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What Is The Pain In The Back Of My Knee

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Pain In Back Of Knee – A Quick Fix

Joint pain is not something to scoff at, especially if you or a loved one is suffering from it. Pain in the joints can make even the simplest tasks difficult and nearly impossible to complete. Joint pain interferes with a normal life and turns it on its head. Knowing what causes joint pain, the symptoms associated with it and what treatment options are available can help you navigate through the problem and live a life with less discomfort.

Why Would A Teenager Have Knee Pain

Knee pain isnt a condition that only happens to older people. Despite being young, your teenager can develop knee pain too.

Knee pain in teens is a common result of overuse, but also results from specific knee injuries and medical conditions that affect the knee. Knee pain can also be temporary and not related to an injury, but rather a change in your teens level of activity or sport.

Because of the many different reasons for knee pain, if your teen complains of pain, its wise to get it checked. Never think that knee pain in your teen is simply growing pains. This is not a typical cause of knee pain in a teenager.

Chronic Pain Behind The Knee

Pain at the back of the knee may occur gradually. You are unlikely to be able to pinpoint the exact time your injury occurred. These injuries often start out as a niggle which you may attempt to ignore. Eventually, they become progressively worse.

An acute injury may become chronic if it is not treated properly, or fails to heal.

Chronic knee injuries can be more difficult to treat so do not ignore the early signs!

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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.

Damage To The Ligaments Of The Knee

Back Knee Pain, what are the causes and treatments

Ligaments are strong, flexible, fibrous and elastic connective tissue which connect one bone to another, provide stability and support joints. They do not connect muscles to joints, that is done by the tendons.

The ligaments of the knee comprise the medial and lateral collateral ligaments, on the inside and outside of the knee respectively, which give sideways stability to the knee joint, and the anterior and posterior cruciate ligament at the front and back of the knee. There is also a patellar tendon, which is really a ligament, which attaches the bottom of the patella to the top of the tibia.

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When Should I Get My Teens Knee Pain Evaluated By A Healthcare Provider

Make an appointment to see your healthcare provider if:

  • Your teens pain has lasted longer than two weeks or anytime theres an increase in pain level.
  • Your teens knee is red, swollen or warm to the touch.
  • Your teen cant put weight on their leg they limp.
  • Your teens knee locks and cant move.
  • Your teens kneecap feels like it slides out of place or the knee looks twisted.
  • Your teen has knee pain during or after activity.
  • Theres painful popping or clicking sound in your teens knee.
  • Your teens knee doesnt have strength or full range of motion.
  • Your teens pain wakes them up at night.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/30/2021.

References

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.

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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.

Exercises For Popliteus Muscle Injury

Back of knee pain/stiffness? Popliteus muscle tightness

Once the acute stage has passed you can begin gentle hamstring stretching exercises. These should be done several times a day, as long as pain allows. Hold stretches for up to 20 seconds at a time and repeat 3 times.

Later, a full rehabilitation program to strengthen both your quadriceps and hamstring muscles should be completed.

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Pain Behind The Knee When Walking Or Running

The cause of pain at the back of the leg behind the knee could be hamstring tendonitis. This is caused by the tendons of the hamstring becoming inflamed, often due to overuse of the hamstring muscles, but the pain will subside after rest and first aid centred on the RICE method .

If you notice a sudden sharp pain in the back of the thigh when undergoing vigorous exercise this may be due to a pull, partial tear or tear of the hamstring, and is due to overloading the muscle. This type of injury is most often treated by a doctor. A similar pain in the calf may be due to gastrocnemius tendonitis.

A tenderness behind the knee, felt when rotating the leg inwards in the act of walking could denote an injury to the popliteus muscle. A cold pack applied for 10 minutes every hour for the first day after injury can alleviate the symptoms.

All the muscles at the back of the leg can be subject to cramp. This is a common condition and occurs when a muscle goes into spasm. The symptoms are a tightening of the muscle accompanied by pain. Amongst other causes, it could be due to dehydration, muscle fatigue or a restriction of the blood supply to the affected muscles. Cramp is not serious and can be relieved by relaxing, massaging and stretching the affected muscle.

Treatments For Pain In The Back Of Your Knee

Healthcare providers usually treat pain in the back of your knee based on the underlying cause of the pain or injury.

