Causes Of Pain Behind Knee

Causes Of Pain Behind Knee

There are so many health problems that strike us almost daily. We are not much concerned about them because we know that they are somehow related to the lifestyle, stress or dietary changes and don’t really signify a medical condition.

Knee pain is such a common type of condition that mostly affects the older people. Sometimes this knee pain doesn’t only limit to the knee but also feels at the back of the knee. For some people, it is light and goes away on its own but for others it becomes serious.

There could be many reasons for a pain to go to back side of the knee. Some of these reasons are not serious and are diagnosed on time whereas dangerous ones have no apparent reason.

The knee is a complex joint. It functions in almost all daily activities. If it is injured or painting, you must do something to ease this pain. The options for treating pain in the back of knee are variable. It largely depends on the cause of this pain.

Why do you feel pain in the back of your knee?

It is necessary to know the reason behind this particular type of pain. Only if you pay attention to the smaller details, it saves the time of your doctor to find a treatment for you. Otherwise, it may take longer for your doctor to diagnose the reason behind this pain.

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Some common reasons behind feeling pain at the back of knee are;


Cramps are an obvious reason, which induces pain. When the muscles receive too much strain or pressure on them and, they show up cramps. This could be from doing too much work without being stretched.

This feels like a sudden pain more like a painful spasm in the muscle. It may last for seconds or minutes. In extreme cases, the pain becomes severe. However, exercise is not the only way to get cramps. You can also get cramps from dehydration, tetanus, liver problems, nerve problems etc.

The easiest way to fix cramps is by stretching. A person can use yoga-induced a specialized type of stretching or just the normal stretching. In both cases, it helps.


Osteoarthritis is an old age condition that diminishes the cartilage of the joints with time. Osteoarthritis is the most common reason for pain behind the knee.

In an osteoarthritis-linked pain behind the knee, it is difficult for the patient to move and bend. Inflammation of joints makes it more painful. This pain is felt all around the knee.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Thrombosis denotes a blood clot and in this deep vein condition, this blood clot strangles anywhere inside the leg. This DVT feels so painful when the patient stands or walks. Knee, being the central area receives more pain and pressure.

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The skin of the area that has the clot becomes reddish. It may feel warm and show some swelling too. The veins of that particular area on leg may also become prominent with veins.

DVT attacks people who are overweight, smoke and are in their older ages. It needs complete medical care and treatment for recovery. It becomes more severe when these clot breaks lose into your bloodstream.

Runner’s knee

Runner’s knee is when the cartilage in the knee joint is lost. Once it is no more there, the bones rub with each other while movement and cause friction. It feels like pain and swelling which particularly feels at the backside of the knee.

The patient may also feel that knee is moving outward due who which movement is affected.

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Hamstring injury

A hamstring injury is a condition in which there is a tear or strain in one or more of the muscles in the back of the thigh. This area is called hamstring so which relevance to this, this injury is called hamstring injury.

When a hamstring strain hits you, usually the muscle is pulled too far in it. It takes months to recover. Hamstring injuries are highly common in athletes.

ACL injuries

ACL means the anterior cruciate ligament. It is the tissue that is present on the front side of the knee joint. It connects the bones and makes the knee joint stable.

Sudden movements cause this type of injury. Such as suddenly stopping while walking or running and change of direction. In such a situation, a strain on knee causes this pain and swelling. Most of the athletes and sportsperson suffer from ACL injuries. If this anterior cruciate ligament is torn, it requires reconstructive surgery.

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PCL injuries

PCL means the posterior cruciate ligament. This particular type of injury occurs when the body goes through a trauma. For example, you may lose your balance while walking, slip from a height or a car accident may be. If any of these traumas put enough force on this ligament, it breaks open.

PCL injury feels like pain in knee and all area around it. The area feels stiff and causes troubled walking. You need a complete rest and right choice of medicines to heal it.

Meniscus tears

The meniscus tear is a type of injury in which the cartilage present at the sides of the knee is injured. An unbalanced twist, bending or even squat can cause this cartilage breakage.

It may not show up at first but it gets worse over a few days. The common signs to show up in meniscus tear are the inability to move the knee, fatigue, and swelling. In extreme cases, surgery is recommended.

When should you see a doctor?

If the pain is due to cramps, there are chances that it will go away on its own. Most of the times, you only need rest, stretching and common painkillers to relieve the area around the knee.

If your pain is lasting long for over 4-5 days and it is getting worse, it is the right time to see the doctor. Reduce your mobility when you feel any such pain, regardless of the reason, as it will ease the discomfort and further damage.

If the reason behind pain is a trauma or accident, you should not wait for 4-5 days to visit a doctor, get it checked immediately.

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Is there a treatment for it?

Yes, fortunately, this pain is treatable. It is better to health the muscles around knee which could be done by stretching or medicine. It may not work for traumatic causes of behind knee pain but it will make the recovery faster.

You can also use the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to overcome pain and swelling. In some extreme cases, the doctor also prescribes injections to overcome the symptoms.

If the pain is due to an injury, the doctor would like you to have MRI or CT scans to know the complete internal situation. Then he may prescribe you some medicines along with physiotherapy or surgery, depending on the severity of an injury.

Final words

Pain in the back of the knee is usually not that serious. If it persists for long or is too severe for the individual to tolerate, it may be a sign of a serious problem. Anyone suffering from these symptoms needs to be checked by the doctor immediately.

Only by following what your doctor suggests for you will make the pain behind knee go away. Give all the details to the doctor to make the right diagnosis.

The author is a Medical Microbiologist and a healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health.

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