Pain behind KneeWhether you have suffered a recent injury or pain developed gradually due to over training or by simply staying stagnant the entire day, feeling pain behind knee or posterior knee pain can be very uncomfortable. Your first step is to learn more on what the underlying problem of this pain 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.

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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.

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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.

Must Read: Arthritis in the Knee – What is the Best Way to Get Relief?

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, bending, running or moving.

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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.

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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.

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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 and also when bending the knee. Oftentimes, this is the reason why many athletes have to take a break in order to place ice packs on their knees.

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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.

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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.

Knee Pain Treatment

A knee injury can happen to anyone. Whether you are young or old, active or sedentary, a sudden shock of pain emitted from this joint will leave just about anyone incapacitated. Luckily, many medical professionals and homeopathic doctor’s have developed techniques for multiple levels of knee pain. Regardless if the pain is behind the knee, or a sudden collision has left a hefty bruise on or around the knee cap, some basic, tender, love and care will get you back on your feet again in no time. The most common form of knee injury is twisting the ligaments incorrectly, causing inflammation and pain behind the patella. Three types of knee pain treatment that will reduce swelling and discomfort include rest, ice and compression.

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.

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Rest is the best way for your body to recoup and recover from any minor illness or injury. Continuous use of a stressed muscle will create more damage, and the same goes for the cartilage in any of your major joints. Resting your knee, especially in elevation, will relieve throbbing because there is a reduction of blood flow in that area.


Ice is nature’s way of decreasing inflammation. By applying ice, or even a bag of those frozen peas that have been sitting in your freezer for the past four months, you will be utilizing one of the most traditional forms of therapy for pain behind the knee cap. It will also help reduce the nasty black and blue markings that may appear with particular types of injury. You do not want to apply any kind of heat, because it will open up the blood vessels in that area and create more blood flow, causing more discomfort.


Compression is another type of knee pain treatment that is usually associated with icing the afflicted area. By wrapping your knee with an ace bandage, or other type of splint, you are decreasing the ability of blood to flow through the inflamed location. It will also provide an extra level of support so that you are less able to twist or bend the joint and potentially causing more damage.


Behind knee pain, there is the potential for damage that is beyond what the eye can see. If the initial treatments of rest, ice and compression do not help over a period of time, more contemporary measures may need to be utilized. Two of these methods are knee strengthening stretches and physical therapy. One requires the assistance of a trained professional; the other requires effort as part of your recovery routine.

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Physical Therapy

Treatment for knee pain through physical therapy may be covered by your insurance, and requires at least a few weeks of traveling to a physical therapist. The exercises that are given to you are simple- usually to improve your mobility in a safe way, and they do not require a lot of time. Most exercises will be pain free, but some may stretch your sore ligaments to a point it causes discomfort. Do not be afraid to express this to your therapist. They are able to define and modify the program to suit your ability.

If you are unable to seek a medical professional due to financial or scheduling reasons, there are some basic at home knee strengthening exercises that you can do- even while you are watching television. Performing a basic runners stretch by reaching down to touch your toes, performing leg lifts with one to three pound ankle weights, or doing high lunges as the muscles strengthen, you can begin to get your knee back in shape. However, performing these exercises without the guidance of a medical professional could cause more damage if they are not done correctly.

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Medication and Surgery

More serious and comprehensive knee pain treatment may be required if your injury is extensive. Medications, injections, and surgery may be necessary if the pain is ongoing or damage has been done to the joint in the past.

All three of these treatments may be costly, but the advances in modern medicine have established effective methods for reducing moderate to severe pain long-term. Steroid treatments through injection along with mild pain relieving medication have been proven effective for pain management and recovery. The last resort is surgery, but new techniques have made this choice less invasive with shorter recuperation following.

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Depending on the extent of the injury, and your overall physical health and history, different methods of reducing pain in your knee can be utilized. Traditional and contemporary methods have helped millions of people to get on their feet again and enjoy their active living. 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.