Our knee joint being one of the complex joints in the human body, the pain and discomfort felt in it can vary a lot. You may have felt an achy pain in the back of your knee many times and taken it lightly because for us, knee pain is only one.
Our knee is one of the most injury-prone joints. It is a complicated mix of bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons that can break, strain or tear which is enough for a persistent knee pain to develop. So then, why does the back of the knee hurt? What can be done about it? Let’s understand all.
Causes of pain behind the knee
Behind knee pain (also known as posterior knee pain) is a common form of ache that people experience from time to time. It may heal on its own or can turn chronic if not taken care of. For that, you got to understand the pain first. Try to figure out the point on the back of your knee from where the pain exactly is coming from? Watch out for blood clots, clicking sound, lump, numbness and weakness in the leg, fevers and redness associated with swelling as the symptoms of each condition are different. Following are the possible reasons why the back of your knee hurts.
- Leg Cramps
Overuse of muscles without being stretched make them tight, which causes cramp. The thigh or the calf muscles near the knee are the areas where cramp occurs the most. Leg cramps can also be due to dehydration, infection, nerve problems, and pregnancy. It is a sudden, painful spasm of the muscle which lasts for a few seconds or minutes and after it resides the muscle become sore for a few hours. Gentle stretching and massaging the leg muscle or placing heat pad can help reduce the pain and soreness.
- Meniscus Tear
Each of our knees has 2 menisci – horseshoe-shaped pieces of cartilage that cushion and stabilizes the knee joint. A sudden trauma on a knee, fall or twist can cause the posterior portion of the meniscus to tear, inducing pain all over the back of the knee. Some may even feel a “pop” along with pain, stiffness, fatigue, and locking of the knee. Rest, ice, compress and elevation of the affected knee can help alleviate the symptoms and allow it to heal faster.
- Arthritis and Gout
The natural wear and tear of the cartilage of the knee joint can cause pain in the back of the knee which is called Osteoarthritis which is a degenerative disease and is common among people. Even autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory arthritis like gout, can cause pain behind the knee. The symptoms include loss of motion or difficulty bending the knee, inflammation, stiffness, fatigue etc. Exercises, hot and cold therapy, active life all these help in managing the arthritis pain.
- Baker’s Cyst
A swollen lump or a pocket of fluid that builds up in the back of the knee, leading to pain and swelling is Baker’s cysts. The synovial fluid that acts as a lubricant for knee joint when is produced in a large amount, builds up and forms a cyst. As the cyst grows, it shifts to the surrounding muscles or put pressure on tendons and nerves, and when it bursts, the pain becomes unbearable. Physical therapy can help heal Baker’s Cyst.
- Hamstring Tendonitis
While walking, running or doing sudden movements, stiffness of sharp pain that is felt behind the knees eventually subsides a few minutes and comes back indicates that you may have tendonitis in your hamstring. Athletes are more prone to develop this. Due to the overuse and repetitive motion of hamstring muscles, a strain or cramp occurs commonly and ultimately develops into tendonitis. Hamstring exercises, knee braces etc. may help.
There are even other causes of pain in the knee joint like the Jumper’s Knee, Ligament Injury (ACL or PCL), Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), trauma etc. Whatever the reason may be, although the above-mentioned remedies like hot and cold therapy, R.I.C.E, exercises etc. may help, chances are you may feel pain in the back of the knee again. Hence, to treat your knees without any surgery or side effects, you need one effective and permanent solution – Electrotherapy. Devices like SONICTENS or Combo3 Plus are designed specially to help you with any kind of knee conditions, pain-free and naturally.