Pain Behind Knee – Causes and Common Treatment Options

Posterior knee pain, also referred to as pain behind the knee, is due to a wide range of issues. The pain may occur abruptly because of an injury, or it may develop over a period of time due to an existing problem that remains undiagnosed. As for the kind of pain experienced, it may vary from a stiffness, difficulty in moving the leg, sharp pains, or swelling.Pain on the back of the knee have many causes, let´s look at them.

pain behind knee


Causes of Back of the Knee Pain


The following are among the different causes of pain behind knee including the symptoms and characteristics of each.


1. Knee Sprain


Knee sprain is caused by a tearing or overstretching of the ligaments in your knee. Any type of activities that require knee movement can aggravate this condition. Common symptoms linked with sprained knees include swelling, decreased movement, bruising and general pain. If you suffer from this condition, it is best to use cold compress, knee brace, or tubigrip to relieve the pain gradually. In addition, you may perform a series of exercises that are designed to relax your knees and allow them to heal. In most cases, recovery period can take about 2 weeks or 3 months as it depends on the severity of damage on your knees.


2. Arthritis


Wear and tear, as well as inflammation, can cause massive changes in your bones and result to arthritis. This condition usually occurs among individuals that are over 50 years old, although there are some younger people diagnosed with arthritis due to several factors such as intense physical activity, cold weather, and other causes. Typical symptoms of arthritis are knee pains, reduced leg movements, grinding or clicking on the knees, stiffness and swelling. To obtain relief from this painful condition, you may consider using gel knee pads or knee brace, wear cushioned footwear, or apply cold compress on the affected area. Any changes in your bones may not be undone, yet various treatment options help minimize the pain and prevent further deterioration of your bones.



3. Baker’s Cyst


This condition refers to an inflamed popliteal bursa, or a fluid-filled sac, located at the back of your knees. Initially, you will feel a certain tightness and painful sensation behind your knees, and may eventually lead to swelling of the affected portion. Performing some activities such as kneeling, walking or bending of the knees can worsen the condition. In most cases, the pain arises due to a sudden blow to the back part of your knee, as well as the presence of arthritis. Fortunately, you can choose from a number of treatment options to relieve the pain and improve function such as applying ice on the area, aspiration, and several exercises prescribed by your doctor. In a few months, you can experience a great improvement on your condition, although the pain may recur if proper treatment is not applied.


3. Meniscus Tear


A tear on your posterior cartilage that lines the joint may cause pain behind the knee. It is usually accompanied with a few symptoms such as locking, swelling, painful sensation when straightening the knee, and instability. Regular physical activities including squatting, running, walking and going up the stairs can aggravate this uncomfortable condition, and it may occur suddenly when force is applied through your knees. Wearing knee brace, applying cold compress, or undergoing therapy can help get your knees back in excellent shape. However, recovery may take months because the meniscus receives minimal blood supply that slows down the healing process.


Treatment and Recovery


The best way to minimize the possibility of experiencing pain behind your knees is by keeping them strong and supple. Whenever you feel pain or stiffness on this part of your knee, you should avoid performing physical activities that worsen the condition and apply cold compress on the painful area. By doing so, you can prevent further discomfort or damages on the affected portion.


However, if this condition has been going on for quite some time, you need to consult a doctor for the right treatment option for chronic pain behind knee. Your doctor will conduct tests to determine the actual cause of the pain, so he can recommend medications, exercises, or tools to improve your condition. You may be prescribed to wear knee braces, which can ease the sore feeling while allowing your ligaments to heal naturally. It is also ideal that you meet with a physiotherapist for advice on effective exercises that will relax your joints and hasten the recovery period.

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