Rest, ice, compression, and elevation

If you have sudden, intense pain in the back of your knee, the doctor may recommend that you rest and apply ice to your knee. In some cases, your doctor may also ask you to elevate your leg while youre sitting down to help improve the blood flow in your leg.

Exercise and physical therapy

Some exercises can help build muscle and relieve pain in the back of your knee. It is important to work with your doctor or physical therapist to determine which exercises are right for you so you can avoid potential injury.

Lifestyle changes

Your doctor may ask you to make some lifestyle changes to help relieve pain in the back of your knee. This could include things like maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding activities like running or placing too much pressure on the knees.

Genicular nerve blocks

This medical treatment blocks pain signals between the knee and the brain, which offers relief from pain in the back of your knee. This is a nonsurgical option done by injecting an anesthetic into the affected area.

Peripheral nerve stimulation

This is a medical procedure where a surgeon puts electrodes and a battery pack near the nerves inside the knee. This creates an electrical current that tricks the body into turning off pain signals, which relieves pain in and around the knee.

Medication

Surgery

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What Are The Symptoms Of Patellar Tendonitis

Pain and tenderness at the base of your kneecap are usually the first symptoms of patellar tendonitis. You may also have some swelling and a burning feeling in the kneecap. Kneeling down or getting up from a squat can be especially painful.

The pain may at first be sporadic, occurring only after sports or exercise activity. As the tendon becomes more damaged, the pain can become progressively worse. It can interfere with any athletic activity, as well as with daily activities, such as climbing stairs or sitting in a car.

See your doctor if any pain or swelling lasts more than a day or two.

At the start of your appointment, your doctor will ask about:

  • your physical activity
  • what symptoms youre experiencing
  • when the symptoms occur
  • any remedy youve tried that eases the pain

Your doctor will physically examine your knee, probe for where you feel pain, and test your range of knee motion by bending and extending your leg.

Your doctor may also order imaging tests to look at your kneecap and tendon to determine if theres any damage to the tendon or bone. These tests can also help rule out other possible causes of your pain, such as a fracture.

Your doctor may perform:

  • an X-ray to look at the bone to determine whether you have a kneecap fracture or if your kneecap is displaced
  • an MRI to look at the tendon and show any damage to the soft tissue
  • an ultrasound to look at the tendon and show any soft tissue damage

Anatomy Of The Posterior Knee

Why does my knee ache when Im away?

Okay, before we get ahead of ourselves, lets first review the anatomy for the back of the knee.

Lets start by looking at the large muscle anatomy of the posterior knee. In the image above, you can visualize the two heads of the calf muscle and the multiple muscles that make up the hamstrings.

Another feature of the posterior knee is the gap behind the knee, where theres a distinct lack of soft tissue this is known as the popliteal fossa. In the deeper muscle layer of the posterior knee, youll find the popliteus and plantaris muscles.

Deeper still, youll find the posterior capsule of the knee joint and some important nerves that run along the back of the knee.

Alright! With that brief overview of the anatomy of the back of the knee, we can explore some of the most common diagnoses for posterior knee pain.

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What Causes Patellofemoral Pain

It is probably due to a combination of different factors which increase the pressure between the kneecap and the lower part of the thighbone . This may happen during running, cycling, squatting and going up and down stairs. It is likely that the cause is not the same in everyone affected.

Situations where this can occur include:

  • Overuse of the knee, such as in certain sports – particularly at times of increased training.
  • Cycling when the saddle is too low or too far forward.
  • Some people may have a slight problem in the alignment of the patella where it moves over the lower femur. This may cause the patella to rub on, rather than glide over, the lower femur . It may be due to the way the knee has developed. Or, it may be due to an imbalance in the muscles around the knee and hip – for example, the large quadriceps muscle above the knee and the muscles that stop the hips from tilting when standing on one leg.
  • Weak hip muscles may cause patellofemoral pain by causing the thighbone to be slightly turned inwards, leading to the patella being pulled slightly to one side.
  • Foot problems may also play a part – for example, where the feet do not have strong arches . This makes the foot roll inwards , which means the knee has to compensate for the inward movement. However, it is unclear whether this causes the knee problems or may be caused by the knee problems.
  • Injury to the knee – including repeated small injuries or stresses due to sports, or due to slack ligaments .

