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
Treatment For Inside Knee Pain
Once your doctor determines the cause of the pain inside knee, he or she will be able to suggest forms of treatment.
Treatment varies depending on the severity of the injury. Immediate treatment after traumatic injuries include RICE and anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin.
If a more serious injury such as an MCL tear is present, then arthroscopic surgery to repair the torn ligament may be necessary. In all cases, physical therapy may be beneficial, because strengthening the muscles around knee will help reduce pain inside the knee both before and after surgery . Speak with your doctor about all of your options in regards to your inside knee pain.
Nighttime Knee Pain In Adolescents
Many teenagers and adolescents suffer from a condition thats called anterior knee pain. This causes pain in the front or center of the knee and can often be worse at night.
Doctors from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons describe this type of knee pain as dull and achy. The pain may come on gradually, and physical activity can make the knee pain worse. The other symptoms of adolescent anterior knee pain include:15
- Popping noises in the knee when climbing stairs
- Nighttime knee pain
- Pain when bending the knee
- knee pain during intense physical activity
Read Also: How To Whiten Knees And Elbows
Potential Causes Of Pain Radiating From Hip To Knee
Most hip pain is caused from overworking the muscles either by repetitive stress or overdoing exercises. The pain is caused by inflammation of the soft tissues and tendons of the hip. Usually this pain is relieved in a few days. Prolonged hip pain can be the cause of a specific condition. When the hip joint is injured, pain can be felt in the groin all the way down to the knee. Sometimes knee pain is the only sign that the hip is injured – this is called referred pain.
A slipped lumbar disc in your lower back can also cause pain that is felt in your hip. With a lumbar disc injury, your knee and leg may also feel weak. Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of your spinal cord and nerves, which can cause isolated hip pain felt along with a numb feeling in the knees and legs. A sprain in your lower back, or a lumbosacral sprain, is an injury to the ligaments in your lower back. Pain from this injury accumulates to one side of the spine around the hip, making it difficult to bend or twist.
All these hip pain causes can be treated with conservative, therapeutic treatments.
What Are The Causes Of Knee Pain In Teenagers
Common knee pain problems in your teenager can be generally divided into three types:
- Anterior knee pain, also called patellofemoral pain.
- Injures to ligaments and tendons of the knee or to the kneecap itself.
- Medical conditions that affect the knee.
Anterior knee pain happens when your teens kneecap is pulled out of its groove from increased pressure. Increased pressure on the knee joint is caused by:
- Abnormal hip rotation due to imbalances in muscle strength and flexibility around the hips.
- Improper training methods or equipment.
- Poor flexibility of the thigh muscles, which support the knee joint. Thigh muscle weakness or tightness.
- Overuse of the knee from repetitive bending of the knee during running, jumping, and other activities.
- Problems with alignment, for example, the kneecap not being properly aligned within the knee or having flat feet, which changes the normal gait.
Knee pain resulting from sprains, strains and tears to ligaments and tendons or injuries to other soft tissues. These conditions include:
Medical conditions that can affect your teens knee include:
Recommended Reading: Is Nano Knee Covered By Medicare
Can Knee Injuries Be Prevented
To help prevent knee injuries:
- Make sure your kids wear the recommended protective equipment for sports .
- Make sure your kids wear supportive athletic shoes that are in good condition.
- During workouts, kids should always warm up and cool down.
- Encourage kids to do regular strength training to support muscles, and stretching or yoga to improve flexibility.
- When jumping, kids should bend the knees while landing. This takes pressure off the ACL and prevents injury.
- If kids cut laterally or pivot frequently , encourage them to crouch and bend at the knees and hips to reduce the chances of an ACL injury.
- For kids who play just one sport, conditioning and training year-round even if it’s at a lower intensity than during the competitive season can help them stay in shape and make an injury less likely.
Exercises That Helped My Hip Pain
- Exercise 1: Walk sideways with a band below your calf muscles 20 steps each direction.
- Exercise 2: With an exercise ball between the wall and your back, do 3 sets of 15 deep knee bends
- Exercise 3: Lay Flat on the floor, flex your butt muscles 20 times and hold for 4 seconds
- Exercise 4: Stretch the hips for 20 minutes twice a day
Also Check: How To Whiten Your Knees
Possible Causes Of Pain
Quadriceps tendonitis this is caused by the irritation, strain or injury to the quadriceps tendon.
