Pain behind Knee: Common Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

Do you get pain behind knee? Would you like to know the cause of your pain and the right treatment? Well, living with pain can be really annoying because the pain will forbid you from doing your daily activities easily and comfortably. Even, when you should do a small activity, you might not be able to do it easily. If you are an active person, this condition will reduce your quality of life. Thus, knowing more facts about pain behind the knee will be useful for you.

Pain behind Knee Overview

Actually, pain behind the knee which is also known as posterior knee pain happens to lot of people ,of which many of them have been suffering from this health problem for many years. Commonly, pain behind knee includes restricted movement of the knee, sharp pain at the back of the knee, and general pain in the back of the knee. In most cases, the patients who are suffering from pain below knee cap are older people. Basically, this pain is related to an older knee injury which is formed by various conditions like excess weight and an orthopedic nature. In this case, excess weight refers to excessive body weight and excessive objects that you carry. Along with time, the injury or orthopedic nature will increase so that pain at the back of knee can get worse.

What Causes Pain behind the Knee?

Knowing the cause of your pain behind the knee enables you to know the start of your pain. If the cause is known clearly, the right treatment can be easily determined. Read about 5 common causes of knee pain.

Pain behind the Knee

Pain behind the Knee

Diagnosing Pain behind Knee

Diagnosing your pain behind knee becomes an important step to heal your pain because it enables you to find the right treatment for your pain. In order to get an accurate diagnosis, you will need to visit your physician. However, if you are interested in diagnosing your pain on your own, you will be able to do it easily. To diagnose whether you are suffering from pain behind the knee, you should do 3 things; they are finding the specific symptoms of your pain, finding the location of your pain, and finding how the pain starts. If your pain is located at the back part of your knee after you carry an excessive object, you might be suffering from pain behind the knee. Actually, there are several common causes of knee pain. The followings are those causes.

Anterior knee pain

This knee pain is also known as runner’s knee. Anterior knee pain can be easily differentiated from pain behind knee because this pain occurs at the front and center of the knee. There are a number of causes of anterior knee pain; they are extra stress on the kneecap, flat feet, tightness of muscles on the front and back of your thighs, and abnormal position of kneecap. The most common symptom for this pain is grinding sensation when the knee is flexed. (In-Depth Explanation)


Arthritis is a condition where there are changes in the bone that are caused by wear and tear, and inflammation. People suffering from arthritis usually experience morning stiffness, pain, swelling, grinding, and reduced leg movement. Arthritis mostly occurs in people at the age of 50 or above and it can occur after a prolonged rest and get worse in cold weather. This condition cannot be healed completely but the pain and other symptoms can be treated well. Cushioned footwear, walking aids, weight loss, knee brace, and medication are some of treatments that can be considered.  (Arthritis in the Knee)

ACL injury – Ligament injury

Ligament injury is damage to the ligaments that support the joints. There are 3 types of ligament injury; they are ACL injury, MCL tear, and knee sprain. ACL injury occurs because anterior ligaments are overstretched due to wrong knee bending or pushing knee back and forth. Once this injury occurs, people will suffer from swelling and pain. If this injury is left untreated, it might lead to lack of stability. Thus, exercise rehab or surgery may be needed as a solution to heal ACL injury.

Baker’s Cyst

Baker’s Cyst is the most common cause of back of knee pain (Baker’s Cyst Definition). This injury happens because of excessive pressure and stress on the popliteal fossa. As a result, there is inflammation that causes accumulation of fluid behind the knee. Swelling like a small balloon, pain behind the knee and tightness are three symptoms of this injury. This injury usually needs months to recover but it is possible to return again if it is not treated properly.


This condition happens when the cartilages on the undersurface of the kneecap deteriorates and softens. Chondromalacia occurs mostly in young people and athletic individuals but its possible to happen to older people with arthritis. Taking a few days off from the training can help solve the condition.

Patellar Tendonitis

Patellar Tendonitis is a condition that occurs because of extreme usage of knee. This condition is also known as jumper’s knee because this condition mostly occurs when jumping. The tendon and tissues that surround the knee can be irritated due to the excessive knee uses.

Meniscal Tear

Meniscal Tear is included in cartilage injury and this can happen to young and adult people. When it happens to young people, it might be caused by a traumatic injury but when it happens to older people; it might be related to degenerative process of the bone.

Physical activity

Some physical activities that use knee excessively might lead to back of knee pain. People should know themselves and their physical capabilities.

Tips to Help Avoid Pain behind Knee

Since pain behind the knee can limit your activities, you seemingly need to avoid it. It has become a clear fact that avoiding a health problem is better than curing. Thus, knowing some tips to help avoid pain in back of knee is really useful.

  1. Wear appropriate footwear: Your choice of footwear definitely influences your knee. You need to wear appropriate footwear if you want to avoid pain in back of knee.
  2. Do a warming up activity before doing a workout: A warming activity can lubricate your joints and muscles so that your joint and muscles will be ready to be moved.
  3. Avoid activities that overuse your knee: Overusing your knee will lead into inflammation that can surely cause pain back of knee.
  4. Know your limit: You should know your own limit. You have to stop doing your workout if you feel that your knee cannot support any longer.
  5. Use knee brace: A knee brace can help prevent an injury so you can surely avoid pain behind knee.