PAIN BEHIND THE KNEE
CENTERS & INSTITUTES
What Causes Pain Behind the Knee?
A multitude of different causes exist for back of knee pain. Some simply arise as we age, while others accompany different types of injuries or infections. It is important to note that the knee happens to be both the largest and most complex joint in the body. Regular front of knee pain is a common complaint. However, pain behind the knee is notably less common. We call it “posterior knee pain.” It has a wide variety of causes, and sometimes radiates from the front of the knee, or even the spine, to the back of the knee. Additionally, this pain ranges from very easy to very difficult to diagnose. Depending on the cause of the pain, our specialists work to diagnose and treat your pain in a timely manner.
What Causes Pain Behind the Knee When Standing?
Sometimes, patients feel pain as they stand up from a sitting position. This results from a few different reasons, one of which is the natural wear and tear that our knees go through. The activities we perform with our knees, unfortunately, wears away at the joint over time. Generally, feeling dull pain, aches, or sharp pain while standing comes from one of three conditions:
- Patellofemoral syndrome (PFS): This is the most common cause of knee pain in the United States. It occurs when the nerves around your knee sense pain. The four contributing factors to the development of this condition are misalignment of the patella, muscular imbalance, overuse, and trauma. This condition most often affects athletes, especially women at a younger age.
- Chronic degenerative meniscus tears: In many cases, this condition develops from excessive running or standing. Acute meniscus tears result from sudden twisting of the, as we often see in sports. Unfortunately, the cartilage in our knees becomes frayed over time from regular use. If you feel that your knee is affecting your gait, seek medical attention immediately.
- Early osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is the natural breakdown of the cartilage in your joints. While we associate it mainly with older patients, younger patients who suffered a knee injury have increased chances of developing early osteoarthritis.
Especially for patients who played sports in the past, these conditions are even more common. On their own, they probably seem like a minor nuisance or discomfort. However, if left untreated, they have the potential to turn serious.
What Causes Pain Behind the Knee When Walking?
Multiple different causes exist for pain behind knee while walking. Certain conditions are more common than others, which we list below:
While some of these conditions, notably leg cramps and calf strains, with the RICE technique (rest, ice, compression, elevate), others are more serious. If you experience swelling, visible lumpiness, or locking sensations in your knee, we recommend seeing a doctor right away.
What Causes Pain Behind the Knee When Bending?
Even more conditions cause knee pain while bending. Some, as we mentioned before, can be treated at home with RICE. Others, however, require the careful attention of a medical professional. Below, we list several of these conditions:
- Patellar tendonitis
- Hamstring tendonitis
- Knee bursitis
- Quadriceps tendonitis
- Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome
- Jumper’s knee
- Anterior cruciate ligament injury
It is important to note that telling your doctor the exact location of your back of knee pain is key to a diagnosis. Depending on the cause, your doctor might recommend one of a wide array of treatment options. For minor conditions, RICE and over the counter medications will likely do the trick. For more serious conditions, we recommend physical therapy and sometimes surgery. This varies from patient to patient, as we like to provide customized and individualized care.
What Other Symptoms Might Occur With Pain Behind Knee?
A wide array of symptoms occur alongside pain behind knee. Below, we include the most common symptoms that we see for the conditions listed above:
- Sharp, dull, or burning pain
- Swelling or stiffness
- Redness or warmth
- Sudden or gradual pain
- Popping or locking of the knee
In order to diagnose the exact cause of your symptoms, we first perform a physical examination. We check your rotation, flexibility, and stability. This determines which movements cause the pain you feel. Additionally, we may also use certain imaging procedures, such as ultrasounds, X-rays, and MRIs. In other cases, we draw fluid from the knee with a needle. We send this fluid for a laboratory test. All of these tests are combined to form or confirm your diagnosis. Then, we begin treatment.
How Do You Relieve Back of Knee Pain?
As we stated before, minor injuries require RICE, or rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This often helps to reduce symptoms like pain and swelling, as well as moderates your pain. Additionally, many doctors recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for at-home treatment. These are simple over-the-counter medicines that reduce pain and swelling while you take time to heal. In other cases, doctors recommend steroid injections into the area to reduce symptoms. Lastly, more severe cases may require extensive physical therapy or surgery. Speak with your doctor about which treatment plan is right for you.
When Should I See a Doctor for Pain Behind Knee?
Certain symptoms signal a more serious issue than others. Below, we list the symptoms that warrant an immediate doctor’s visit:
- Severe swelling
- Severe pain
- Medical history of blood clots
- Warmth of the area
- Difficulty breathing
- Affected leg cannot hold your weight
- Changes in the appearance of your knee joint
Knee Pain Specialist in Plano, TX
Knee pain can affect anyone, old or young. That’s why, at The Pain Relief Center in Plano, we personalize each and every treatment plan for each and every patient. Our knee pain doctors are highly qualified and highly trained. For athletes, injuries happen in the blink of an eye, and can affect you for years to come. For older patients, their symptoms result from years of wear and tear. These two cases are unique, and we treat them as such. After your treatment, we even perform scheduled pain management reassessments on a regular basis. If you’d like to schedule a consultation with a qualified pain management specialist, feel free to give us a call at 214-709-1904 today, or visit our website.
The most critical step on the path to recovery is finding a pain management doctor who can address your pain management needs successfully. The Pain Relief Center and its five specialized institutes are dedicated to meeting any and all of a patient’s needs. Located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Dr. Rodriguez and his friendly staff will help you along the path to recovery.
Our new center in Dallas is part of a nationwide development by Pain Relief Centers, geared to providing individualized and comprehensive healing and pain management services with unprecedented levels of compassion, care, and comfort for each patient.