It might come as a surprise but the knee joint is actually really complex, being made up of tendons, muscles, multiple bones and other tissues so it makes sense that any pain you may feel in that area is not only really common but could have many different causes as well!
There are many people who experience pain right behind the knee but unfortunately get incorrect diagnoses precisely because of the different parts and related problems that can be the cause of such pain.
After all, if you’ve experienced it and looked it up online, you know all too well the multitude of scary results about what might cause it including posterior cruciate ligament tear and deep vein thrombosis.
Naturally, those results could be accurate and a cause for concern but, realistically, they are not as common when it comes to pain behind the knee.
While there are a variety of different causes, sometimes, posterior knee pain is also referred from the spine or the front of the knee.
And since there is a number of different conditions that can cause it, the symptoms can also vary a lot. Here are the most common:
– First of all, the pain type may vary from dull pain, to sharp pain or even burning. Furthermore, it can come gradually or suddenly. It is also possible for the ache to happen when you bend your knee or simply when you put weight onto the leg. Such details can really help a medical expert correctly diagnose you.
– Stiffness or swelling are also quite common, making the whole knee look misshapen or swollen or making it hard for the patient to bend the knee. It also sometimes pops, locks up, or collapses upon putting weight on it. While this type of symptoms usually occur as a result of an injury, there are other possible causes as well.
– The back of your knee can feel hot to the touch or you might even see some redness around that area or experience a fever! It is important to note that if you have such symptoms, the diagnostic might be quite different than if you only experience pain.
Causes for Pain behind the Knee:
With so many different possible symptoms to experience, it makes sense that there are many possible causes for it. Some of the most common are:
Arthritis As you may be aware, Arthritis is an umbrella term used to refer to a number of different diseases that affect the joints, including the knees.
With that being said, it is important to note that such diseases are capable of causing pain anywhere around the knee area, including the back of it.
Most often than not, knee pain is linked to osteoarthritis, an illness related to aging.
Rheumatoid Arthritis also causes knee pain, the important distinction being that it occurs in both knees at the same time.
Another related disease is Gout, an arthritis type that attacks the big toe at first, later possibly affecting one’s knees as well.
Finally, septic or infectious Arthritis is usually caused by an infection of a joint, most commonly the knee!
If in addition to pain you also have a lump or a swelling behind the knee, you might have what is known as Baker’s cyst, one of the easier to diagnose diseases.
The main cause is the gathering of synovial fluid at the back of the knee and can be triggered by either injury or stress from Arthritis.
Aside from infectious Arthritis, there are other possible infection types causing posterior knee pain as well, including:
– Bone infection (osteomyelitis.)
– Skin infection (cellulitis.)
– Infection of one of the fluid-sacs known as bursae (septic bursitis.)
All of these infections come with their unique causes and symptoms but redness, heat, swelling and pain are the most common regardless of the type of infection causing them.
While it is quite rare for knee pain to be a result of a tumor, it can definitely still occur near the knee in either its malignant ot benign form.
Here are the 3 types of cancer that can cause pain behind the knee:
– Liposarcoma is a type of cancer that grows in the fat tissue, including behind the knee.
– Osteosarcoma can be found in the long bones of the leg.
– Synovial sarcoma, which is a misnamed cancer as it does not actually occur in synovial fluid but in the large joints instead.
It’s no surprise that any type of tendon, ligament, muscle or connective tissue injury can also lead to posterior knee pain.
Injuries can be caused or worsened by overuse of the affected area.
Three of the most common injuries causing pain behind the knee are meniscus tears, Hamstring injuries, and injuries to the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).
Deep Vein Thrombosis
DVT is caused by the occurrence of a blood clot deep in a vein and is more often found in the thigh, pelvis or calf but can end up causing pain anywhere in one’s leg, including, you guessed it, the back of the knee!
It is important to specify that this can be a life threatening condition.
After all, if the clot manages to break loose and travel to the lungs, it can end up blocking the blood flow.
