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What Does It Mean When The Back Of Your Leg Hurts Behind The Knee
Pain at the back of your knee when bending depends on several factors. These include how the pain started, your age, medical history, and so on.
If you are an athlete and/or play contact sports often, you could have:
- A hamstring or gastrocnemius tendinitis
- Pes anserine bursitis
If youre over 60 years old, you could have:
- A leg cramp
- Bakers cyst
- Knee arthritis
If youre not sure or if youve had pain for more than 6 weeks, go to the doctor to find out whats going on.
What Causes Tightness Behind The Knee
Tightness behind the knee is often caused by tightness in the hamstring or calf muscles. The hamstring muscles run down the back of the thigh attaching behind the knee, and one of the calf muscles, gastrocnemius, starting from the back of the knee, travels down to the heel.
Tightness in these muscles is a common problem, particularly in men, and makes the back of the knee feel very tight. Simple knee stretches are the best way to treat the tightness and relieve back of knee pain.
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I Feel Numbness Behind My Knee Is This Serious
Temporary numbness may be because you have been sitting for a while in a position which has compressed the nerves in the back of your leg or reduced the blood flow. This is called paresthesia and will dissipate when you start walking around again. However, if the numbness persists it could be due to many different causes, for example it may be a sign of an underlying condition such as a back problem, diabetes or a nerve disorder. You should visit your doctor to discover the reason for the numbness.
Because your knees bear the bodys weight and are subject to movement in a number of planes they can be quite vulnerable to trauma and to conditions resulting from trauma and wear and tear.
There are a number of different types of condition which can cause pain to the back of the knee. These include strains or tears to the muscle or tendons, damage to the ligaments, damage to the cartilage within the knee joint, excess fluid in the knee or blood vessel problems.
The information given below will give you an indication of the problem you may be having, but is not intended that you diagnose yourself. Also this guide is intended for pain behind the knee itself if your pain is part of general joint pain there will be other reasons for this and you should consult a doctor.
B Practice Rice In Your Daily Exercise
Using this technique in your daily exercise helps reduce swelling and inflammation on your knee.
RICE is an abbreviation for:
- R â Rest the leg
- I â Ice the knee
- C â Compress the knee with a bandage
- E â Elevate the affected leg
Doctors may prescribe RICE if they suspect youâve suffered damage to your soft tissue. It helps contain the pain and prevent it all from exacerbating.
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When Do You Feel Better Or Worse
For instance, does walking up or down a flight of stairs trigger pain behind your kneecap? That could be a sign of osteoarthritis. With osteoarthritis, pain also tends to get worse over the day as youre more active.
On the other hand, pain that starts strong in the morning and gets better as you move during the day sounds more like an inflammatory condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
If you are seeing a doctor, make note of all of this. The smallest details even the resting positions that bring you the most relief will help infinding the right diagnosis.
Top 10 Possible Causes Of Pain Behind The Knee When Walking
Pain behind your knee could be accompanied by swelling, visible lumpiness, or a locking sensation. Any accompanying symptom could help you determine the cause of this pain, so investigate your knee thoroughly, or better yet seek an examination from a medical professional, because some of the issues that may be causing your knee pain are quite serious. Let’s take a look at the most common causes of posterior knee pain.
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I Only Have Pain Behind My Knee When Walking Up Or Down The Stairs What Should I Do
The act of walking up and down stairs involves straightening the knee whilst it is bearing weight, and the the most common cause of pain in this case is chondromalacia patella. This condition is brought about by the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap deteriorating and softening. Some people can ignore the condition, but in the end it will probably need to be surgically addressed. It may be that a flap of cartilage has become unstable, in which case it can be treated by a chondroplasty, repairing the damaged cartilage using keyhole surgery.
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.
How Do You Know If You Have A Blood Clot Behind Your Knee
A blood clot in the veins of your lower leg is called a deep vein thrombosis or DVT. You may have a blood clot behind your knee if you have one-sided leg swelling, pain, warmth, and redness below the knee. Sometimes these clots can occur on both sides at once, but this is uncommon. Some blood clots in the legs, however, do not present with any symptoms. A DVT requires immediate treatment to reduce the risk of embolizing to the lungs.
Is Anything Strange Happening
Or really, Is anything strange happening beyond your knee pain?
For example, can you still flex your knee all the way? Most people get frightened when their knee locks and cant straighten anymore. Often the culprit is called Bakers cyst, a fluid-filled sac behind the knee caused by inflammation.
A also triggers concern for many people. Nobody wants to hear a click with every step. Sometimes, its harmless, but if that clicking comes with pain, you might have a mechanical problem such as a torn meniscus, Dr. Burg says.
These are just a few examples among many. The knee is a complicated andcritical part of your everyday life. So when you have pain that comes withserious symptoms or lasts for more than a week or two, seek the right diagnosisby getting a physical exam and any necessary imaging that comes with it.
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Discomfort Aching And Tightness In The Knee Grating And Pain Behind The Kneecap When Bending The Knee Or When It Is Exercised After A Period Of Rest
May be due to chondromalacia patella. In this condition the cartilage on the underside of the patella softens and deteriorates. Some people are able to ignore the condition, but it will not improve and will probably need surgery. Sometimes an unstable flap of surface cartilage may cause this pain, and may be curable with simple keyhole surgery and a chondroplasty.
Pain Behind The Knee: Why It Hurts
Most types of knee pain that you may have heard often occurs in the front, medial, or lateral side on the knee, such as ACL tear, lateral meniscus tear, and MCL injury. Pain behind the knee is somewhat less common than the other types of knee pain, but that doesnt mean its less important. Because of the complexity and small size of the posterior knee anatomy, any injury or disease that occur there may be overlooked or misdiagnosed.
