Whether you have suffered a recent injury, are athletes or stay stagnant the entire day, feeling pain behind knee can be very uncomfortable. Learn more about what the underlying problem of this pain is about by knowing more about your body. Understand what you can do about this ache in your body so that you can improve the quality of your living. There are many different causes to knee or joint pain. You need to look for other signs and symptoms in order to know the root of your discomfort. Here is a short list of different causes for knee pain.

Causes of Pain behind Knee

Anterior Knee Pain

This pain is usually found in the front and center of the knee. There are many underlying causes to this pain. This can start when the knee cap is in an abnormal position or when there is poor alignment. Patients will feel tightness in the area from the weak muscles. This type of pain can be because of an injury, too much stress on the knee cap or having flat feet. The tendons around the knee may have weakened and cannot support the patella properly, causing the misalignment. (Read about Anterior Knee Pain: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention Tips)


There are several different types of arthritis that can cause pain behind knee. This is an inflammatory disease that can be the result of deteriorating joint cartilage or post-traumatic injury. The pain that arthritis brings can come suddenly, and the discomfort might increase gradually if proper treatment is not sought. Physical therapy and exercises are recommended for those who suffer from arthritis. Changes in weather, high-impact activities or even climbing up stairs can trigger arthritis pain. There are even times when patients feel pain while stagnant or sitting down. Arthritis in the knee and treatment.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is the most commonly injured ligament of the knee. Statistics show that 70% of injuries are caused by non-contact mechanisms while the rest are acquired through sports. The mechanisms of this type of injury are caused by awkward landings or out of control play. Sidestepping maneuvers or pivoting can also increase the chances of an ACL injury. Immediately after tearing the ACL, patients will feel severe pain in their knee and tenderness along the joint line. This pain will continue while walking or moving.

How to Treat ACL Tears

ACL Tears Treatment

Ligament Injury

The knee is made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments and fluid. A traumatic impact on the knee or too much joint strain can cause ligament injury. This type of injury is very common and can happen to anyone. A sudden impact on the knee, participation in sports or even an accident can cause a torn or pulled ligament, which will result in pain behind knee. The treatment for this injury depends on the cause.

Baker’s Cyst

A buildup of joint fluid can form a cyst behind the knee. There are a number of causes for this type of condition. The synovial fluid, which is the liquid responsible for lubricating the knee joint, can bulge behind the knee when too much pressure builds up. Existing knee problems can be the cause of this condition. This includes a tear in a ligament or cartilage of the knee or arthritis. This can cause stiffness in the leg and discomfort. There are often symptoms of swelling and bruising behind the knee. The size of the cyst can determine the range of motion which is caused by the pain. See definition of baker’s cyst.


This is sometimes referred to as the “runner’s knee“. The cartilage under the knee is a shock-absorber. Overuse or an injury can lead to damage to this cartilage. The most common symptom of this condition is when patients feel pain shortly after an activity or right in the middle of it. Pain in the anterior knee might also be experienced while walking up or down stairs. Oftentimes, this is the reason why many athletes have to take a break in order to place ice packs on their knees.

Patellar Tendonitis

This is one of the most common causes of knee pain, often referred to as “jumper’s knee“. This is common in individuals who engage in sports that involve a lot of jumping. Basketball (learn how to increase vertical jump), volleyball and other high-impact sports can be the cause of patellar tendonitis. There are four different types of stages for this injury. They are classified according to the duration of symptoms and severity of the pain. The symptoms for this condition are often linked to stiff ankle movement and ankle sprains.

Meniscal Tear

The meniscus is a small c-shaped disc that provides cushion for the knee. A tear can occur by twisting or turning quickly or too often when the knee is bent and the foot is planted. This type of injury can occur when engaged in sports or when lifting a particularly heavy object, using your knees as your center. The risk for this type of injury increases with age as the meniscus gets worn out. There are three types of tears from minor tears to severe tears. These vary in symptoms as well as level of discomfort.


Being overweight can increase your chances of osteoarthritis. This is a condition where the cushion area of the knee wears away. This is a disabling form of arthritis and can happen at any age. Every pound on the body can yield five ponds of force on the knee. Even those who are 10 lbs overweight will cause a considerable amount of force on their joints. Individuals who are overweight will often experience knee pain because their joints are not able to handle the force from having to support their body weight.

Warning! 3 Common Treatment Mistakes You’re Making

Pain behind Knee

The treatment options for pain found behind the knee vary, depending on the condition. Monitored physical therapy and exercise is usually needed for ligament injuries and arthritis. There are different types of injuries, including ACL tears, which require surgery. Some individuals will need to lose weight, change the way their exercise and learn how to perform strengthening exercises. It is important that you stretch the muscles surrounding the knee in order to avoid injury. For pain behind the knee, consult your general physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and relevant treatment.