This affects the underside of the kneecap and the trochlear groove in the femur in which it moves. When the articular cartilage covering the surfaces of the bone wears away and becomes inflamed the bones come into contact with each other resulting in pain.
A plica is the fold in the thin synovial membrane that lines the knee joint. There were four of these folds in the knee joint originally, but they often become absorbed during foetal development. About 50% of the population is thought to have the remains of the embryonic plicae. When a plica becomes inflamed, perhaps because of repetitive knee movement, trauma or twisting, it causes pain and weakness in the knee.
Lateral patellar facet overload syndrome
This refers to dull aching pain underneath, around the sides or below kneecap. It is caused by increased pressure on the lateral facet of the patella. The reason for this is improper tracking, poor alignment or dislocation of the kneecap. The condition is often apparent during repetitive exercise such as climbing stairs.
Anterior Knee Pain In Middle
- Osteoarthritis : Arthritis of the patella causes pain because the cartilage under the kneecap is thinning. Arthritis, which only involves the patella in your knee, is more common in women. Physical therapy can be very effective in the early stages of osteoarthritis of the patella. Injections and over the counter medications may have a role in some patients. In some situations, when the arthritis is severe, a patient will need to consider a tibial tubercle osteotomy, replacement of the patella, or a total knee replacement if the arthritis is elsewhere within the knee.
Don’t Miss: How To Whiten Knees And Elbows
Joi Offers Conservative Physical Therapy Approaches For Treating Pain From The Hip To The Knee
It is not uncommon for people of various age groups to have knee and hip pain. There are several different ways to treat pain in the knee or the hip in physical therapy. Range-of-motion and strength training are also typically used as ways to treat those who are having painful knee symptoms. Our therapists work closely with our physicians and primary care physicians to determine the cause of your hip and knee pain. Our goal is make sure that we manage your pain and get you back to the activities that you love.
The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute will continue to monitor the latest developments of coronavirus disease , we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our patients, families, and caregivers. To read more about our safety measures go to JOI4U. If you would like to request registration paperwork electronically click HERE.
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment at JOI Rehab for physical therapy, call
If you want to learn more about knee pain, go to
If you need to see a Knee or Hip Orthopaedic Specialist, please call 904- or follow the link below. JOI is now offering Telehealth and ASAP Injury Appointments!
Chronic Degenerative Meniscal Tear
If you’ve experienced swelling, joint pain, and a sensation that your knee is sticking or locking, the problem could be a chronic degenerative meniscal tear.
A meniscus is a rubbery cartilage cushion in your knee that helps to pad the joint. Each of your knees has two of them. “Sometimes these structures are torn during an injury, but in degenerative cases, the cartilage just becomes frayed and worn over time, resulting in a breakdown or tearing of the tissue,” says Dr. Breslow. When a meniscus is frayed, ragged edges or loose pieces may get stuck in the joint when it’s moving, causing a sensation that your knee is locking up. If this is happening, be sure to see your doctor.
How to treat it: Surgery is no longer the first-line treatment for this condition, says Dr. Breslow. “It used to be that most people got referred for an arthroscopic procedure to remove the torn meniscus or repair it,” she says. “But now research is showing that, in many cases, the condition can be treated non-operatively just as effectively.”
Clinicians are now more likely to recommend treating the condition with physical therapy. As is the case with patellofemoral pain syndrome, building up the muscles around the joint and in other parts of the body can ease pain, without the risk of complications. However, you may need surgery if a piece of the meniscus is interfering with the motion of the joint.
Don’t Miss: Dcf Compression Knee Sleeve
What Causes The Pain
Knee pain can be caused by a variety of issues, from injury to tendonitis to bursitis . But the primary cause of knee pain, according to Dr. Stearns, is usually a form of arthritis.
People with normal, healthy knees usually dont get pain at night, he says. Theres typically a reason, and its often because they have arthritis, commonly osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is mechanical in nature, caused by wear-and-tear on the joints as well as the cartilage and tendons associated with the joints. This sets the condition apart from rheumatoid arthritis which is inflammation of the joints, typically caused by an overactive immune system.
While osteoarthritis is typically seen in older patients, it can occur in younger patients, too, particularly those who are prone to overuse of certain joints or suffered significant injuries like ligament tears.
Understanding Knee Pain In Young Adults
Sore, aching knees might seem like a problem only older people experience, but guess what? Plenty of younger people have knee pain, too. But while the symptoms may feel similar, younger people tend to have knee pain for different reasons. And that means theyll need to have different types of care to feel better. Heres what you need to know about knee pain in kids and young adults.