Many factors contribute to pain in the back of the knee. Sometimes it can be two or more factors, which include Bakers cyst, hamstring strain, PCL tear, or even vascular problems in the posterior thigh.
Because of there many different factors to pain behind the knee and each person is unique, you will have to consult with your physician, physical therapist, or another qualified healthcare professional to rule out more common and serious symptoms before zeroing in on potential causes.
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Pain Behind The Knee When Bending It Or Pain And Stiffness Below The Kneecap
Although not behind the knee, the patellar tendon can be overloaded and torn by repetitive actions such as jumping, running or kicking. This is called patellar tendonitis, and can get progressively worse as the the torn tendon swells and becomes weaker. Again the RICE formula should be applied, and your doctor should be consulted.
Managing Pain Behind The Knee
You can help yourself by keeping weight off your leg as far as possible, using an ice pack and taking painkillers, such as ibuprofen. If you cant put weight on your leg, you may need crutches.
Popliteal cysts often get better on their own and you may not need any further treatment. But its a good idea to see a doctor if you have pain behind the knee. It may be something more urgent . With posterior cruciate ligament injury, you can develop complications later if you are not treated. You should see a doctor if:
- you cannot put weight on the affected leg
- you have severe pain, even when not bearing weight
- your knee buckles, clicks, or locks
- your knee is deformed or misshapen
- your knee is hot, red or very swollen or you have a fever
- you have pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or a bluish discoloration in your calf
- youre still in pain after three days
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Causes Of Pain Behind The Knee
Pain behind the knee can be simple or difficult to diagnose, depending upon the cause. Here are some of the most common causes of posterior knee pain:
A lump-like swelling behind the knee is characteristic of Baker’s cyst, making it fairly easy to diagnose. This type of cyst is also called a popliteal cyst because it is located in the popliteal fossa, a small hollow at the back of the knee.
Different forms of arthritis
Besides infection in the knee joint , posterior knee pain could result from several other infections, including:
- Infection in the bone
- Infection of one of the fluid-filled sacs called bursae
These infections have different causes and symptoms, although pain, redness, heat, and swelling are typical of most infections.
Deep vein thrombosis
How Are Knee Problems Diagnosed
In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, other tests for knee problems may include:
X-ray. This test uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to make images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
Magnetic resonance imaging . This test uses large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to make detailed images of organs and structures within the body can often determine damage or disease in a surrounding ligament or muscle.
Computed tomography scan . This test uses X-rays and computer technology to make horizontal, or axial, images of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.
Arthroscopy. A minimally-invasive diagnostic and treatment procedure used for conditions of a joint. This procedure uses a small, lighted, optic tube , which is inserted into the joint through a small incision in the joint. Images of the inside of the joint are projected onto a screen used to evaluate any degenerative or arthritic changes in the joint to detect bone diseases and tumors to determine the cause of bone pain and inflammation.
Radionuclide bone scan. A nuclear imaging technique that uses a very small amount of radioactive material, which is injected into the patient’s bloodstream to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.
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Pain Behind Your Knee From Popliteal Cysts Or Baker’s Cyst
This is a fluid-filled cyst that creates a bulge on the back of your knee or the area specifically called the popliteal fossa. This occurs when a problem with your join causes your knee to produce too much fluid. Any type of condition that causes joint swelling can lead to a popliteal cyst.
Symptoms of a popliteal cyst:
- Muscle imbalance between adductors and abductors
- Repeated stress on knee joints
Burning Pain In Knee Cap
When you feel pain in your knee cap, you imagine the worst. You begin to believe you’ve injured your knee. Maybe you even wonder if you have a torn meniscus.
Burning pain under or around your knee cap is a common overuse injury. The official diagnosis for this syndrome is chondromalacia or patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as PFS. The injury is also commonly known as runner’s knee.
When you run, you put stress on your knee cap and the tendons in it. If you’re not used to running long miles and attempt a long run, you will feel this pain. You will also feel it if you begin to increase your mileage too quickly.
Your tendons in your knee cap are firing up and becoming inflamed. You have tendonitis in your knee or runner’s knee.
Stopping activity will help this heal more quickly as will ice and appropriate NSAID or anti-inflammatory medications.
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If It Hurts When You Try To Straighten Your Knee:
You may have a popliteal cyst . This is a bulge in the back pit of your knee, called the popliteal fossa, that is filled with fluid and causes tightness behind your knee. The pain may increase when you while participating in physical activity. You may also feel swelling, pain and stiffness or tightness behind your knee.
What Are Potential Complications
If you dont have medical treatment, patellar tendonitis can worsen. You may damage your tendon more severely, limiting your everyday functioning.
Resting your legs and stopping activity can be emotionally difficult for athletes, in particular. They may not want to stop playing, even though its painful. For professional athletes, patellar tendonitis can be a career-ender if left untreated.
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What Is Behind Knee Pain
Behind knee pain is discomfort or soreness behind the knee joint. It may occur with or without movement and can be severe enough to limit movement. People may describe behind knee pain as discomfort, inflammation, increased warmth or burning, soreness, stiffness, or pain.
Behind is a common sign of a Bakers cyst, which is a buildup of synovial fluid behind the knee. Synovial fluid lubricates the joints and reduces friction between the joint cartilages. The symptoms associated with a tend to come and go, and the condition will not cause any long-term damage to the knee.
However, behind knee pain may be a symptom of deep vein thrombosis , which is a serious and life-threatening condition. The can break loose and cause a pulmonary in the lung, a heart attack, or even stroke. Deep vein thrombosis has similar symptoms to a Bakers cyst.
If you experience pain behind the knee and calf with painful swelling and bruises, seek immediate emergency medical care. If your symptoms persist or cause you concern, contact a medical professional.