Back of Knee Tendonitis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Back of knee tendonitis (also tendinitis) occurs when the hamstring tendon gets damaged or inflamed because of excessive strain or force being put on the tendon. The hamstring tendon is the soft tissue that connects the hamstring muscle to the outer features of the knee.

The most common cause of this condition is through overuse of the hamstring tendon, particularly in the patients who take part in jumping and running sports. This condition is also among individuals who take part in sports like football because of the rapid changing of speed which is experienced when running.

Even though this condition is usually caused by overuse of the tendon, it can also occur abruptly if the tendon gets over stretched for instance when warn-up workouts have been skipped or are inadequate for the level of activity, causing the patient to over strain the hamstring tendon when performing jumping, running or skipping movements.

Individuals who have just begun exercising or have amplified their fitness level are also at high risk of suffering from this condition since they may lack the strength and flexibility needed for their new activity level.

Symptoms of Back of Knee Tendonitis

Individuals who suffer this condition are likely to feel pain in the back of their knee which becomes more noticeable through continued activity. This is because the hamstring tendon becomes more inflamed and swollen and in more serious cases, you will feel the pain in the thigh and calf muscles. When the injury is caused by sudden force or pressure to the tendon, pain will normally come on suddenly at the point of injury.

Individuals suffering from this condition are likely to feel the pain and stiffness which becomes more noticeable first thing in the morning and the knee joint will often feel weak, making the patient unable to resume normal activities.

How to Diagnose the Condition

In order to diagnose this condition, a physiotherapist or a doctor will examine the area. The doctor will often carry out an X-ray or a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan so as to confirm the diagnosis and also to rule out any further complications.

How To Treat Tendonitis In The Knee

  1. In order to treat this condition, rest is very crucial so as to allow the injury time to heal and also to prevent any further activities which could cause discomfort or damage to the injury.
  2. You can also apply ice to the injury to reduce any swelling and inflammation as well as to provide cooling pain relief to the injury.
  3. The use of rest, ice, elevation and compression is beneficial for the first seventy two hours of the injury occurring since they will reduce the swelling around the injured area by keeping the injury elevated and restricting blood flow thus preventing further inflammation.
  4. A patient suffering from this condition can also take anti-inflammatory medications so as to reduce swelling as well as relieving the pain caused by the injury.
  5. Strapping and tapping techniques are often used for back of knee tendonitis since they can help stabilize and support the affected area while relieving the pressure. Some athletes continue using this method even after recovering so as to prevent the condition from occurring again.
  6. When the injury has started healing, it is important for the patient to undergo a rehabilitation program for example stretching and strengthening exercises which will help keep the injured area strong and makes it easier for the individual to go back to sports after the injury is completely healed. Remember that these exercises should not be carried out if the patient feels pain in the affected area. Also, a physiotherapist’s advice should always be sought out so as to have an exercise regime that is suitable for the individual.

Lastly, for severe cases of back of knee tendonitis and when other treatment have failed, steroid drug injections may be used so as to reduce inflammation and help ease any pain. However, these injections must only be used as a last resort because they hold a risk of weakening the tendon which can cause its rapture in the long-term.

Back of Knee Tendonitis is also often called Patellar Tendonitis or more commonly “Jumpers Knee” or another condition known as gastrocnemius tendinitis.

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