There are various health conditions that can cause back knee pain such as injuries to the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the posterior knee compartment. Repetitive strains, traumatic injuries and even medical conditions particularly those involving the lower extremity blood vessels can trigger back knee pain.
The knee is a complex and vital joint in the body. The bones included in the knee such as the tibia and femur form a hinge joint that enables the knee to bend and straighten. The patella or kneecap covers the knee joint which helps protect and increases the efficiency of the quadriceps muscle group at the front of the thigh. Inside the knee joint is the articular cartilage that helps absorb shock and minimize friction between the moving bones. As for the ligaments, they help stabilize and reinforce the knee on all sides.
What are the causes of back knee pain?
There are various conditions and injuries that can cause back knee pain. The common causes of pain in the posterior knee include strains on the popliteus muscle, posterior cruciate ligament rupture or sprain, deep vein thrombosis, inflammation or rupture of the hamstring tendons, Baker’s cyst and avulsion or rupture of the biceps femoris muscle.
Symptoms of back knee pain
The symptoms linked with back knee pain largely depend on the cause of the pain and the tissue affected. The common indicators that are linked with back knee pain include burning, aching or sharp pain in the affected area, stiffness, swelling, instability, perceivable noises from within the knee joint during movement and locking of the knee. In most cases, these symptoms will only occur on one side of the body, but the posterior knee pain can be bilateral or occur on both sides in some individuals.
Who are at risk?
There are certain risk factors that can increase the occurrence of back knee pain among individuals. The common risk factors for back knee pain include age, sex, overweight or obese, loss of muscle flexibility, structural anomalies such as flat feet and inequality with the leg length, muscle weakness, muscle imbalance and previous injuries to the knee.
Individuals who engage in certain sports such as basketball, running and skiing also face the risk for back knee pain.
Treatment for back knee pain
The treatment for back knee pain tends to vary depending on the degree of discomfort or severity experienced by the individual and the cause of the pain. It is important to note that knee pain including in the back part that is triggered by musculoskeletal issues typically respond well to conservative first aid measures such as the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) as well as temporary modification of activities. If you want to learn more about first aid training readily available to you, click here. In rare cases, the doctor is required to reattach a tendon that has been pulled away from a bone at the back of the knee.