7 Key Causes of Back of Knee Pain

Back of Knee Pain
Back of Knee Pain

In many cases, pain at the back of the knee occurs during active sports, but you could also experience it when you are at rest. The burning pain in knee often happens with swelling. However, it is not uncommon to have the pain without the swelling. Most of the causes of the pain on the inside of knee are common and easy to deal with. However, other causes are a bit complex and require specialized attention.

Cause Of  The Back Of Knee Pain

Behind your knee, there is the calf that contains the hamstring muscles, a nerve to the leg and the popliteal artery. It also has other structures like medial & posterior meniscus, cartilage, and bones. All these can be affected by several factors and cause pain in the back of the leg.

Why do many people suffer from pain in the back of leg? You can suffer from the back of the knee pain due to any of the following 7 reasons:

  1. Injury to the Hamstring:

If you have been active in sports at any one time or the other, you will agree that hamstring injuries are quite common. The injury usually occurs high up in the thigh, somewhere in the region of the pelvis. Sportsmen do sometimes injure the hamstring just above the back of the knee. When this happens, a sharp pain behind knee will be experienced about 5 inches above the knee. The pain is very severe immediately after the injury happens but gradually subsides. By the end of a week, it may not be so bad. You should start stretching the hamstring as soon as the pain is not so severe so that you can prevent it from going stiff.

  1. Inflammation Due To Osteoarthritis:

Arguably, this is the commonest cause of back of the knee pain. You may notice that when bending, there is tightness behind the knee, and you experience loss of motion. This means that you are unable to bend your knee fully because the knee joint is stiff. You may experience this pain behind knee all the way up to the thigh, and sometimes down to the calf. People who suffer from osteoarthritis also experience knee pain, especially when sitting.

To get relief from inflammation due to osteoarthritis, you could try a warm compress, an ice pack and mild stretching. A compression brace or sleeve can also help alleviate the pain. If the pain continues after about three days of trying these interventions, consult your doctor to determine the real reason for your back of the knee pain.

  1. Blood Clot Or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT):

The pain in the back of your calf, thigh, and knee could be because of DVT. The pain could also be localized to just at the back of your knee. DVT is characterized by swelling on your leg or calf. Early signs of DVT include a tender, swollen calf, and searing pain at the back of the knee. When you notice this, consult a doctor to schedule an urgent operation.

People with chronic diseases like cancer are at a high risk for DVT. It is advisable that you try to move around if you are traveling a long distance, as sitting for too long could expose you to the risk of DVT. People who undergo surgeries should also be closely monitored, as they could easily suffer from a blood clot.

  1. Bone On Bone Knee Pain Common Athletes:

This kind of knee pain is common among runners. It occurs when some tendons cross over each other. When this happens, any attempts at serious motion cause a snapping and grinding that is very painful. This is because as you try to squat or run, the tendons get irritated. The pain could also result from the calf muscles pressing onto the hamstring muscles as you attempt some motions.

The condition is not very serious, and surgery is rarely called for. You can easily handle the situation with a change in some aspects of your exercise. For example, avoid hills for a few days, shorten your strides, and increase cadence. You could also opt for physical therapy.

  1. Pain Due To Bakers Cyst:

A pocket filled with fluid, known as Bakers cyst, can be the cause of the pain in the knee that you are experiencing. The pocket of fluid causes a swelling that puts pressure on the blood vessels, muscles, and nerves around it, leading to a lot of pain and discomfort. It is common for people with Bakers cyst to have osteoarthritis. Treatment for osteoarthritis usually makes the Bakers cyst disappear with time.

Ordinarily, Bakers cysts should not cause much alarm, as they are not dangerous. The very large ones can be drained in a simple procedure. However, it is prudent to carry out an ultrasound to ascertain whether what you have is a Bakers cyst or something else that warrants further action.

  1. Tears To The Meniscus:

It is quite common for people to complain of knee pains due to tears to the root of the meniscus. It starts simply enough. As you attempt to bend down or kneel, you feel a pop in your knees. Two or three days later, the knee is swollen and you have terrible pain. For the next week or so, this tear in the root of the meniscus will give you pain at the back of your knee, but it should improve as time goes by. In fact, the pain should altogether be gone in 2 to 3 weeks’ time. However, if the pain persists, consider visiting a doctor for an MRI. The doctor might recommend repairing the root tear if he/she deems it necessary.

  1. Knee Pain Due To Back Problems:

The back and the knees are closely related. The back houses the muscles that control the functions of the knee. Therefore, when the nerves on the back have a problem, this will affect the functioning of the knee. One of the signs of such a problem is an irritation of the nerves in the knee, causing pain. Unfortunately, you may not relate this irritation with the back, but you could assume that the problem is with your knee.

It is important to understand that the place that hurts often provides the symptom for the real problem. So, before you go for costly knee replacement procedures, have a medical expert examine whether your back of knee pain could be a symptom of a back problem.

Back of knee pain is a common phenomenon, and can affect anyone in tattletale population. The problem is non-specific, and you, therefore, have to narrow down the actual cause of the pain. The above guide provides you with the key hints to help you with this

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