What Should I Do If I’m Experiencing Pain At The Back Of My Knee
If you are dealing with back-of-knee pain, Dr. James makes the point that it is imperative to “see your healthcare provider to rule out some of these more serious causes.” Dr. Holder agrees, recommending a “clinical assessment of the knee is comprehensive and includes for instability, edema, and clicking or popping along with pain.” Dr. James mentions that if the diagnosis is related to overuse or muscle imbalances like tendonitis or bursitis, an exercise regimen that “focuses on proper form, good posture, and rebalancing the muscles around the knee” would be very helpful. Whether the pain is due to something more serious or not, Dr. Holder asserts that an orthopedic assessment and a physician evaluation are crucial to providing an accurate diagnosis, and that it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible.
Back Of The Knee Pain Caused By Bakers Cyst
A Bakers cyst will cause a lump at the back of your knee along with pain and discomfort.
The cyst that forms at the back of your knee is usually caused by arthritis or tearing a cartilage. This results in a buildup of fluid that causes a lump behind your knee.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that the swelling behind your knee can be a cause of knee pain. You will probably find it difficult to flex the knee and your symptoms may be worse after physical activity. To treat a Bakers cyst, doctors usually drain the fluid to reduce the swelling and ease knee discomfort.8
When To Contact A Medical Professional
- You cannot bear weight on your knee.
- You have severe pain, even when not bearing weight.
- Your knee buckles, clicks, or locks.
- Your knee is deformed or misshapen.
- You cannot flex your knee or have trouble straightening it all the way out.
- You have a fever, redness or warmth around the knee, or a lot of swelling.
- You have pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or bluish discoloration in the calf below the sore knee.
- You still have pain after 3 days of home treatment.
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Posterior Knee Pain Exercises
Pain behind the knee can be quite debilitating, as we use our legs to walk every day. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer from knee pain, certain exercises may help.
Prone wall stretches While standing, lay your back flat on the surface of a wall. Place the heel of your injured knee on to the wall without bending the knee. Increase the stretch by moving your body closer to the wall and hold for 30 seconds. Then slowly move your body away from the wall, decreasing the stretch. Repeat this exercise about eight times.
Leg to chest maneuver While sitting upright in a firm chair, place both feet firmly on the floor. Now, slowly lift the leg with the contracted muscles off the floor and bend your knee as you lift your leg toward your chest. You can also place your hand behind your knee to increase the stretch. Hold this position for five seconds. This exercise will help to loosen your contracted hamstrings.
Upright wall stretch Stand about three feet from the wall as you open your palm and place them on to the wall at shoulder level. Now slowly lean forward, bending at your elbows and keeping the rest of your body straight. It is also important to keep your feet flat on the ground while doing this to stretch the calf muscles.
Pain Swelling And A Bony Lump Below The Kneecap Typically In Children Or Adolescents
The patellar tendon can also be a factor in both Osgood-Schlatters Disease and Sinding-Larsen-Johansson Syndrome, where it become inflamed at its attachments to bones during growth spurts together with inflammation of the growth plates. This typically occurs in children or adolescents and often heals of its own accord, but your doctor may prescribe physiotherapy, knee protection or other measures.
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What To Expect At Your Office Visit
Your provider will perform a physical exam, and look at your knees, hips, legs, and other joints.
Your provider may do the following tests:
- MRI of the knee if a ligament or meniscus tear could be the cause
- CT scan of the knee
- Joint fluid culture
Your provider may inject a steroid into your knee to reduce pain and inflammation.
You may need to learn stretching and strengthening exercises. You also may need to see a podiatrist to be fitted for orthotics.
In some cases, you may need surgery.
Strengthen Your Knees To Avoid Or Lessen Pain
If youre experiencing pain behind your knees while running, it doesnt mean youre destined to stop exercising. There are many simple things you can do every day to reduce or completely avoid the pain. Here are six strategies to start with:
Knee pain can be an uncomfortable and disheartening effect of an exercise routine. However, working with a certified health coach or your physician can help you identify the source of pain before it becomes a bigger issue and take the right steps to ease or avoid the pain in the future.
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What Is Behind Knee Pain
Behind 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 knee pain is a common sign of a , 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 Bakers 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 blood clot can break loose and cause a pulmonary embolism in the lung, a , 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.
Muscle And Tendon Conditions
The shallow depression formed at the back of the knee is called the popliteal fossa it is formed at the junction of the femur and tibia. There is a muscle here on the floor of the popliteal fossa which is the deepest muscle of the knee joint. It works on the femur to rotate it on the tibia when walking. Through the popliteal depression a bundle of muscles run from the pelvis to the knee and attach to the tibia and fibula respectively by tendons. These three muscles are collectively called the hamstring muscles, and function to extend the leg and bend the knee.
At the back of the lower leg the calf muscles are composed of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles which flex the leg at the knee and flex the ankle via the achilles tendon.
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Causes Of Pain Behind The Knee
There are a number of causes of pain behind the knee, which include:
- your knee joint wearing down as you get older for example, you may have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
- a knee injury
- a benign or cancerous growth
- an infection
You can access a range of treatments on a pay as you go basis, including physiotherapy. Find out more about physiotherapy >
What Are The Possible Causes Of Back
If your back-of-knee pain is not due to any specific accident or incident, it could be caused by a wide array of factors. According to Dr. Celeste Holder, who holds a B.S. in behavioral neuroscience from Northeastern University, a doctorate in chiropractic medicine from the University of Bridgeport, and is a 1AND1 LIFE doctor, back-of-knee pain presents itself less often than other kinds of knee discomfort, but when it does appear, the “differential diagnosis is rather broad.” Holder continues that diagnoses for this kind of pain can include “pathology to the bones, musculotendinous structures, ligaments, nerves, vascular components, and/or to the bursas,” which makes pinning down the main reason quite challenging.
