11 Causes of Posterior Knee Pain
11 Causes of Posterior Knee Pain | Back of Knee Pain
The back of my knee hurts and starts to swell, but why? Can I still do exercises to reduce knee pain and swelling? Back of knee pain and swelling normally occurs with over exhausting of tendons the work in conjunction with your knee. In less common causes, nerve and vascular pain can be the root of pain behind the knee. In this article, you’ll find a list of different posterior knee pain symptoms and causes.
1.) Biceps Femoris Tendonitis ( Hamstring Injury)
- Your biceps femoris is one of your hamstring tendons that connects directly to the back of you knee that becomes inflamed. Back of the knee pain and swelling occurs at this location.
2.) Bakers Cyst (Back of Knee Swelling)
- Baker’s Cyst is a common cause for posterior knee pain. It is essentially a build up of fluids in the back of the knee due to excessive stress and pressure on the popliteal fossa, or the knee pit, located at the knee joint. Signs and symptoms of a baker’s cyst can be seen as a bubble of fluid behind the knee where there is pain and tightness.
3.) Gastrocnemius Tendonitis ( Calf Muscle Swelling)
- Gastrocnemius tendonitis is essentially swelling of the calf muscle point where it originates at the back of the knee. This is normally due to excessive use and causes poster knee pain at the back of the knee.
4.) Deep Vein Thrombosis (Blood Clot)
- Also known as DVT, which is a blot clot in the vein in the calf muscle. This normally occurs after acl surgery or other common knee surgeries due to the knee being immobolized for a long period of time. Due not confuse this for a calf strain
5.) ACL Injury ( Anterior Cruciate Ligament)
- Your ACL is the ligament inside your knee that crosses from your shine bone to your thigh bone. An ACL tear normally occurs from landing, twisting, rotating your knee when playing sports. A torn ACL can occur from impact as well. This is the most commonly torn ligament in the knee. If not treated and you continue to do excessive physical activity, it can cause swelling the back of your knee, and overtime, lead to osteoarthitis
6.) PCL Injury ( Posterior Cruciate Ligament)
- Like the ACL, your PCL crosses over from your Thigh bone to your shin bone, hence why they’re called cruciate( cross-shaped) ligaments. A PCL tear normally happens from impact, such as landing on your knee when it’s bent or from a hit to your knee in a car accident. Continuing physical activity with a torn PCL can lead to osteoarthritis and of course, swelling.
7.) Claudication ( Leg Cramps)
- Claudication is essentially cramping of legs with pain, which is cause by a lack of blood flowing through as your legs become tired. This can lead to posterior knee pain.
- Osteoarthritis is the degenerative wear and tear of the cartilage over time inside the knee. The chances of osteoarthritis rise as you get towards your 40’s. According to the Arthritis Foundation, more than 27 million in America have osteoarthritis, with the knee being the most common area.
- Chondromalacia is when the cartilage underneath the kneecap starts to wear away and deteriorate from over exhausting movements of this area. This is common in athletes due to excessive activity. Resting for a couple of days can resolve this.
10.) Patellar Tendonitis ( Jumper’s Knee)
- Patellar tendonitis, also know as jumper’s knee, occurs when you’ve over exhausted your knee and normally hen you’re jumping so much causing iiration and inflammation. This injury is common in basketball players as it requires plenty of jumping, which is why you may see a lot of athletes with jumper’s knee straps that are small straps that wrap over the patellar tendon.
11.) Meniscal Tear
- Your meniscus is a crescent shaped piece of cartilage that sits on top of your shin bone, between your shin bone and thigh bone. The meniscus absorbs the shock placed on your knee by acting as a cushion. Tearing your meniscus can occur when doing sudden twisting or rotating of your knee while your foot is planted. If the tear is untreated when continuing to play sports, inflammation can occur which builds up pressure and pain normally at the center or sides of your knee, but can always bring about posterior knee pain.
- Let’s recap the 11 causes of posterior knee pan: Biceps femoris tendonitis, baker’s cyst, gastrocnemius tendonitis, acl injury, pcl injury, claudication, arthritis, chondromalacia, patellar tendonitis and/or a meniscal tear.
- Based of these 11 factors, the most common cause of pain behind the knee is due to overuse of the knee joint.
- The way to treat knee pain is to use the RICE(rest, ice compression, elevation) method and to utilize over-the-counter paine medication to reduce pain and inflammation.