Pain behind the knee is not a normal symptom and its appearance may indicate important alterations that evaluates by the orthopedic surgeon. Some situations that can cause this pain are: the presence of a Baker’s cyst, varicose veins or osteoarthritis; hamstring tendonitis or a meniscus injury.
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The diagnosis must be made by the doctor after physical evaluation and the indication of some imaging tests, such as an MRI or ultrasound of the knee, for example. Treatment may involve taking anti-inflammatory medications to control pain and physical therapy sessions.
1. Pain Behind Knee by Baker’s cyst
Baker’s cyst, also called popliteal cyst, is a type of cyst with synovial fluid inside located on the back of the knee and is usually related to other diseases such as: arthritis, injury to the meniscus or cartilage wear. so it does not need treatment, disappearing when the causative disease is controlled. Most commonly, it is located between the medial gastronomic and the semi-membranous tendon. Symptoms include pain behind the knee, as well as some limitation when bending the knee and localized swelling, forming a sore, mobile “lump” that can be felt.
What to do : Not all cases need treatment, but if the individual has symptoms, the doctor may order several sessions of physical therapy to relieve symptoms. Likewise, in case of a lot of pain it could be indicated to aspirate the fluid that contains the cyst.
2. Hamstring tendinitis or bursitis
Pain behind the knee can also be caused by tendonitis located in the hamstring tendons, which are those located in the posterior region of the thigh. This region is more prone to injury in people who are athletes and who engage in vigorous physical activity such as running, soccer, or cycling. The main symptom that arises is pain at the tendon level in the back of the knee, on the side or in the center.
What to do : Stretching exercises should be performed on these muscles and a cold compress applied to the region for 20 minutes after stretching, relieving pain and discomfort. It is also recommends to avoid making great efforts and practicing intense physical activity, such as running. Physical therapy can also help reduce pain and discomfort, as well as normalize daily activities.
3. Pain Behind Knee by Varicose veins
When the person has varicose veins in the legs and in the back area of the knee,. Hence, these can leave the area more sore, especially when there is a greater accumulation of blood in this area. Telangiectasias or spider veins can cause pain or a feeling of heavy legs at the end of the day. Varicose veins are easily identified with the naked eye, however, in the most serious cases the doctor may request tests for a more thorough evaluation, and may even indicate surgery to remove them.
What to do : You should go to the doctor for an evaluation, which usually indicates the use of compression stockings, as well as the use of medications that help improve circulation such as Daflon, for example. You should also avoid standing or sitting for a long time, having to stand and walk from time to time. There are also some treatments such as sclerotherapy or surgical treatments that will use to remove varicose veins from the legs, which indicates by the doctor, if necessary.
Osteoarthritis in the knee can also cause pain in the knee when the worn areas of the joints locate further back. It is more common in people over 50 and we can associates with other conditions. So, such as excess weight or weakness in the thigh muscles.
What to do : Your doctor may suggest some stretching exercises for your legs. By which can do at home or with a physical therapist. It allowing you to relieve pain and strengthen your knee. In addition to this, he could prescribe the intake of anti-inflammatory, pain relievers. Also, food supplements to help restore the joint. In the most serious cases it could indicate the realization of a surgery.
5. Meniscus injury
The meniscus is a cartilage will find in the middle of the knee between the bones of the femur and tibia. Symptoms that usually arise are pain in the knee when walking, climbing and descending stairs and, depending on the area of injury. Hence, the pain can be in the forehead, behind or to the sides of the knee.
What to do : If a speculation of meniscus injury is , consultation of an orthopedist is necessary for an evaluation. Tests will take place to produce pain and confirm the diagnosis.
However the best test to see the meniscus is through an MRI. Hence, treatment can continue with physical therapy or, in more severe cases, surgery, in which the surgeon can suture or cut the affected part of the meniscus.
Medications for pain behind the knee
Taking tablet medications do not allow without medical guidance. The clinician may recommend taking anti-inflammatory for 7-10 days to reduce pain. Corticosteroid infiltration may be an option in more severe cases. Hence, mainly when there is no relief of symptoms with the use of medications and with physical therapy. Some anti-inflammatory creams and gels that the doctor usually indicates are diclofenac diethylammonium, carnival or methyl salicylate. Thus, we can purchase in pharmacies and drugstores.
However, it is not enough to take medications or use ointments. It is important to treat the cause of knee pain. Hence, which if it does not disappear after 1 week or is a very intense pain. Also, prevents you from carrying out your daily activities. So, you should go to a consultation with the doctor or physical therapist.
Which doctor to consult?
When there is suspicion that knee pain is related to the structures of that joint. So, the best doctor to evaluate it is the orthopedist. When there is suspicion that the pain causes by varicose veins, the vascular doctor is indicates. But when it is not possible to obtain a consultation with any of these doctors. You can go to a general doctor. The physiotherapist can consult in any situation, however he cannot prescribe drugs or injections.