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What Does Pain In The Back Of Your Knee Mean

Painful Knee: Where Does It Hurt

What is Causing the Pain Behind Your Knee, How to Tell

The exact location of your knee pain is an indicator of the cause. Your doctor will ask you to describe in detail the exact location and type of pain you experience in the knee. This can help the doctor determine the type of condition or injury responsible for your symptoms. Below are some possible causes of knee pain.

Patellar Tendonitis Usually, pain in the front of the knee is caused by a problem with the patellar tendon. Patellar tendonitis is a type of overuse injury. Running, jumping, a sudden increase in the intensity of an activity, muscular tightness, and imbalance can contribute to this injury. With this condition, it can hurt to bend the knee, kneel, and squat.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome Pain on the outside or lateral side of the knee usually indicates a problem with the iliotibial band or the lateral meniscus . Iliotibial band syndrome is common in long-distance runners, as well as cyclists and rock climbers. The repetitive bending of the knee can lead to this condition. Meniscus tears, on the other hand, are caused by sudden twisting movements of the knee, which is common in basketball, football, soccer, and tennis players.

Other Causes Pain in the back of the knee could mean different things: a cartilage injury, a ligament injury, a hamstring injury, Bakerâs cyst , and arthritis. There are many possible causes of pain in the back of the knee, which is why it should be evaluated by an experienced medical professional.

What Are The Best Exercises For Knee Pain

To rehabilitate the knee area, we need to find the underlying cause of the problem. To do that, we carry out a thorough examination so we can understand the condition of your body and your individual needs. For some people, going straight into exercising an injured area is a very bad idea it can cause more harm than good. Instead, we recommend introducing gentle exercises once your condition has improved and exercises are tolerable. For patients whose injuries have been caused by sports or working out at the gym, we advise that they should stop their gym or training programme until their condition is well managed.

I was shocked at the difference after my first session.

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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.

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Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament

You hear a pop and can’t move after you suddenly change direction — often while playing soccer, football, or basketball. You may have torn your ACL, which connects the femur and the tibia and prevents the tibia from moving too far forward. Your knee will hurt and swell and feel unstable.

You can tear or strain any of the tissues that hold your knee together: Ligaments connect bones to each other tendons connect muscle to bone. Irritated tendons from using them too much? That’s tendinitis.

Burning Pain In Knee When Kneeling

What Does Your Knee Pain Mean?

Many people immediately believe they have knee arthritis when they feel pain as they kneel. However, sharp burning pain in knee areas when kneeling does not mean you have to acquiesce to a lifetime of painful arthritis.

Sharp, burning pain in your knee might just mean you have sore muscles.

Picture the anatomy of your knee. The thigh muscles and lower-leg muscles are both attached to your patella or knee cap with tendons.

When you strain your muscles, they fill up with lactic acid, giving them that painful tight sensation after you exercise. Tight muscles d not flex. So as you attempt to flex your knee and muscles do not respond with proper stretching, you may feel a burning sensation in your knees.

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Knee Cysts And Bursal Injury

Injury to bursae is usually the result repetitive motions and will elicit pain and tenderness. Cystic lesions of the knee can be caused from a diverse group of entities from benign etiologies to complications of arthritis, infection, and malignancy. The classic cystic lesion causing posterior knee pain is the Bakers cyst. A Bakers cyst is caused either by a herniation of the synovial membrane through the posterior capsule or by an escape of fluid through an anatomic bursa next to semimembranosus or gastrocnemius. Fluid seeps in to the popliteal bursa, located at the back of the knee causing it to swell. It often feels like a squashy orange. A Bakers Cyst typically causes pain behind the knee when bending the knee as the bursa gets squashed.

These include popliteal artery entrapment syndrome, aneurysms, and deep venous thrombosis .

There is minimal literature available on neurological causes of posterior knee pain as there are few case reports, randomized control trials, or meta-analyses that discuss the neurological causes of posterior knee pain. However, referred pain has been implicated as a cause of posterior knee pain. The patellofemoral joint and lumbar spine may both refer pain to the posterior knee. Pain can also be caused by entrapment of nerves in the popliteal fossa.

Tendon And Muscle Injuries Causing Pain Behind Knee

Tendon injuries often occur in runners due to overload. The tendons most likely to be affected include the hamstring on the inside or outside . Rarely, a small tendon called the popliteus wrapping around the outside of the knee joint can become swollen and painful.

In addition, hamstring muscle tears can occur close to the outside of the knee. Usually, these tears occur about 5cm above the knee joint. It is important to define the exact location of the tear, as location determines the time to return to sport.

Finally, a pulled calf muscle near the knee can also cause pain in this area.

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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.

It Is Painful When I Bend My Knee What Does This Mean

STOP These 5 Habits or Your Knee Pain May NEVER Go Away!

If you are experiencing knee pain, especially when you bend it to walk, kneel, sit, squat, and more, it is likely that you have a condition or injury that needs treatment. There are many causes of knee pain, and it is incredibly difficult to self-diagnose yourself correctly. This is why it is critical to see an orthopedic specialist with a wealth of experience diagnosing and treating knee conditions and injuries.

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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.

When To See Your Doctor

Don’t wait if your knee pain is sudden and intense. Pick up the phone if it won’t go away or gets worse.

To make a diagnosis, your doctor might take X-rays or other images of your knee. Blood or knee fluid samples can help confirm or rule out certain conditions. Treatment may include medication, special exercises, braces, or in some cases surgery. Losing weight could help lessen pressure and strain on your knees.

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A Swelling At The Back Of The Knee And Calf Causing Pain And A Feeling Of Tightness When Straightening The Leg

This may be due to a Bakers Cyst, which is an accumulation of synovial fluid in the popliteal fossa. The synovial fluid is over-produced, due often to a trauma to the knee or in conditions such as arthritis. The cyst may clear up on its own, but if not it is advisable to visit the doctor. Swelling in the knee joint due to extra synovial fluid being produced also occurs due to accidental damage to the knee or when osteoarthritis is present.

