It is very common for people to suffer from pain behind the knee. That is not surprising since the knee is one of the largest and most complex joints in the human body, as well as the most injury-prone area. The knee is made up of bones that can fracture or move out of joint, and cartilage, ligaments and tendons that can strain or tear.
Pain behind the knee is also known as posterior knee pain. The pain can be minor and temporary, or it can be severe and chronic. However, the pain can affect normal functioning and living, becoming unbearable, so you should definitely do something about it instead of neglecting it and making it worse.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll go through the possible causes of the pain behind the knee, and we’ll find out how the pain can be prevented or treated. But first, let’s describe the pain behind the knee.
What is the pain behind the knee?
As the name indicates, the pain behind the knee is an ache behind your kneecap or in the joint. Pain can start after sudden, uncomfortable movement, overuse of the muscular tissue, injuries such as fractures or twists, and medical conditions like arthritis or infection. You can sense the pain as sharp and severe or mild and dull. In addition, you may feel inflammation or swelling, and you may be unable to extend your leg.
In the beginning, you may only experience mild symptoms, but if you ignore them and don’t treat them properly, the pain will become worse, and you may develop chronic pain over time.
Some of the common symptoms to identify posterior knee pain may include aching knee, audible snap in the knee, rapid swelling, bruising, burning pain, impact to the knee, instability, knee joint pain, pain when kneeling, running or sitting, kneecap pain, swollen or twisted knee.
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People who are most prone to experience all sorts of knee pain are athletes. However, according to medical data, women are even more likely to experience knee pain than men. Also, it’s common for older people to suffer from knee pain because of osteoarthritis.
Now when we have defined the pain behind the knee, let’s see what the possible causes are.
What can cause pain behind the knee?
There are several reasons why you may feel pain behind the knee. First, pain can occur due to increasing age or the presence of osteoarthritis. Also, it can be caused by a knee injury (ligament injury or torn cartilage), inflammation or infection in the joint, or a cyst.
Pain behind your knee can be followed by swelling, visible lumpiness, or a locking sensation. Any other symptom can help determine the cause of the pain, so investigate your knee thoroughly. So, what conditions are the most common causes of posterior knee pain?
A cartilage tear is very common for athletes and the pain can be felt at the back of the knee. Also you can experience swelling and locking. You can damage the cartilage if you fall or twist your knee during exercise. Two common areas that can be injured are the meniscus (the pad that provides cushioning in your knee) and the chondral (which provides a smooth covering for bones). Cartilage damage can also be caused by wear and tear from long-distance running.
If you are over 50, you are more likely to get osteoarthritis. Arthritis is a degenerative joint condition that causes your protective cartilage to wear away. Without cartilage, the bones start to grind against each other, prompting long-lasting damage and pain. Cartilage can’t regenerate, so you may require medical assistance to prevent the worsening of the condition.
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This condition often leads to a flexion contracture, making it difficult to straighten or extend the knee. In addition, during a walk, it can put pressure on the posterior (rear) capsule in your knee, causing pain.
Hamstring tendonitis and hamstring sprain are common injuries that affect one of the three hamstring muscles. These muscles are located at the back of your leg, enabling your knee to bend. An injury of the hamstring is quite painful and can involve swelling, bruising, or weakness at the back of the leg. Hamstring injuries are common among those who compete in fast sports like track, tennis, basketball, and soccer.
A knee sprain occurs because of a fall or a sporting injury that causes the tear of one of the ligaments in your knee. That can result in instability, swelling and pain. One possible cause can be the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), which runs in a cross-shape at the back of your joint.
If your knee over-straightens during sports, it can cause hyperextension, which is what happens if your knee joint bends too far backward. Hyperextension often causes instability, swelling, bruising and sharp pain or discomfort towards the back of the knee.
Baker’s or popliteal cyst is a fluid-filled pocket under the skin behind the knee, and it’s one of the most common reasons for pain behind the knee. So, it occurs when fluid leaks out of the joint and collects in a lump, usually due to arthritis or an injury. The fluid in this cyst is synovial fluid, which helps lubricate your joints and keep them working smoothly. However, too much synovial fluid can build up into a cyst. Cysts often indicate that something else is going on inside. Larger cysts can even exert pressure on muscles and nerves.
Along with pain, a Baker’s cyst symptoms are palpable swelling, stiffness, or trouble flexing the joint. If the cyst bursts, you’ll feel very sharp pain.