Instead, if it remains in place, it can really damage the veins’ valves, causing a lot of swelling, pain, ulcers and other serious symptoms.
When is it recommended to see a doctor if you experience posterior knee pain?
If you have any signs of infection, severe pain or DVT, you should visit a medical specialist immediately but most other knee pain calls for an urgent check-up as well.
In fact, even if your symptoms seem less urgent, a talk with your doctor is still the best bet, although you can still manage the pain with some over-the-counter pills such as ibuprofen in the meantime.
If you’ve experienced an injury around the area, it is recommended that you encourage the healing process by resting, icing the knee, applying compresses and elevating the leg.
As you can imagine, treatment for behind the knee pain is greatly dependent on the diagnosis.
So, while Arthritis or damage from wear and tear or injury can be treated with medications, rest, injections, physical therapy or even surgery, some Baker’s cysts go away on their own although some cysts need to be drained or at least treated in other ways.
DVT, tumors or infections require individualized treatment following a correct diagnosis.
All in all, keep in mind that, while useful to know, this information should be taken with a grain of salt.
Just because you may be experiencing posterior knee pain, it does not necessarily mean you have any one of these conditions.
There is a multitude of other pathologies and factors that can cause very similar symptoms.
Regardless, it should still be a helpful starting point in hopefully understanding what you may be dealing with as well as a source of helpful products bound to alleviate your pain before or after meeting up with your physician.
Incrediwear Knee Sleeve
The Incrediwear Knee Sleeve is made to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation.
As opposed to compression sleeves, these knee sleeves are not invasive in any way and are bound to reduce the pain and inflammation you may be experiencing because of chronic injuries.
It features semiconductors stimulated by one’s body heat, increasing oxygen and circulation in order to encourage the body’s natural healing process.
It is made out of breathable, form-fitting and moisture wicking fabric and is a great product if you are looking for something to alleviate the symptoms caused by tendonitis, joint pain, Arthritis, ligament injuries and sprains.
These braces can be worn 24 hours, 7 days a week and are proven, scientifically, to encourage the natural healing process and increase blood flow, providing some much needed pain relief.
Just keep in mind that if you are in between sizes, you should size down and not up.
Incrediwear’s body sleeves are also perfect for high performance sports training, being worn by both recreational and competitive athletes both during and after intense exercise as a way to prevent injuries or optimize performance.
Bounfend Knee Brace
The Bounfend Knee Brace is able to apply stable pressure across the patient’s knee joint and offers ideal muscle support during work-outs or sports training, greatly lessening the risk of suffering an injury.
It is commonly used by both men and women to reduce pain and stiffness caused by tendonitis, Arthritis and other similar conditions by continuously warming up the area.
It is made with premium quality 3D elastic weaving and flexible materials, making for a breathable product, ideal for all activities, no matter how strenuous.
The material is able to absorb sweat really quickly, keeping your knees dry and comfortable as well as odor free so you can use it for hours with no problem!
Not only that but it also ensures that you will keep the full range of leg motion while wearing it!
If you are not happy with the product, you will get your money back, the brand offering buyers a 6 month guarantee deal, with no questions asked.
Finally, it is non-slip!
MIBEST Knee Wrap & Ice Pack Wrap (9 Piece Set)
The MIBEST Knee Wrap and Ice Pack Wrap is the perfect kit to make your life easier and free of pain!
The materials used are mainly Nylon and Neoprene!
This all in one wrap kit features a knee wrap attached with straps, 4 removable gel ice packs, an ice pack wrap, 1 strap extender and 2 straps for the ice pack wrap so it’s safe to say that it has everything you may need!
Not only that but the knee brace wrap also has pouches for three gel ice packs.
The ice pack wrap can be applied on any body part and is for one gel ice pack.
The gel ice packs are made out of nylon which makes them reusable and leak-proof.
Furthermore, they are designed in such a way that they fit perfectly in the knee brace and ice pack wrap, making everything much easier on you.
