Issues That Can Cause Pain Behind The Knee While Youre Bending It
The knee is one of the most complex joints in the human musculoskeletal system, and physical therapists are trained to treat this system. This knowledge allows your therapist to pinpoint the cause of your knee pain. Some common issues that typically cause posterior knee pain include:
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Sprain Or Strain Injuries
Ligaments around the body provide stiffness and support to the joints of our body, allowing them to move freely, but limiting movement that would potentially threaten the safety and health of the joint. Our ligaments form a passive support system and help keep our joints in place. If there is enough damage to an important ligament of a joint, the stability and overall joint can become compromised. Likewise, the knee is supported by several important muscles and their tendons. While some muscles are acting to move the joint, others are acting to support the knee and keep it in place. Injuries to ligaments are referred to as sprain injuries, and injuries to muscles or their tendons are referred to as strain injuries. Both of these types of injuries can cause knee pain.
Runners knee or jumpers knee are examples of common strain injuries to the knee. These are vague terms often used to describe injury or irritation to several different types of tissues around the front of the knee, including the patellar tendon, quadriceps tendon and iliotibial band. The tendons around the knee will help with the absorption of forces through the knee during activities like running or jumping. With overuse, repetitive loading, or overload, injury can occur to these soft tissues and result in pain around the front of the knee.
What Causes Knee Pain
The most common causes of knee pain include:
- Meniscus tears tears to the C-shaped pieces of cartilage in your knee, which are called menisci
- Runner’s knee dull pain at the front of your knee also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome
- Sprained ligaments
- Tendonitis inflammation of your tendons
Old knee injuries that werent treated correctly can also cause chronic knee pain or knee pain that flares up occasionally.
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Where Is Your Pain
The hunt for the cause of knee pain is like the search for a home:Location matters.
For example, pain below your kneecap might be a sign of patellar tendinitis, or inflammation in the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shinbone, says rheumatologist Scott Burg, DO. Pain above the kneecap often means quadriceps tendinitis.
Pain on the inside or outside of your knee could be a sign of a torn ligament , Dr. Burg says. But it also could indicate a torn or degenerative meniscus, which is the cartilage that lines and cushions your knee joint.
Those are just a couple of causes, not including various types of arthritis. Location is important, but we also ask other questions, Dr. Burg explains.
What Are The Causes Of Knee Pain In Teenagers
Common knee pain problems in your teenager can be generally divided into three types:
- Anterior knee pain, also called patellofemoral pain.
- Injures to ligaments and tendons of the knee or to the kneecap itself.
- Medical conditions that affect the knee.
Anterior knee pain happens when your teens kneecap is pulled out of its groove from increased pressure. Increased pressure on the knee joint is caused by:
- Abnormal hip rotation due to imbalances in muscle strength and flexibility around the hips.
- Improper training methods or equipment.
- Poor flexibility of the thigh muscles, which support the knee joint. Thigh muscle weakness or tightness.
- Overuse of the knee from repetitive bending of the knee during running, jumping, and other activities.
- Problems with alignment, for example, the kneecap not being properly aligned within the knee or having flat feet, which changes the normal gait.
Knee pain resulting from sprains, strains and tears to ligaments and tendons or injuries to other soft tissues. These conditions include:
Medical conditions that can affect your teens knee include:
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How Is It Diagnosed
When genu valgum is present in an older child or adult, its important to find out if theres an underlying cause. A bone disease or arthritis will need to be treated.
Your doctor will ask questions about family medical history, as well as whether youre in any pain. If you are, theyll want to know where the pain youre feeling is located.
During a physical exam, your doctor will observe how you stand and walk.
Theyll also look to assess:
- inequality in your leg length
- your knee alignment angle
- uneven wear on the soles of your shoes
In some cases, your doctor may order an X-ray or MRI scan to look at your bone structure.
Why Does My Knee Hurt When Bending
Knees take a beating all the time, but even more so when they bend. In fact, knees take a force of up to 4 times your body weight every time you move.
The knee is the largest and most complex joint in the human body. With many components such as bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles, bursae, and other soft tissues, it is very vulnerable to a variety of injuries. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, there were about 10.4 million doctor visits in 2010 alone for common knee injuries , so its no surprise that Americans are experiencing knee pain – especially when bending.
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How Medication Is Helpful
If your severe inside knee oain is due to inflammatory conditions, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat an infection or anti-inflammatory medications to treat arthritic conditions.
Examples include anti-platelet medications, such as aspirin or clopidogrel . They may also prescribe medications to reduce leg pain when walking, such as pentoxifylline or cilostazol.