A calf strain or gastrocnemius tendonitis is tendonitis that affects the calf muscle located at the back of the lower leg. Sports that involve quickly switching from standing to running can cause this type of injury. The injury can cause pain, as well as visible calf bruising, swelling, or trouble standing up on your tiptoes.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is the most common injury of the ligaments. The ACL is the ligament that crosses diagonally through the knees and connects your shinbone to the thigh bone. You can usually tear the ACL during group sports, and any sudden stop or a change in direction can cause it. The symptom is a “popping” sensation in the knee, followed by severe pain and inability to continue the activity, rapid swelling, loss of range of motion, and a feeling of instability.
A leg cramp is a feeling of sudden discomfort in the leg muscular tissue triggered by an uncontrolled contracting of that tissue. Most leg cramps occur in the calf bone muscular tissue and, less frequently, in the feet and thighs. People can feel cramps during exercise, and women usually experience leg cramps during pregnancy. Cramps can be caused by nutrient deficiency, dehydration, nerve problems, toxicity, or liver disease. They don’t last more than a few minutes, but the pain can stay for hours or days, so you could warm or massage the area to heal it.
Jumper’s knee or patellar tendonitis is most likely to happen to those who play basketball, volleyball, and other sports that include jumping. That is because the jumping can lead to injuries of the tendon, which connects the kneecap to the shinbone. Besides pain below your kneecap, you can have difficulties with straightening or bending the knee, and you can also feel stiffness or weakness in the joint.
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Runner’s knee is another common joint pain issue involving cartilage breakdown resulting from an injury, overuse, arthritis, or aging. People who are running, hiking or cycling are most likely to have this type of knee pain.
You can feel pain in and around the kneecap, which occurs when your leg bones rub together without the protective divide of cartilage between them. It can manifest as a dull ache, and it can get worse when climbing stairs. The pain usually occurs when you are moving or after sitting for a long time with bent knees. Additionally, you can feel the rubbing, grinding, or hear the clicking sound of your kneecap when bending and straightening your knee.
So, those were the possible causes of knee pain. It can really be uncomfortable, so you can barely stand it. Luckily, there are a few ways to cope with pain successfully.
How to relieve pain behind the knee?
You can efficiently treat some of the mentioned conditions at home. However, more severe conditions should be treated by your doctor. For example, suppose the pain behind the knee becomes more intense and starts to interfere strongly with your daily activities. In that case, you should immediately visit the healthcare provider and get proper treatment of the condition that causes the pain.
But, when we talk only about the sense of the pain, you may wonder what can help you at the moment when you’re feeling it? How to relieve pain behind the knee by yourself?
The first thing you should do is to get off your feet and get proper rest. The RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation treatment can be very helpful. First, lay down and raise your leg high, above the level of your heart. Then, put a cold pack in a cloth or towel and leave it on your knee for 10-20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Cold packs can help decrease inflammation of joints. When you’re up, make sure you have snugged an elastic bandage around the knee.
If you have a problem with tight muscles, you can relax them with warm showers, hot packs, or a heating pad. Important notice: don’t put the heat on an inflamed joint.
You could also massage the affected area with sports creams that cause a cold or hot effect. The massage will also relax the muscles.
The next thing that probably comes to your mind is painkillers. Some medications can help with easing the pain and swelling. However, keep in mind that medications can come with various side effects or take time to react.
Lastly, if you prefer to use natural remedies in the pain healing process or you are about to give it a shot, then cannabidiol would be suitable for you. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the cannabinoids, compounds that come from hemp plants. Hemp is one of the species of Cannabis Sativa plant, and unlike marijuana, hemp is almost THC free, so it can’t make you “high” and therefore affect your mental clarity. Accordingly, CBD products are absolutely legal.
CannazALL’s CBD products such as CBD oil, CBD gummies, CBD salve or CBD capsules are proven to be very effective in fighting a number of ailments like pain, arthritis, anxiety, depression, sleep disorder, allergies, etc. They show a great beneficial impact on people with pain behind the knee as CBD has significant anti-inflammatory and pain-relief characteristics.
We want you to get aware of the CBD abilities firsthand. That is why we’re offering a free sample of CBD gummies! CannazALL’s CBD Gummies are formulated to be quickly absorbed for long-lasting effects, so it’s common to experience pain relief within 30-60 minutes after eating just a few CBD gummies. But before this experience, you only need to fill the order, and your six free CBD gummies will be on the way!
Now you probably know what can be the cause of pain behind your knee and how to treat it properly. We are emphasizing that recommended treatments are more like first aid to ease the pain. It’s the smartest to visit a doctor so he can examine the knee and define the proper condition and treatment.
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