Pain Tenderness Warm Or Red Skin Or A Swelling Behind The Knee

May be the indication of a blood clot in the popliteal vein. This is also called a thrombosis, and the block would restrict the circulation of blood in your leg. More importantly a clot could form an aneurysm, which is an abnormal bulging in the vein walls, and could lead to a pulmonary embolism. If you suspect you have a blood clot it is imperative that you see a doctor as soon as possible. Your body can eventually break up small clots, but you may be sent for a CT scan to investigate the blood clot and given a prescription for blood-thinning medication.

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What’s The Outlook For Teenagers With Pain In Their Knees

Most knee pain in teenagers can be managed with simple treatments. However, many soft-tissue tears and bone breaks require surgery. Most teenagers recover without long-term problems if they follow the recover plan provided by their healthcare providers. Because there are many causes of knee pain, be sure to ask your healthcare provider for specific information on long-term prognosis for your teen’s knee condition.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

How To Relieve Pain In The Back of Your Knee

The posterior cruciate ligament is the ACLs partner. Its another band of tissue that connects your thighbone to your shinbone and supports your knee. However, the PCL isnt as likely to get injured as the ACL.

You can injure the PCL if you take a hard blow to the front of your knee, such as in a car accident. Sometimes injuries occur from twisting the knee or missing a step while walking.

Stretching the ligament too far causes a strain. With enough pressure, the ligament can tear into two parts.

Along with pain, a PCL injury causes:

  • swelling of the knee
  • trouble walking
  • weakness of the knee

Rest, ice, and elevation can help a PCL injury heal faster. You might need surgery if youve injured more than one ligament in your knee, have symptoms of instability, or you also have cartilage damage.

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What Are Home Remedies For Hamstring Injury

The goal of treatment is to restore muscle function and prevent scar formation. Initially, treatment consists of rest, ice, compression, and elevation . Rest refers to avoidance of offending activities and oftentimes includes immobilization. In severe cases, crutches or splinting may be necessary. Ice, compression, and elevation all help in controlling pain and swelling. A short course of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, such as aspirin, ibuprofen , or naproxen , may be helpful .

Why Am I Getting Pain At The Back Of My Knee

Published on: 4th February 2020

When it comes to knee pain, we often tend to think first of the front and sides. But pain that comes from the back of the knee is probably every bit as common.

It would be helpful if there was a single likely reason for this! But in fact the causes of back-of-knee pain can be very diverse. You could experience it as a sudden pain or a gradual ache. There may be swelling and inflammation or none at all. You might find it difficult to fully extend your leg.

In other words we need to do some narrowing down to find out whats going on. One useful starting point is to think in terms of problems inside or outside the knee joint: in medical-speak, intra- or extra-articular causes. Lets have a look at the most common ones.

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When I Straighten Or Stretch My Leg I Feel Pain Behind My Knee What Should I Do

Difficulty in stretching your leg may be due to a collection of synovial fluid. If you can also feel a swelling in the back of your leg it may be a Bakers cyst which makes the knee feel tight. This is not serious, but if it does not clear up you should see your doctor. Swelling in the calf may be a blood clot in the popliteal vein which is serious and should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible particularly if the swelling is accompanied by warm/red tender skin. Difficulty in straightening your leg may also be due to arthritis or a tear in a meniscus. You should see your doctor and get a proper diagnosis.

Knee Pain Caused Within The Joint Structure

How to treat patellofemoral knee pain

Unsurprisingly, pain behind the knee can also be correlated with issues within the knee joint itself.

Because the joint has such a complex structure , any deficiency or injury has the potential to impact the kind of pain you experience.

However, when were looking specifically at pain behind the knee, there are two primary culprits

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If The Back Of Your Knee Hurts While Running Or Walking:

This could be a symptom of hamstring tendonitis. The hamstring tendon connects the hamstring muscle to the outer aspect of the knee. This is caused by overuse in running or jumping or insufficient warm-up exercises. If you are an individual who has just started working out or increased your level of fitness, you are at risk for this injury. Pain can be felt when putting strain on the muscle or tendon.

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