Biceps Femoris Tendon Avulsion
An avulsion strain occurs when a tendon tears, pulling a small piece of bone with it. If you suspect you have an avulsion injury, seek professional advice. This is because an X-ray is needed to confirm the diagnosis. Symptoms of an avulsion strain:
- Sudden severe pain at the back of your knee .
- Sudden swelling will occur.
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When You Feel Knee Pain
If you have knee pain, the thought of stretching might seem unpleasant. However, doing knee stretches when your knees hurt can help you feel better.
The key is to move slowly and gently. Hold each stretch for just a few seconds. If youre doing reps, start with a low number. As your muscles loosen up, you can increase the duration of each stretch.
You should stop if you feel new pain or if your existing pain gets worse. In this case, see a physical therapist for personalized guidance.
In addition to stretching your knees, there are other ways to keep them healthy. This includes:
Knee Pain When Bending
Reviewed by: KPE Medical Review Board
Knee pain when bending is a common problem. Forces up to seven times body weight can go through the knee as it bends, so it comes as no surprise that it is such a widespread problem.
Bending knee pain may start suddenly after an injury, or gradually come on over time depending on the cause.
There are a number of different causes of knee pain when bending, but they generally all result from a problem with one of the structures in or around the knee, affecting how it moves.
This changes how the forces travel through the different parts of the knee and can result in too much pressure going through certain parts, which leads to knee pain bending.
Here we will look at the different types of bending knee pain, the most common causes of knee pain when bending, treatment options and what is actually going on in the knee as it bends.
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What Can You Do For The Pain
Your plan will depend on your specific injury. Mild to moderate issues will often get better on their own. To speed the healing, you can:
- Rest your knee. Take a few days off from intense activity.
- Ice it to curb pain and swelling. Do it for 15 to 20 minutes every 3 to 4 hours. Keep doing it for 2 to 3 days or until the pain is gone.
- Compress your knee. Use an elastic bandage, straps, or sleeves to wrap the joint. It will keep down swelling or add support.
- Elevate your knee with a pillow under your heel when you’re sitting or lying down to cut down on swelling.
- Take anti-inflammatorymedications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen will help with pain and swelling. Follow the instructions on the label. These drugs can have side effects, so you should only use them now and then unless your doctor says otherwise.
- Practice stretching and strengthening exercises if your doctor recommends them. You may want to do physical therapy, too.
Make an appointment with a doctor if you still have pain after 2 weeks of home treatment, if the knee becomes warm, or if you have fever along with a painful, swollen knee.
Some people with knee pain need more help. For instance, if you have bursitis, your doctor may need to draw out extra fluid from the bursa in your knee. If you have arthritis, you may need an occasional corticosteroid shot to settle down inflammation. And if you have a torn ligament or certain knee injuries, you may need surgery.
What Is The Treatment For A Person With Knee Pain
When bending your knee becomes a problem, then youll want to try a few at-home treatment methods as outlined below.
Firstly, ice is good for reducing swelling and pain. Cold treatment should be used as soon as possible after your injury and can help reduce pain and inflammation around the joint.
Apply a cold pack or an ice-filled bag to the affected area for about 15 minutes at a time up to twice per day or as recommended by your doctor. Do not apply ice directly to your skin for longer than 20 minutes.
Its best if you can find a surface-like plastic that separates the ice from your body such as a frozen gel pack or even something like a paper towel between you and the ice pack.
As an alternative to ice packs, some people find that soaking in a lukewarm salt bath for about 20 minutes helps reduce swelling and discomfort quite dramatically. You can add Epsom salts or baking soda if you wish both are great at reducing joint pain and helping you feel less stiff.
If possible, this should be repeated daily until the pain subsides which could take several days or up to a week depending on how bad the injury has. Its important not to overdo this though, as it can make things worse.
If youve injured yourself and found that knee pain when bending is becoming a problem you may find that wrapping the joint up in an ace bandage helps to support the knee and relieves some of the pain by giving it support.
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Key Points About Jumper’s Knee
- Jumpers knee is inflammation of your patellar tendon, the tendon that connects your kneecap to your shinbone .
- Jumpers knee is often a sports-related injury caused by overuse of your knee joint.
- You may need an X-ray to help diagnose jumpers knee.
- The best treatment for jumper’s knee is to stop any activity thats causing the problem until the injury is healed.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
The anterior cruciate ligament is a band of tissue that runs through the front of your knee joint. It connects your thighbone to your shinbone and helps stabilize and provide movement to your knee.
