Pain In Back Of Knee – What You Need To Know

Posterior knee pain or pain in back of knee is soreness or discomfort behind the knee joint. This pain, which can limit movement if it is too severe, may occur without or with movement. People who have experienced it may describe it as pain, discomfort, stiffness, inflammation, soreness, burning or increased warmth.

Various problems can cause posterior knee pain. In some cases, this pain develops over time and it indicates that part of the knee has an underlying problem. Sometimes, an injury can make it to develop suddenly. Some people experience a sharp pain behind their knees or a swelling may restrict their leg movements while others complain of a general achy pain behind their knees when they experience posterior knee pain.

The symptoms of pain in back of knee

The following are some of the common symptoms of posterior knee pain that patients experience.

  1. Swelling of the knee – This is common with various knee problems. Severe injury to a structure in an internal joint such as a fracture of the shinbone top or the anterior cruciate ligament is a possible cause when patients have an effusion immediately after they get a knee injury. This pain is probably something less severe such as a ligament sprain or a meniscus tear when swelling develops slowly over a few hours or days after an injury occurs. A joint infection (which is uncommon), inflammatory arthritis, gout (which is less common) or osteoarthritis (which is common) can cause swelling that occurs when a known injury is not present.
  2. Mobility – Various common conditions can affect mobility of the knee. If they chronically limit mobility, arthritis is usually the cause. When arthritis makes the surface of the joint to become irregular, it may limit the mobility of the joint. If an acute injury limits the mobility, a torn structure is likely limiting the mobility or the motion is probably being limited by a swelling.
  3. Giving way / instability – The ligaments for connecting the tibia (shinbone) to the femur (thighbone) provide the stability of the knee. The knee may start to give way beneath the patient when the ligaments tear or stretch. A sensation from beneath the knee is a common symptom of an injury to a ligament.
  4. Grinding / popping / crunching / clicking – Snapping and popping within the knee is very common and it is usually not a symptom of any specific problem. When the pops do not cause pain, no problem exists. However, your doctor should evaluate painful snaps and pops. A patient usually feels or hears a pop when a ligament like the ACL tears during an injury.
  5. Locking – A patient experiences this symptom when he/she is unable to straighten or bend the knee. Pain that prevents normal knee motion can cause the locking.

The causes of posterior knee pain

This pain may occur because of an inflammatory condition or injury like:

  • Peripheral vascular disease or PVD, which is a narrowing of the arteries that occurs because of the buildup of cholesterol and fat on their walls and in effect, limits blood flow.
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Deep vein thrombosis , which is a blood clot in the legs that can cause pulmonary embolism in the lungs, stroke or even a heart attack by breaking loose.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Torn hamstring muscle
  • Overuse injury
  • Torn cartilage or ligament
  • Repetitive motion

Remedies for pain behind the knee

pain in back of kneeThe cause of posterior knee pain largely determines the treatment that you get for it. You can use the following home remedies to relieve the pain.

  1. Oil massage – Massage your knee in circular movements and warm it up by using olive or coconut oil. This will ease the pain by easing any inflammation and encouraging blood flow to that area.
  2. Exercise – Do not perform exercises that put stress on the knee that is experiencing the pain and instead you should do strength building ones that help in improving the strength of your knee.
  3. Herbs– Boswellia, devil’s claw, and cat claw help in alleviating inflammation and pain because they have known nutrients and abilities.
  4. Diet – Knee problems can occur because of obesity and hence, you should opt for a specialized diet in order to regain your ideal weight.

Alternatively, you should consult your doctor so that he/she can prescribe a specialized course of treatment if your pain is chronic.The doctor may advice you to wear knee braces after examining your knees and determining the cause of the posterior knee pain. These braces help in easing the feeling of soreness that you experience in your knees and protecting the natural actions of your ligaments.

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