Causes Of Pain Behind The Knee

By Ameera Mills. May 28, 2018
Causes Of Pain Behind The Knee

It is common to suffer from bad knees, especially if you are an athlete, elderly , or practice a lot of sport. The area behind the knee, if not treated correctly, can injure easily. There are in fact several types of injuries and conditions which can affect the general knee area. Pain can manifest in one area but only appear in another. Therefore it is important to know where the pain is coming from.

In this OneHOWTO article we are going to discuss some causes of pain behind the knee, treatment and prevention.

You may also be interested in: How to relieve knee pain naturally

Popliteal injury- common cause of pain behind the knee

Do you feel discomfort in the knee area when walking, pain behind the knee when bending and stretching , or a burning sensation? It is possible you are suffering from a popliteal injury. This can also be recognized if when palpating there is a muscular bulge or contracture in the subsidence of the area.

The popliteus is a muscle that is located just above the calf and behind the knee. It is a very small and short muscle, and in fact not many people know it exists, until injured. However, this small muscle, sometimes forgotten, has its function. For example, when the knee is extended, the popliteus is responsible for initiating the flexion. In addition, it maintains balance of the knee allowing for stability.

If you go running regularly you will know that this exercise can impacts the legs greatly. This muscle also intervenes in this striding movement. The impact receives by constantly hitting the groun, can cause the popliteal muscle to overload, which can cause stiffness and lack of elasticity. This can therefore cause the tendon to swell and result in tendinitis. Popliteal tendonitis can result in pain in the knee, specifically in the back of the knee. If you feel a somewhat unbearable pain in this area, especially while doing squats or running downhill, it is possible that you are suffering from this injury.

If exercise is continued and physical activity is not reduced, knee tendinitis could become chronic. That is why it is important that if you notice this discomfort you lower your pace and, above all, decrease training intensity.

If you are experiencing this type of discomfort you can apply ice to calm the pain and reduce any apparent inflammation. You can also use compression stockings for a while to increase blood flow and decrease pain. We recommend that you go to the doctor as soon as you notice any symptoms. A doctor will be able to help you treat the injury before it becomes worse.

Causes Of Pain Behind The Knee - Popliteal injury-  common cause of pain behind the knee

Baker's cyst in the knee

Baker's cyst is a well-known knee injury. It is cause by an accumulation of synovial fluid in the knee and is generally concentrated in the bottom of hamstring. Thus, this fluid deposit forms a cyst in the area called Baker's cyst.

This injury usually occurs when the knee is swollen. This swelling produces pain and stiffness behind the knee. It will feel as if you have a small water balloon on the back of your knee. Sometimes it can also result in spread inflammation or bruising. Some of the causes that can lead to a Baker’s cyst are:

Treatment includes correcting the problem that is causing the cyst. Sometimes the cyst can be drained. If the cyst is too big or is resulting in more serious symptoms, it can be removed by surgery. It is very important to treat it. If untreated it can reappear over time.

Tendinitis of the biceps femoris.

Another of the muscles in the back of the leg, is the biceps femoris.

This muscle has two parts; the long head, which is attached to the ischium (the lower and back part of the hip bone), and the short head, which is attached to the femur. Both allow the knee to flex, but the longer muscle also helps the hip to extend. When knees are semi-flexed, the biceps femoris favors external rotation.

If you are a runner, it is possible that this muscle is damaged. This damage can cause pain and swelling in the area where the tendon inserts into the bone. If you feel pain when you bend your knee or when you have just exercised, you are possibly suffering from this tendinitis. The best treatment for this injury is to massage the painful area and remember to stretch before doing sport.

Causes Of Pain Behind The Knee - Tendinitis of the biceps femoris.

Overloaded muscles behind the knee

Pain in the back of the knee can also be cause by a progressive overload ( stress placed on the muscle). These can happen to two muscle types the gastrocnemius or the soleus. Both of these muscles join to the Achilles tendon.

These muscles have several functions. They work very hard when you run or stride, but they are also vital when feet contact the ground. They lessen the impact of this action by distributing weight. This can however cause an overload of the gastrocnemius that can often end in tendonitis, which would cause pain behind the knee due to inflammation.

Other causes of pain behind the knee

Other causes that can lead to pain behind the knee are:

  • Having flat feet.
  • Poor bone alignment, also known as poor alignment of the patellofemoral joint.
  • When there is stiffness or weakness in the muscles of the thigh, both anterior and posterior.
  • Overloaded exercises like running, jumping, skiing or playing soccer.
  • Cartilage injuries.
  • Arthritis.
  • Dislocation of the kneecap (when it comes out of its place).
  • A clamping of the inner lining of the knee that causes it to move.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Causes Of Pain Behind The Knee, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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