11 Causes of Posterior Knee Pain

11 Causes of Posterior Knee Pain | Back of Knee Pain

11-Causes-of-Posterior-Knee-Pain

11-Causes-of-Posterior-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)

Posterior-Knee-Pain-Biceps-Femoris-Tendon-Avulsion

Posterior-Knee-Pain-Biceps-Femoris-Tendon-Avulsion

  • 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)

posterior-knee-pain-bakers-cyst

posterior-knee-pain-bakers-cyst

  • 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)

posterior-knee-pain-calf

posterior-knee-pain-calf

  • 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)

posterior-knee-pain-dvt

posterior-knee-pain-dvt

  • 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)

Posterior-Knee-Pain-ACL-Injury

Posterior-Knee-Pain-ACL-Injury

  • 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)

posterior-knee-pain-pcl-injury

posterior-knee-pain-pcl-injury

  • 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)

Posterior-Knee-Pain-Claudicaiton

Posterior-Knee-Pain-Claudicaiton

  • 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.

8.) Osteoarthritis

posterior-knee-pain-arthritis

posterior-knee-pain-arthritis

  • 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.

9.) Chondromalacia

posterior-knee-pain-Chondromalacia

posterior-knee-pain-Chondromalacia

  • 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)

posterior-knee-pain-patellar-tendonitis

posterior-knee-pain-patellar-tendonitis

  • 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

posterior-knee-pain-meniscal-tear

posterior-knee-pain-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.

Conclusion:

  • 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.

 

Sources:

Posterior Knee Pain via Sports Injury Clinic

Pain Behind The Knee via Mykneestretches

Posterior Knee Pain via Athletic Advisor

You may also like...

3 Responses

  1. Ernest Dunlap says:

    Excellent information,question what causes buckling of the PCL.

    • egrabin says:

      It’s normally correlated with a traumatic injury or from a torn acl that causes the PCL to “buckle” which just means it is not in a standard configuration

  2. Nick Rabuano says:

    Sounds like Bakers Cyst. I had a small sack behind my knee past months. Recently felt like I strained my Calf Muscle sore upon touch. Back of knee sack is gone! But upper calf is sore. And I noticed my ankle slightly swollen. A little black and blue. But not sore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *