5 Common Causes for Pain Behind Knee (Watch Out for These Symptoms)
Knee pain is one of the most common ailments that affect people of all ages. There are various types and causes of knee pain. This article discusses the possible causes and symptoms of a common pain experienced behind the knee, especially when straightening the leg.
Symptoms of Pain on Inside of the Knee
The symptoms mentioned below are common symptoms that are accompanied by pain in the back of the knees.
Swelling behind the knees
Lump behind the knees
Cracking joint or knees
Fluid buildup inside the knees
Decreased range of motion
Image credit: Pixabay
Common Causes for Pain Behind Knees
Here are 6 common causes of back of knee pain:
Arthritis A condition where the bone, or in this specific case the knee joint and cartilage, starts to gradually degenerate, get worn out, and become brittle.
The two most common types of arthritis are:
Osteoarthritis: The gradual breakdown of bones and cartilages that is usually triggered by old age.
Rheumatoid arthritis: It is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system fails to recognize its own body cells and starts to attack the joint cells
Other types of arthritis that causes pain at the back of the knee are Lupus and psoriatic arthritis.
Blood Clot Quite often pain, discomfort, or swelling behind the knees could also be caused by blood clots.
One of the most common conditions is known as DVT or Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), where a blood clot is formed in a deep vein inside the leg and blocks the blood flow, thus blocking the oxygen and nutrients.
The pain experienced is most significant when one is straightening the leg or standing up.
Detection and dissolution of the clot by blood thinners is highly crucial as if the clot breaks free and travels to the lungs, it could be fatal.
Besides back of the knee pain, other symptoms include:
Raised temperature around the area
Red or purple skin
Blood clot, Image credits: Wikimedia commons
This condition is one of the most common causes of pain behind the knees.
Our body has fluid sac-like structure throughout the body that helps lubricate and protect our body parts as we move by providing cushion and are filled with synovial fluid.
Such sacs are known as bursa and the popliteal bursa is present behind the knees.
Baker’s cysts is a condition where the popliteal bursa becomes inflamed due to extra fluid build-up which forms cysts.
Other symptoms include:
Pain inside the knee
Trouble flexible inside the knee
Stiffness and swelling
Sharp pain when the cysts burst
Pain gets worse if physical activity is continued.
Hamstring Injury or Cramp
Essentially, your hamstrings are muscular structures that allow your knees to bend. They consist of three muscles that run through the back of your thigh.
The hamstring consists of a trio of muscles that run down the back of your thigh:
Biceps femoris muscle
Thus, injury to either or all of these muscles is known as a hamstring injury.
Image credits: Wikimedia commons
Besides, back of the knee pain, other symptoms include:
Bruising or out purple skin
Sudden, tense, and sharp pain
Popping or tearing sensation
This commonly occurs when the hamstring muscles are stretched too far or wrongly and thus, is a very common injury for athletes.
One way to significantly reduce the chances of a hamstring pull or tear is to stretch before performing any outdoor activity
The joints in your knees are protected from friction, cushioned, and stabilized by a cartilage structure known as a meniscus which is present on the two ends of the bones that make up a knee joint.
Sometimes, this cartilage structure can disintegrate, weaken, or degenerate due to factors like rapid motion or old age.
This condition is known as a “Meniscus tear” and the most significant symptoms of the “popping” or “cracking sounds” from the knees.
Other symptoms include:
The cartilage usually heals on its own with rest, but in some cases, surgery may be required to repair the damaged cartilage.
Treatment, Image Credits: Needpix
Back of Knee Pain Treatment
There are various forms of treatment for this condition, depending on the cause and extent of the pain.
Using a knee brace
OTC medications to reduce inflammation
Physical or physiotherapy
Making lifestyle changes like reducing intensive activity, talking rest, routine compression, etc
Exercise and weight loss
There are different types of causes of pain behind the knees and most have similar accompanying symptoms. However, pain due to some causes may go away on it’s own while others may not. Therefore, it is very important to consult your healthcare specialist.