Pain behind the knee is something many of us have or might experience if we play sports that involve bending at the knees, running, tennis, or any activity that puts strain on the area.
Here are some things you need to keep in mind if you ever experience such pain behind the knee:
1. Possible Arthritis
This is one of the most common causes of pain in the knee. In fact, if you are over the age of 65 one in two of you have arthritis with the knee been one of the most common joints involved.
The pain of arthritis is usually a dull tooth ache pain that is occasionally sharp with sudden movements. The pain is usually located over your joint line (where the tibia meets the femur) and in the front of the knee. Mild and sometimes severe swelling is associated with this pain. The pain is worse when you exit a chair or car. It is also worse with any prolonged walking or standing. The pain is usually better with rest, heat (sometimes ice), wrapping the knee and pain medication.
Occasionally the knee may catch on the rough uneven surfaces of your cartilage. Patients often complain of grinding in the knee, and occassional popping.
2. Minor Tear of the Cartilage Surface
Rather then a cyst or fluid build-up, the causes of the pain behind the knee might simply be slight micro tears in the cartilage. This can be treated with the same solutions at the end of this article. Tears, if minor, require no surgery and will heal on their own depending on the time allowed for healing and if the activity that aggravates it is avoided.
3. Baker's Cyst The cyst usually occurs due to some other problem in your knee such as arthritis or even a tear of your meniscus. The swelling from this problem causes fluid to build up in your knee. This fluid pushes out the weakest point of your joint capsule surrounding your knee. This is usually to the back portion of your knee capsule, and a cyst forms. The cyst has a valve made out of your joint capsule tissue. This valve can sometimes become clogged and the fluid becomes trapped in the cyst. Thus, even when the injury has resolved, you still have the swelling in the back of your knee. This is associated with pain usually described as dull and aching. The pain is worse with prolonged walking or standing. It is sometimes improved with rest, elevation and taking pain medication.
Many people agree that when it comes to pain behind the knee, the best plan of action is Control, Avoid, and Rehabilitate.
Cryotheraphy which involves putting ice on the area for 5 minutes at a time. This will help reduce the pain. Do not continue to apply ice if a burning sensation is felt.
Heat from a heating pad for 10-20 minutes on a lower setting may help reduce pain. Alternative methods include creams that create a heating sensation like Icy-Hot or AST BioFreeze gel.
Bracing from a comfortable knee brace can provide some needed relief and stability to the area, reducing the pressure on the area and thus; reducing the pain. There are many knee braces available that can be worn during activity or at any time where the area becomes bothersome.
There's nothing special about this old saying. Simply avoid the activities that aggravate the pain and participate in ones that seem to help it. Making a list of things NOT to do and a list of things TO DO will be helpful in determining what makes the pain worse. Avoid activities that continue to make the pain worse or no better. This is typical advice. Pain is a warning signal.
Talk to a Doctor and make a plan of action to rehabilitate the knee thru controlled motions. Rehabilitation includes motivation to do the prescribed exercises. The correct exercises as prescribed and the proper equipment to keep the motions in controlled.
Pain behind the knee is very common in some many sports that you can suffer from this by doing almost anything from snowboarding to racquetball. By taking precautions in your sports and understanding what might cause this, will allow not only enjoyable sports activities, but a lifetime of activity.
Marc David is a bodybuilder, writer, and author of the the e-book "The Beginner's Guide to Fitness and Bodybuilding" (BGFB): What Every Beginner Should Know but Probably Doesn't. Marc has written over 20 articles and has been featured in several health and fitness websites.