Apart from musculotendinous injuries, one of the most common causes of posterior knee pain is a Baker’s cyst. Dr. Patrick Jean-Pierre, board certified internal and nonoperative sports medicine doctor and part of the 1AND1 LIFE team, cites Baker’s cysts as cysts that “develop from the breakdown of cartilage or arthritis in your knee, causing an out pocket of swelling and fluid. Sometimes this swelling can become very painful, resulting in the pain behind your knee joint.” Dr. James adds that these cysts “can be caused by repeated irritation of structures in the knee. This also can be caused by poor movement habits or muscle imbalances.”
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Injections For Arthritis In Knees: What Is Available
Arthritis occurs when the cartilage of the joint wears away exposing bone. This bone exposure leads to pain, swelling and reduced function. Generally, simple treatments such as exercise, medications, and weight loss have the best effect on arthritis. However, in difficult cases, we use injections for arthritis in knees to help with these simple treatments. So, what are the options for knee joint injections and how do you decide?
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.
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Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
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.
Treatment For Cartilage Loss In Knee
Generally, a cartilage injury such as a fissure, flap, or defect is treated conservatively similar to early arthritis.
Usually, we only consider surgery in young people who have a single defect usually related to trauma. Options include microfracture or autologous chondrocyte implantation. Overall, these options are only used in small numbers of people and require a long recovery.
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Professional Help For Knee Injuries
- Aspiration if the knee joint is grossly swollen, the doctor may release the pressure by drawing off some of the fluid with a fine needle.
- Physiotherapy including techniques to reduce pain, kneecap taping, exercises for increased mobility and strength, and associated rehabilitation techniques.
- Arthroscopic surgery or keyhole surgery, where the knee operation is performed by inserting slender instruments through small incisions . Cartilage tears are often treated with arthroscopic surgery.
- Open surgery required when the injuries are more severe and the entire joint needs to be laid open for repair.
Is The Sound That My Knee Makes Bad
As we reviewed in a popular post about the sounds that our knees make, we discussed that the majority of these sounds are not mechanical or dangerous! That means that you are probably not bone on bone or grinding away the insides of your knee when you bend it. Yes, these sounds can be annoying or even embarrassing, but they are rarely dangerous. The most common cause of this grinding sensation or sound is actually due to inflammation of the tissues inside the knee. You do not need cortisone or lubricating injections to treat these sounds or sensations.
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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.
Why Your Hamstrings Are Important
One of the main jobs of the hamstrings is bending your knee, so its not surprising that weak hamstrings are one of the biggest causes of knee injuries. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, women are two to 10 times more likely to sustain a knee ligament injury, such as an anterior cruciate ligament tear, than men.
One reason is because women tend to have stronger muscles in the front of the thigh than in the back hamstring muscles. This imbalance can lead to injury. Weak hamstrings can also lead to a condition known as runners knee . This painful condition is the most common running injury, resulting in inflammation and pain around the kneecap.
Of course, your body is an intricately connected system. Weak hamstring muscles impact a lot more than just your knees and hips. Weakened hamstrings have even been linked to everything from poor posture to lower back pain. A well-balanced body that includes strong hamstrings means that you can run fast, jump high, and do explosive moves like jump squats. Or just chase after your toddler without groaning!
Not to mention, strong hamstrings make for attractive legs. Well-trained hamstrings look sleek and sexy in cute shorts, a swishy skirt, or a stylish bathing suit!
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Meniscus Or Cartilage Tear: What Is The Difference
Often, there is confusion between a meniscus tear and a cartilage tear. People often use them interchangeably causing some confusion.
The knee joint contains two types of cartilage. One type is called articular cartilage forming a smooth surface covering the bone ends. On the other hand, the menisci are a different type of cartilage that sits between the bones and acts as a shock absorber.
Articular cartilage injuries are often described as thinning, a flap or defect. Injuries of the cartilage can produce symptoms similar to a meniscal tear.
How Can I Prevent Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
While you cant always prevent osteoarthritis of the knee, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk youll develop it:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- If you jog or run, do so on grass or soft surfaces.
- Vary your fitness routine with low-impact exercises such as swimming or cycling.
- Add light strength training to your fitness routine.
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Why Do I Have Pain In The Front Of The Knee
The most common cause of anterior knee pain is often felt to come from a muscular imbalance or a particular pattern of weakness. This will be the case for the majority of you reading this. At least thats what we think is the most common cause. We have come a long way in evaluating runners and other people who present with pain in the front of their knees. They often show the same findings when we use high-speed cameras to videotape them while running or walking. Now, this might be a chicken vs. the egg thing. Right? Which came first, the weakness pattern or the pain? We like to think it was the weakness that came first. We are still working on proving that.
If you are a runner or cyclist, etc then your training may influence your anterior knee pain. If you train too hard, too fast, and too often then you are at a higher risk of developing anterior knee pain. Most amateur runners run too fast on their easy days and too slow on their hard days. Proper base building, for strength, endurance and conditioning our joints to adapt to distance is of paramount importance. Zone 2 running programs are extremely important even for elite runners. Try to keep your training at a continuously progressive pace. You should be slowly increasing the load, distance, or speed over time. Try not to increase your load, eg. distance, speed, etc more than 10% per week. Most runners overuse injuries are training errors.