They are effective for both cold and hot therapy, reducing one’s recovery time and improving their mobility.
Cold therapy is useful because it is able to fight off swelling while providing the knee with support.
On the other hand, hot therapy provides the affected area with pain relief while treating chronic pain and muscle soreness.
It has s flexible fit thanks to the straps attached that also help reduce bulkiness and increase comfort while using the ice packs.
Both the ice pack wrap and the knee wrap are made out of neoprene which means they are lightweight and latex free.
In addition to that, the neoprene material ensures the product will be durable and free of any leaks and tears from repeated use.
Comfier Heated Knee Brace Wrap with Massage
The Comfier Heated Knee Brace Wrap is a heated, corded knee brace wrap support that provides both heat and vibration massage to the affected area, alleviating the pain.
The knee pads have two adjustable heat levels that work really well if you are looking for something to soothe tired muscles, and stiff joints.
Furthermore, to ensure safe use, the heating pads have been designed with an auto shut down feature.
The leg massager has four massage motors that are really powerful and able to soothe and massage your tired muscles.
It works great as a leg and knee massager, providing the user with much needed relaxation and comfort.
It features 5 massage modes.
The straps are Velcro and adjustable so that it stays in place at all times and it is easy to fasten.
As for the heat pads, they can be wrapped around your knee but also extended to the calves, thighs, used on the arms and legs and fastened securely as needed no matter the area you choose to use them on.
The massager uses smooth and soft materials that make it feel nice to the touch and comfortable.
The design is portable and compact, which means it is super convenient if you need to take it with you on travels or even to the office.
REATHLETE XPRESS Knee Massager
The REATHLETE XPRESS Knee Massager provides double knee pain relief due to the heat it uses.
It is able to improve blood flow, relieve pain and also prevent any knee problems.
In fact, it is super effective whether you have chronic pain or if you occasionally experience some discomfort or soreness because of your lifestyle or occupation.
The compression and heat massager stimulates your tissues in two different ways, providing you with relief but also making sure that there are long term health benefits to using it.
Not to mention it’s comfortable and relaxing and requires minimal effort from you to use it.
It is portable so you don’t have to worry about not having any pain relief when you’re away from home and works well whether you have Arthritis, leg pain, knee pain or circulation problems.
Furthermore, it is very useful if you are following a fitness program and want to prevent any knee injuries.
Depending on how you use it, it can also work as a thigh or calf massager in addition to alleviating pain in your knees.
This air compression leg massager can really bring you a lot of different benefits thanks to its versatile uses.
It even comes with a control unit featuring an LCD screen so you can play around with the settings and find the right configurations for your particular situation and preferences.
More precisely, it is designed with three auto modes for different areas as well as three intensities for pressure and heat that you can choose from allowing you to try out a number of different combinations for relaxation, knee pain relief, knee therapy, calf and leg pain relief and more!
As mentioned before, this is a portable product and it is also rechargeable!
All you need to do is place the massager into a handbag and you can take it everywhere with you be it on the road, at the office, or at the gym.
By default, it operates for 20 minutes although you can prolong each session to suit your needs.
However, just keep in mind that it is not recommended that you use the leg compression machine for longer than one hour at a time.
FORTHiQ Cordless Knee Massager
The FORTHiQ Cordless Knee Massager comes with 24 month extended warranty and local aftercare services for the products sold in America.
It is the perfect device to use if you need a massage after a long and stressful day.
It features three different vibration modes including low, high and automated switching.
There are also three heating modes – low (105°F), medium (122°F), and high (140°F).
Furthermore, it even benefits from switchable infrared and laser lighting!
It is lightweight and cordless, which makes it highly portable thanks to the 3000 mAh high-performing battery it works on.
You can easily enjoy a great knee massage no matter where you are!
The LED touch screen is intuitive and therefore easy to operate no matter who uses it.
The user manual is detailed and features larger text as well as drawings so no one will struggle to figure it all out.