Most ACL injuries happen when you slow down, stop, or change direction suddenly while running. You can also strain or tear this ligament if you land a jump wrong, or you get hit in a contact sport like football.
You might feel a pop when the injury happens. Afterward, your knee will hurt and swell up. You might have trouble fully moving your knee and feel pain when you walk.
Rest and physical therapy can help an ACL strain heal. If the ligament is torn, youll often need surgery to fix it. Heres what to expect during ACL reconstruction.
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How Does It Feel
If it feels like there is a sharp knife stabbing into your knee, or a burning sensation, then most likely there is either some nerve irritation or something is getting stuck in the joint such as an osteophyte. However, you may feel a discomforting sensation or soreness behind the knee joint or pain behind knee. Which can be severe enough to limit the movement of our knees.
When Will My Knee Feel Better
The recovery time depends on your injury. Also, some people naturally heal faster than others.
While you get better, ask your doctor if you can do an activity that won’t aggravate your knee pain. For instance, runners could try swimming or other types of lower-impact cardio.
Whatever you do, don’t rush things. Donât try to return to your regular level of physical activity until you notice these signs:
- You feel no pain in your knee when you bend or straighten it.
- You feel no pain in your knee when you walk, jog, sprint, or jump.
- Your injured knee feels as strong as the other knee.
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How To Prevent Knee Pain When Bending
Before you begin having serious problems with your knees, there are prevention tips to incorporate into your daily living.
- Strengthen knee muscles with exercises for the thighs
- Always stretch before and after a workout or exercise routine
- Do strength training exercises for your back and abdominal muscles
- Use proper posture when performing tasks, sitting, standing, and walking
- If standing for prolong periods, shift weight from one foot to the other or alternate feet using a foot rest
- Avoid placing strain on knees with bending or squatting by using proper techniques
- Follow a healthy diet to maintain good health of the muscles
Having knee pain when bending can limit your daily activities and may lead to further complications. Our knees allow us to move in many ways, and we depend on the proper functioning of the knees many components. An injury or disease to any part of the knee can be debilitating. Good health and strengthening exercises for the knee joint and its connecting partners are key to maintaining pain-free movement.
What Is The Outlook For Genu Valgum
In the vast majority of cases, parents can expect that a childs genu valgum will resolve by age 8.
For older children and adults with genu valgum, a course of physical therapy and exercises can help realign their knees. It can also strengthen surrounding muscles and avoid stress damage to other joints.
If these efforts arent successful, surgery may be performed to realign your knees.
In time, untreated knee misalignment can cause pain and problems in functioning. One
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Treating Knee Pain When Bending
The best treatment for knee pain when bending will depend on the underlying cause of your knee pain. In most cases it will involve:
You will find loads more information on the different conditions we have looked at including the best ways to treat knee pain when bending by using the links above.Here we have looked at the most common causes of knee pain when bending, but almost any problem with the knee can result in pain as you move it. If none of these is sounding quite right, visit the knee pain diagnosis section for more help work out what is causing your bending knee pain.
Is The Sound That My Knee Makes Bad
As we reviewed in a popular post about the sounds that our knees make, we discussed that the majority of these sounds are not mechanical or dangerous! That means that you are probably not bone on bone or grinding away the insides of your knee when you bend it. Yes, these sounds can be annoying or even embarrassing, but they are rarely dangerous. The most common cause of this grinding sensation or sound is actually due to inflammation of the tissues inside the knee. You do not need cortisone or lubricating injections to treat these sounds or sensations.
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Why Do My Knees Crack And Pop When I Bend Them
The term crepitus is used to describe the rubbing, clicking or popping sensations that we feel in or around our joints. It may occur in tandem with a joint disorder or completely on its own. Crepitus can occur when the roughened surfaces of two bones rub together, causing the physical grating of cartilage and/or bone. While this sensation is not normally or commonly painful, it can be quite alarming or concerning to patients. If crepitus is painful, it is usually related to joint damage and/or compression of tissues between the reduced joint spaces. There may also be observable swelling, redness, reduced joint movement or malformation.
Crepitus can also occur when tissues around the knee become inflamed. Many of the highly movable joints in our body have one or more bursa . The bursa can become inflamed due to trauma, repetitive use injury, or other disorders, resulting in bursitis. With increased fluid inside the joint, the inflamed surfaces can rub together and create the sensation of crepitus. In the knee, there are several bursae around the kneecap and hamstring tendons in the back of the knee.