PAIN IN THE BACK OF KNEE, Causes and treatment

Pain in the back of knee is a common problem. It affects the ability to walk and carry out our usual activities. When a posterior portion of the meniscus gets tear, it may cause pain in the back of your knee. Posterior pain can also affect your sleep. It may develop over time or cause with a sudden injury.

And by the way, I have mentioned 5 major causes of knee pain in my previous article.

Pain in the back of Knee

Knee pain may be followed by swelling, stiffness and sharp pain in the back and front of your knee. But here we will discuss the symptoms, cause, and treatment of the pain in the back of your knee.

PAIN IN THE BACK of knee

3 Causes of Knee Pain:

Runner’s Knee

One of the main causes of pain in the back of your knee calls Runner’s knee. It happens when the cartilage in the knee joint wears down. Your outdoor running holds back of the knee in pain. It is a board term that is used to describe the pain while having several knee problems. Runner’s knee also called Patellofemoral pain syndrome. There are many reasons that can cause runner’s knee.


Damage to the cartilage below the kneecap might be another reason for runner’s knee injury. This condition causes pain around and behind the kneecap.


You might notice pain while walking, running, sitting down or standing up. When you bend your knee while walking, squat, running, kneeling or even getting up from a chair, you’ll notice sharp pain around and behind your knee.


Soft tissue injuries are the most common reasons for pain in the back of the knee. A direct hit to the knee from a hard bow and a fall may also cause runner’s knee injury.


Overuse of knee doing high-stress exercises can irritate tissues in and around your kneecap and can cause severe pain.


Treatments can include stretching your lower body daily, working on strengthening your hips, quads, compression, icing your knee to ease pain and swelling, resting your knee, elevating the leg on a couch or a pillow while sitting or laying down. You can also treat is naturally with anti-inflammations like turmeric and ice. A doctor can recommend a number of knee injury stretches and exercises to strengthen and improve the flexibility of key leg muscles.

Hamstring Injury

A hamstring injury is a tear or strain to the tendons or large muscles behind your thigh. Its a trio of muscles that runs down the back of the thigh. Injuring any one of these three muscles is called a Hamstring Strain or a pulled Hamstring. Hamstring strain happens when a muscle is stretched too far. Healing the hamstring strain or tear depends on the severity of an injury.

PAIN IN THE BACK of knee

Hamstring injuries usually happen with sudden running, jumping and lunging. A sudden jerk can pull the tissues of the hamstring muscle. When you injure your hamstring you’ll feel a sudden pain. Injury to the biceps femoris cause pain in the back of the knee. This injury is common in an athlete who plays sports like basketball, tennis, and soccer.

Symptoms of hamstring:

Symptoms include tenderness and swelling at the outside back of the knee. Stiffness at the back of the knee which can be worse in the morning or after long sitting. Sharp burning pain in the back of the knee, joint and muscle weakness, joint stiffness, inflammation or swelling on the back of the knee, bruising and weakness in the back of the leg.


Symptoms get often worse in the first few hours of injury, then gradually lessen. You may feel weakness in your hamstring that can persist for weeks. Mild hamstring strain may feel more tightness or low-grade ache in your hamstring muscle. Severe hamstring strains can be extremely painful and can make walking or standing impossible.

Treatment of hamstring strain depends on the type of injury and severity. Many patients of hamstring injury start to feel better within a few days. But there is an extremely high hamstring re-injury rate due to the poor rehabilitation process. RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) help in controlling pain and swelling.

For most people, the RICE method for 72 hours straight is enough to treat symptoms. In severe cases, professional guidance is highly recommended. When the tissues are forced into use too soon they might not entirely recover. The more times the same tissue is damaged, the greater the chances of long-term damage. Once pain and swelling have gone stretching and strengthening exercise can begin to restore the muscle. A full rehabilitation program of strengthening and stretching exercises should be done as long as pain allows. Always ensure to follow a correct warm up before training or exercising.

Hyperextended Knee

A hyperextended knee often occurs after high-impact events such as stopping short when running and landing hard after a jump. It also happens when the leg excessively straightens at the knee joint, putting stress on the knee joint and the back of the knee joint.

During hyperextension, the knee bends the wrong way which can cause swelling, moderate or extreme pain and have soft tissue damage an and around the knee. A hyperextended knee can damage cartilage and ligaments in the knee.

PAIN IN THE BACK of knee

Symptoms of the hyperextended knee include swelling, instability of the knee, severe pain in the back of knee and weakness in the knee. If hyperextension of the knee cause damage to cartilage and ligament or other soft tissue then bruising may appear on the skin. The pain can become too severe for normal support of weight during walking or running.

Treatment to minor hyperextension may require only the RICE approach. Anti-inflammatory medications can help to reduce swelling of the knee. In traumatic cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damage. But surgery is less common. Using a knee brace while resting a hyperextended knee injury is recommended.

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