What is the pain in the back of my knee?

By Jared S Ernest, PT

Pain Behind the Knee

There can be several causes of this type of pain behind the knee. We have listed the most common injuries related to the back of your knee. Some of these conditions are very serious and you should seek medical attention right away. Other factors can determine the cause of the injury. Your medical history, a physical exam and special testing.

Pain in the back of the knee

Man holding his knee

Hamstring Strain

The first possible cause can be biceps femoris tendonitis. This is a medical term for the inflammation of the hamstring tendon which is a muscle that attaches on the back of the upper leg. This muscle hooks into the back of the knee. Pain mainly occurs with bending of the knee and can be caused by kicking sports, running downhill and sprinting.

Baker’s Cyst

Next is a Baker’s cyst. This medical condition is officially known as a popliteal cyst. With this problem, there is localized swelling at the back of the knee which causes increased pressure that results in pain. The classic sign of a baker’s cyst is a golf ball sized knot on the back of the knee.

What is the pain behind my knee

What is the pain in the back of my knee?

Popliteus Tendonitis

Another possible condition can be popliteus tendonitis. The popliteus muscle is a small muscle in the back of the knee that works to turn the lower leg bone in. Symptoms typically include tenderness with pushing in at back of knee. Pain may also occur with the knee bent and foot turned outward.

Gastrocnemius Pain

Another possible issue is gastrocnemius pain, which is inflammation of the large calf muscle. This tendon starts at the back of the knee and continues down into the heel. This problem is usually an overuse injury with pain at the inside of the back of the knee.  The Achilles tendon is also prone to tendonitis or a tear or rupture.  The patient will feel a “pop” or feel a sharp pain in their lower calf area.

Lower Leg Injuries

Anatomy of the lower leg

Deep Vein Thrombosis DVT (Blood Clot)

Two other issues to be aware of are Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and posterior cruciate ligament injuries (PCL). DVT is commonly referred to as a blood clot, which usually occurs following surgery or long periods of immobilization. Typical symptoms of DVT include swelling in the affected leg as well as pain that feels like cramping or soreness. This area will sometimes be red and warm to touch.  A patient will sometimes have a fever and pain with the squeezing of the calf muscle. This can be a serious life threatening occurrence that should not be easily dismissed.  If you have these symptoms, call your doctor immediately.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries

Posterior cruciate ligament injuries (PCL) can also cause pain at the back of the knee. The PCL is a ligament that keeps the knee from bending back the wrong way and is injured when the knee is forced the wrong way. Symptoms can also include minimal swelling and a feeling of instability.

JOI Rehab since its inception has routinely treated these conditions successfully with experienced clinicians. With our new state of the art additions of laser and Graston therapy, we can further speed your recovery.

If you would like to learn more about these injuries and others go to the JOIONLINE.NET Trending Section: https://www.joionline.net/trending/ or if you need physical therapy, please call 904 858-7045.

JOI Fracture and Injury Care

JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP Fracture care. Make an appointment by calling (904)JOI-2000. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury. To learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care.

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