Tight Hamstrings Or Neural Tension

Patellar Tendinitis

Many people end up experiencing tight hamstrings despite stretching on a regular basis.

Sometimes this tightness will be alleviated with more consistent, targeted stretching. But if youre diligent about it and still dont feel any changes in your flexibility, your tight hamstrings may actually be a symptom of neural tension.

Neural tension typically starts within the sciatic nerve and mimics a similar sensation as tight hamstrings, but youre also more likely to experience a sharper feeling in the back of your knee when stretching.

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A Sudden Severe Pain Or Popping Sound Accompanied By Swelling And A Feeling Of Looseness Of The Joint And Instability

This may be due to damage to one of the knee ligaments, and is commonly seen as a result of sports injuries concerned with a sudden impact, twisting or over stretching. If the ligament is torn or twisted it is a sprain . If you suspect a damaged ligament you should comply with the RICE procedure, but not immobilise the joint as there is a risk of stiffness and possible muscle atrophy. The injury should be clinically assessed, and may need surgery.

What Are The Potential Complications Of Pain Behind The Knee

Because pain behind the knee could indicate a serious condition, not seeking treatment can result in complications. It is important to visit your healthcare professional when you experience any kind of persistent pain, redness, warmth, or other unusual symptoms.

Once your doctor has diagnosed the underlying cause, it is important that you follow the treatment plan they outline to reduce your risk of potential complications related to pain behind the knee, including:

  • a loss of mobility
  • poor quality of life from constant pain

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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.

Pain Behind The Knee Faqs

Does Walking Help Knee Pain?

Why do I have pain in the back of my knee when straightening my leg?

There are many different causes for pain behind the knee when straightening the leg, including jumpers knee , a Bakers cyst and chondromalacia.

Why do I have pain behind my knee when bending my leg?

You may have damaged a ligament, tendon or cartilage, which prevents full range of motion in your knee without pain.

Why do I have pain behind my knee when walking and after/during running?

There are many different causes for pain behind the knee on activity, such as arthritis or a Bakers cyst, as well as injuries, such as a meniscus tear, anterior or posterior cruciate ligament injury or hamstring injury.

Why do I have pain in the back of my knee after sitting?

There are several conditions that can cause pain in the back of your knee after sitting for a long time, including arthritis and chondromalacia.

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Tendinopathy And Muscle Complex Injuries

Tendon injuries are associated with repetitive mechanical stresses that cause degenerative lesions. Hamstrings, gastrocnemius, and popliteus tendon typically cause posterior knee pain.

The hamstrings are frequently injured in sports that require sprinting. Semimembranosus tendinopathy usually presents as an aching pain localized to the posteromedial knee with tenderness on palpation inferior to the joint. Some of the possible risk factors for hamstring injury include body mechanics, flexibility, balance, hamstring strength, improper warm-up, fatigue, specific activities, running techniques, and psychosocial factors.

The gastrocnemius muscles superficial location and action across the knee and ankle make it susceptible to injury. Pain in the gastrocnemius occurs during knee flexion with resistance and during calf raises.

The popliteus muscle can also be a significant source of posterior knee pain. Both the muscular and tendinous aspects of the popliteus can be injured. Injuries to the popliteus may promote injuries to other structures in the postero-lateral complex and to ligaments of the knee. The mechanism of injury is thought to occur from direct stretch or when overused to maintain posterolateral stability. Guha et al. suggested that a stable knee with posterolateral pain and hemarthrosis on exam indicates a rupture of the popliteus tendon.

Use Your Knee Brace And Crutches

If youve been fitted for a knee brace or had one recommended to you, make sure it fits properly. You should be able to insert two fingers under the strap. If its difficult to fit two fingers or if you can fit a third finger, youll need to adjust the tightness. Usually youll wear the brace for two to six weeks.

Use crutches if theyve been given and avoid putting any pressure on your knee until your doctor says its okay. Wait at least two weeks or until your doctor gives you the go-ahead before you bathe, swim, or use a hot tub. Follow a healthy diet and drink plenty of fluids. Eat high-fiber foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure you have regular bowel movements. This will help while you may not have the benefit of moving around as much as usual.

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What Are Recommended Exercises Once A Torn Meniscus Has Been Repaired

Rehabilitation after an operation depends upon the individual patient and the response to surgery. Specific recommendations regarding weight-bearing and exercises will be customized for the patient by the surgeon and therapist.

  • Usually, the goal is to return the knee to normal function within four to six weeks.

Anterior Knee Pain Causes In Young Athletes:

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Before you read this, it is worth repeating the majority of you will not have the issues that I outline below. The majority of you will have pain due to a gait abnormality or muscle imbalance. We all feel the need to have a specific label for why our knee hurts. Anterior knee pain due to muscle imbalance just doesnt cut if for some of you you want something more specific. I understand that.

The point I am trying to make is, if you assign the cause of your pain to a specific structural finding or something that your MRI report mentioned, then you may have difficulty getting past that and buying into the PT or exercise strategies that have been shown to work.

  • Chondromalacia: Chondromalacia is likely a very early sign of arthritis. It involves the softening of the cartilage under your patella . As the cartilage softens, it is thought that it irritates other tissue in the knee with certain activities. Im not convinced that this is a common cause of anterior knee pain. Chondromalacia is very common, even in people with no pain.

We find chondromalacia in so many people at the time of surgery for other things, such as an ACL tear. And those people rarely have pain in the front of their knee. So it is not entirely clear why some people might have pain due to chondromalacia, and others do not. Surgery is rarely needed.

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