Possible Causes Of Posterior Knee Pain

Possible Causes Of Posterior Knee Pain
7 min read

Back pain behind the knee is a common complaint. As well as affecting your ability to walk and perform your normal activities, back of knee pain can also affect your sleep. Also known as posterior knee pain, pain behind the knee may develop gradually over time or suddenly following a serious injury. Symptoms may include a general ache, restricted leg movements due to swelling, or sharp pain in the back of the knee.

The Symptoms Of Posterior Knee Pain

Pain at the back of your knee may be caused by a variety of factors, with symptoms varying accordingly. Symptoms may include:

  • A popping noise on injury
  • Locking of your knee
  • Knee pain or muscle tightening that occurs suddenly
  • Leg stiffness and difficulty bending or straightening 
  • Swelling, bruising, redness and/or warmth
  • weakness in your knees

Pain Behind The Knee: Diagnosis

You will be examined by your physician and asked about your medical history and symptoms, including:

  • The type of pain you experience, when it began, and whether it is permanent or temporary.
  • Your level of activity
  • Any activity, accident, or injury that may have contributed to the injury

An X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may be recommended if they suspect you have injured your posterior cruciate ligament. A doctor may recommend an ultrasound if you exhibit signs of a popliteal cyst.

 What Causes Pain Behind The Knee?

In addition to injury to the knee joint, inflammation or infection, overuse, wear and tear with age, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cysts and, in very rare cases, cancer can cause posterior knee pain. Considering the most common causes of pain behind the knee, their causes, and how to treat them will help you determine what is causing your posterior knee pain

  • Bakers Cyst

Baker's cysts are the most common cause of pain behind the knee.The Bakers Cyst occurs when excess fluid in the knee joint leaks into the popliteal bursa, causing it to swell.Bakers Cyst symptoms include tightness and pain behind the knee that increases with walking, kneeling, or bending the knee.

  • Ligament Sprain

An overstretched and torn knee ligament can also cause pain behind the knee in addition to ligament sprains. When running in cleats or studs, pivoting quickly causes knee ligament tears due to a large force through the knee or sudden twisting movements. As a result of a ligament sprain, knee instability, swelling, and bruising are common symptoms, as well as pain behind the knee that can cause difficulty walking and knee stiffness.  Arthritis is a common cause of pain behind the knee in people over the age of 50. Symptoms of knee arthritis include gradual wear and tear of the knee bones and cartilage.

In addition to knee stiffness (especially in the morning) and clicking or grinding noises, knee arthritis may also cause restricted knee mobility. Cold, wet weather can exacerbate symptoms, which fluctuate often.

  • Leg Cramps

Leg cramps occur when the muscles in your legs become tight. The symptoms include a sudden muscle spasm that lasts for several seconds to ten minutes. For several hours following the spasm, your muscles may be sore.

Exercise and pregnancy are the most common causes of leg cramps.Additionally, they may be caused by the following factors:

  • Back Pain Dehydration
  • Infections eg tetanus
  • Problems with the nerves in your legs
  • Toxins in your blood eg lead or mercury
  • Liver disease
  • Meniscus Tear

Your knee joint is cushioned and stabilized by a wedge-shaped piece of cartilage called the meniscus. The menisci of each knee are located on either side of the joint.Squatting and twisting the knee can cause athletes to tear their meniscus. The meniscus weakens and degenerates as you age and is more likely to tear as a result of any twisting motion.

You may hear a popping sound when you tear a meniscus. At first, the injury may not be painful. After walking on it for a few days, the knee may become more painful.

The following are other symptoms of a torn meniscus:

  • Knee stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Weakness
  • Knee locking or giving way
  • Hyperextended Knee

A hyperextended knee occurs when the knee bends backwards excessively. Consequently, the structures behind the knee are damaged, resulting in pain behind the knee. Hyperextension of the knee is a common sporting injury that causes sharp or aching pain behind the knee, swelling, and instability. Standing, walking, or going down stairs usually worsens the symptoms.

The Hyperextended Knee section contains information regarding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

  • Jumper's knee

A tendon in your knee, also known as patellar tendonitis, can become injured during a sporting activity. A small tear in the tendon can cause swelling, stiffness, weakness, and difficulty bending and straightening your knee. 

Quick-relief Tips

It is recommended that you:

  • You should rest your knee until it has healed.
  • The ice should be applied several times a day for a period of 20 minutes at a time.
  • To support the knee, wear a compression bandage, but make sure it is not too tight.
  • Elevate the injured knee on a pillow or multiple pillows.
  • To relieve the knee of weight, use crutches or a cane.
  • Take aspirin (Bufferin), ibuprofen (Advil), and naproxen (Naprosyn) over-the-counter for pain relief.

When To See Your Doctor

You may be able to treat pain caused by a minor injury or arthritis at home.It is, however, recommended that you consult your physician if you experience any of the following symptoms:

    • The affected leg is red.
    • The leg is very swollen.
  • You’re running a fever.
  • You have a history of blood clots.

You can seek relief from your knee pain by consulting them.


Knee pain is always very bad because it makes you unable to walk. Sometimes the pain is so severe that doctors advise you to go with knee aspiration according to the severity of the disease. However, it's crucial to understand the potential benefits and drawbacks of this procedure, particularly by seeking guidance from experts at premier pain and spine. But you should be aware of the cons and pros of draining your knee. But whenever you feel any kind of pain in your knee you should consult your doctor. He will guide you the best way to go with it.

In case you have found a mistake in the text, please send a message to the author by selecting the mistake and pressing Ctrl-Enter.
Premier Pain 2
Joined: 11 months ago
Comments (0)

    No comments yet

You must be logged in to comment.

Sign In / Sign Up