, a pulled muscle, fracture to a bone in your knee, or wear and tear can also cause varying degrees of pain behind the knee. The knee pain can cause you to limp, make it difficult to walk, or you may not be able to bend your knee at all.

Knowing how to treat pain behind the knee requires knowing what is causing it. However, usually, hot and cold treatments can help to restore mobility to your knee joint and ease the pain. In some cases, if the leg pain behind the knee is caused by blood clot or cyst, you need to get it checked out by a doctor.

In this article, you will learn about the various reasons why you could have pain at the back of your knee.

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Why Do I Have Pain Behind The Knee Common Diagnoses And Prognoses

The knee is a highly complex joint built up of multiple bones, muscles, tendons, and other tissues. And because there are so many moving parts, its extremely common for people to experience different kinds of pain in and around the knee joint.

Many individuals experience pain directly behind the knee, but they often receive incorrect diagnoses because of how many potential issues can occur.

If youve ever Googled pain behind the knee, you probably know what we mean searching such a broad category of pain often pulls up severe and frightening results, like deep vein thrombosis or a posterior cruciate ligament tear.

And of course, while those results are possible concerns, they dont represent the most common pathologies for pain behind the knee.

So, what are the most common problems, and what differentiates one from the other?

What Causes Knee Pain Without Injury

Does Walking Help Knee Pain?

Sometimes the cause of your knee pain is obvious: a twist, misstep or strain can strike at any time during a walk or a run. Other times, patients can suffer knee pain without injury and are unsure of the source of their discomfort.

Youll need to consult with a physician to determine the cause of your knee pain, but there are several common causes of knee pain without injury.

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First Elevate The Pain

Pay attention to the type of pain you experience since some causes for pain behind the knee warrant a trip to the emergency room. Miho Tanaka, MD, associate professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital says to watch out for blood clots, numbness and weakness in the leg, and fevers and redness associated with swelling. Blood clots should be quickly evaluated, and tingling or numbness that makes it hard to walk are also a sign to go to the ER, Dr. Tanaka says. Although swelling in the knee has many causes, in rare cases, it could be a sign of an infection, so its a good idea to seek immediate care. Steven Lyons, MD, for Florida Orthopaedic Institute, adds knee pain experienced after a major trauma like a fall or a car accident are also appropriate times for an ER visit. If the knee pain lingers longer than a week or two without any prior injury, Dr. Lyons recommends visiting a doctor instead.

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Tendonitis On Side Of Knee

The inflammation of your patellar tendon, also known as a jumpers knee, is one of the causes of this condition. Your shinbone and your kneecap are both connected in this manner. It can cause tears in your tendons if untreated, and your tendon can weaken.

Despite the fact that tendonitis is the most common cause of knee pain, it is not the most well-known. Penetrating pes anserinus tendonitis is one of the most common types of tendonitis of the knee. Mucoid degeneration and collagen loss are both symptoms of degeneration of the mucoid. In addition to the degeneration, appropriate treatment and management regimen are required. A run, or a run-related knee pain, can be a sign of a Patellar tendonitis. When the tendons are repeatedly stressed, it is possible for tiny tears to form. Tendinosis can develop if this process continues.

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Knee Pain And Problems

Knee pain is a common complaint among adults and most often associated with general wear and tear from daily activities like walking, bending, standing and lifting. Athletes who run or play sports that involve jumping or quick pivoting are also more likely to experience knee pain and problems. But whether an individuals knee pain is caused by aging or injury, it can be a nuisance and even debilitating in some circumstances.

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Treatment Of Pain Behind The Knee

Pin on Running

Rest, applying ice packs, taking painkillers and physiotherapy can all be used to treat posterior knee pain. Depending on the severity and underlying cause of your knee pain, your doctor may also prescribe medication and/or recommend surgery.

Treatment for Bakers cysts

Bakers cysts can go away on their own or with treatment of the underlying condition causing your cyst . However, if you have a large or painful cyst, your doctor may recommend steroid injections, physiotherapy or drainage of the cyst.

Treatment for gastrocnemius tendonitis

Your knee pain should subside with rest, elevation of your leg and applying ice packs. How long this takes will depend on the size of the tear.

Treatment for meniscus tear

Rest, elevation of your leg and applying ice packs may be enough to treat your tear. However, if your tear doesnt improve on its own, your doctor may recommend surgery.

Treatment for ACL injury

Rest and physiotherapy can treat an ACL injury. However, if your ACL is torn, you may need surgery.

Treatment for PCL injury

Your knee pain should subside with rest, elevation of your leg and applying ice packs. However, your doctor may recommend surgery if you have injured more than one ligament, are unsteady on your feet or have also damaged cartilage in your knee.

Treatment for chondromalacia

Applying ice packs, taking over-the-counter painkillers and physiotherapy can treat chondromalacia. However, if the cartilage in your knee is damaged, you will need surgery.

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Pain In Back Of Leg Behind Knee When Walking

Bakers Cyst this is a very common reason for rear knee pain. Also known as a popliteal cyst, its what happens when fluid leaks out of the joint, usually due to arthritis or an injury, and collects in a lump. Larger cysts can exert pressure on muscles and nerves.


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