Recommended Reading: Getting Rid Of Fat Around Knees
What You Need To Know
- The most common causes of knee pain are related to aging, injury or repeated stress on the knee.
- Common knee problems include sprained or strained ligaments, cartilage tears, tendonitis and arthritis.
- Diagnosing a knee injury or problem includes a medical examination and usually the use of a diagnostic procedure such as an x-ray, MRI, CT scan or arthroscopy.
- Both non-operative and surgical treatment options are available to treat knee pain and problems depending on the type and severity of the condition.
How Are Knee Injuries Diagnosed
To diagnose a knee injury, health care providers ask about how the injury happened and what symptoms it causes.
The health care provider will do a physical exam that includes pressing on the knee and legs and moving them in certain ways. These tests can show what part of the knee is injured.
Imaging tests done sometimes used include:
Also Check: Can You Rebuild Cartilage In Your Knee
What Causes Sharp Pain Behind The Knee
If you are a runner, then sharp back of knee pain often indicates a problem with the hamstring tendons, such as tendonitis. If you do a lot of cycling, then a sharp pain behind your knee is usually caused by a problem in one of the calf muscles, gastrocnemius.
If you have recently twisted your knee or had a fall, then a meniscus tear is probably causing the sharp pain.
Managing Outer Knee Pain
Immediately after an injury, you can help yourself by resting your leg, using an ice pack and taking painkillers, such as ibuprofen. If you cant put weight on your leg, you may need crutches. Avoid twisting or bending the knee as far as possible.
If your injury is mild, you may not need to see a doctor or physiotherapist, but you should 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
Recommended Reading: Rebuilding Knee Cartilage Naturally
Problem: Patella Or Kneecap Pain
When working properly, your patella should glide straight up and down as you extend your leg. But sometimes the kneecap slides slightly off track and rubs against the bone and cartilage nearby. This can lead to pain and swelling in front of the knee and behind the kneecap. You can also hear a crackling noise.
How Is Knee Pain In Teens Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will ask about your teens knee pain:
- Is there a known cause for the knee pain does it happen with certain movements or is there no specific known event?
- How long has the pain been present?
- Where on or around your knee do you feel pain?
- Does the pain wake you up at night?
Your provider will perform a physical exam, checking:
- Kneecap and knee stability.
- Alignment of lower leg, kneecap and thigh.
- Range of motion of hips and knees.
- Thigh muscle strength, flexibility, firmness.
Your provider may order imaging tests including X-rays or a CT scan or MRI .
Recommended Reading: How To Stop Limping After Knee Surgery
Three Reasons Your Knee Hurts When Straight But Not When Bent
Your knees are complex joints that bear a lot of your body weight and power your legs for a wide range of activities like walking, running and jumping. Its important to take care of your knees so you can live out your normal daily life and enjoy physical activities. However, despite your best efforts, injuries and conditions can affect your knees, which can limit their use.
Some conditions cause pain that only affects your knees when trying to straighten them but not bending them. Common conditions that cause this kind of pain include:
1. Torn meniscus
The meniscus is a small, flat piece of cartilage that rests between the thighbones and shinbones on each side of your knees. There are two menisci in each knee. They exist to absorb shock in the knees and keep the bones from grinding against one another.
A traumatic injury that causes the knee to violently twist can cause a meniscus to tear. A torn meniscus might fold on itself, which can keep you from fully straightening your leg and cause knee pain when you try to do so.
2. Runners knee
Runners knee is the common term for pain around the kneecap. This is a condition in which the tendon that connects your kneecap to your shinbone becomes inflamed from repetitive motions. This can make it painful around the kneecap when you try and fully straighten your leg.
3. Strained muscles
Diagnosing Inside Knee Pain
In order to treat pain on the inside of knee, it is very important to get an accurate diagnosis from your physician. If you had trauma or other injury to the knee, it is important to let your doctor know. Your age and activities may also play a factor in helping determine the cause of inside knee pain, so be sure to let your doctor know about your occupation or hobbies that may be affecting your knee.
Your physician will likely have an imaging test such as an MRI or X-ray to be able to see the structures in the knee and determine if there has been damage to the cartilage or ligaments which may be causing pain inside the knee. He or she can then determine if the MCL or meniscus has been stretched or torn.
You May Like: How To Whiten Knees Fast