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Pain In Back Of Knee When Straightening Leg

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Back of Knee Pain : What’s Wrong?

So is hyperextension bad for your knees? Mild knee hyperextension may not cause any pain but if there is increased laxity at the knee joint and repetitive hyperextension, there is increased risk of knee damage including ligament tears and cartilage damage.

With a hyperextended knee it is really important to know whether there are any associated injuries to ensure you get the right treatment. Any injuries should be assessed by a doctor.

If this isnt sounding quite like your problem or you want some help working out what is wrong, visit the knee pain diagnosis section, but please remember, that is not a substitute for medical advice.

And remember, knee strengthening exercises are vital with a hyperextended knee to build up the strength and stability of the knee to ensure a full recovery.

Page Last Updated: 12/07/21

Can Someone With Pfp Syndrome Play Sports

Most people with PFP syndrome need to cut back or stop sports for some time. Follow the health care provider’s instructions on when it’s safe for you to go back to sports. This usually is when:

  • Hip, leg, and core strength is near normal.
  • Flexibility, especially in the hamstring muscle, has improved.
  • There’s no pain with everyday activities, such as walking and going up/down stairs.
  • Any pain with activity is very mild and goes away within a few minutes of starting the activity.

Pain Behind Knee When Straightening Leg Other Causes

The pain associated with your knee has all been injuries however, we still have other conditions to share, so dont go just yet. Some of these conditions could be life-altering as you may never run or walk the same again.

That is why seeking help sooner than later can matter a whole lot. Some may be small and need the usual R.I.C.E method. The only way to know for sure is by having the scan done.

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Can Physical Therapy Help Relieve The Pain In The Back Of My Knee

Seeing a physical therapist may be a good idea if you are experiencing pain in the back of your knee when straightening your leg. A licensed physical therapist can help to diagnose the cause of your knee pain and determine the best course of action to treat it.

At Peak Performance Sports and Physical Therapy, we have years of experience in helping patients just like you recover from a knee injury, post-surgical recovery, and other root causes of knee pain and discomfort. We can treat your knee pain using tried and proven physical therapy techniques, including:

Damage To The Ligaments Of The Knee

Soft tissue knee · Virtual Fracture Clinic

Ligaments are strong, flexible, fibrous and elastic connective tissue which connect one bone to another, provide stability and support joints. They do not connect muscles to joints, that is done by the tendons.

The ligaments of the knee comprise the medial and lateral collateral ligaments, on the inside and outside of the knee respectively, which give sideways stability to the knee joint, and the anterior and posterior cruciate ligament at the front and back of the knee. There is also a patellar tendon, which is really a ligament, which attaches the bottom of the patella to the top of the tibia.

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Muscle And Tendon Conditions

The shallow depression formed at the back of the knee is called the popliteal fossa it is formed at the junction of the femur and tibia. There is a muscle here on the floor of the popliteal fossa which is the deepest muscle of the knee joint. It works on the femur to rotate it on the tibia when walking. Through the popliteal depression a bundle of muscles run from the pelvis to the knee and attach to the tibia and fibula respectively by tendons. These three muscles are collectively called the hamstring muscles, and function to extend the leg and bend the knee.

At the back of the lower leg the calf muscles are composed of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles which flex the leg at the knee and flex the ankle via the achilles tendon.

Whilst Squatting With A Heavy Load I Heard A Pop And Experienced Sudden Pain Should I Go To My Gp

A popping or cracking sound on its own is not unusual and nothing to be worried about. However, if accompanied by sudden pain you may have damaged one of your knee ligaments , or torn a meniscus. You should consult your doctor. If the problem does not clear up I would be happy to see you and assess things further.

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Types Of Pain Behind The Knee

There are a number of health conditions that may result in pain behind your knee. Two common conditions that cause it are a:

A posterior cruciate ligament injury can happen if you overstretch or tear this ligament, which runs across your knee from your thigh to your shin bone. It often results from a heavy blow to the front of your knee while its bent. This can happen if you hit your knee on the dashboard during a car accident, or over-straighten your leg and bend your knee backwards. Doctors call this hyperextension.

A cyst is a collection of fluid or material inside a thin layer of tissue. A popliteal cyst is a cyst in the shallow pit at the back of your knee. Its often linked to other conditions that affect the knee, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or cartilage injuries. If you injure your knee, it can cause a collection of fluid to develop within your knee. Sometimes you can feel this in the depression at the back of your knee.

Osteoarthritis of the knee is another common cause of knee pain. The smooth, shiny cartilage that lines your knee joint becomes worn and rough. This causes pain and damages your knee over time. It mostly affects people over 50. The older you are, the more likely you are to get it.

Aching Cramp Tiredness Or Numbness At The Back Of The Knee And Calf

When Your Leg Locks and Wont Straighten by The Knee Pain Guru #KneeClub

Is most likely due to Popliteal Artery Entrapment Syndrome, where the artery becomes compressed due to pressure on it from the muscles and tendons around the knee. The blood supply to the artery is reduced or cut off. This can occur due to overuse or because of athletic activity, particularly if the calf muscles and muscles around the artery become over-developed due to exercise. Normally the artery will simply recover, but if the problem is persistent medical help should be sought.

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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.

Symptoms Of Quadriceps Tendonitis

The most common symptom of quadriceps tendonitis is pain at the bottom of the thigh, above the patella . The pain will intensify as you move your knee.

Other symptoms of quadricep tendonitis include:

  • Swelling around the quad tendon
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Warmth or burning pain in the affected area
  • Stiffness in the knee in the early morning

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Reasons Why Your Leg May Hurt Behind Your Knee

There are many possible reasons why your leg may hurt behind your knee. It could be due to an overuse injury, such as from running or playing sports. Or, it could be the result of an accident or fall. Sometimes, the pain is caused by a medical condition, such as arthritis or a blood clot. If the pain is severe, lasts for more than a few days, or is accompanied by swelling, redness, or warmth, you should see a doctor to rule out a more serious problem.

The knee is the largest and most complex joint in the body, both physically and mentally. Whether or not the pain is caused by a specific cause can make it difficult or simple to diagnose. There are several common causes of benign cystitis, including arthritis, infection, injury, tumors, and deep vein thrombosis. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs as a result of aging or overuse on the knee. Arthritis can also be caused by rheumatoid arthritis, but it will occur simultaneously in both knees. This condition can cause pain in the anterior knee if there are injuries to a muscle, tendon, ligament, or other connective tissue. When injuries or arthritis cause pain in the knee, it is critical to see a doctor.

An under-the-counter cyst is a fluid-filled cyst that develops at the back of the knee, also known as a popliteal cyst. The condition is caused by swelling and inflammation of the tissues behind the knee joint.

Risk Factors For A Meniscus Tear Or Strain

Will my knee be straightened with surgery?
  • Age the meniscus gets worn as you age, so people over the age of 30 are at a higher risk for suffering from a meniscus tear.
  • Athletes athletes who play sports such as football, basketball, soccer and tennis are at a higher risk for suffering from a meniscus tear because of the sudden stops and turns involved in playing the game.
  • Osteoarthritis people who suffer from osteoarthritis are at a higher risk for suffering from a meniscus tear or strain.

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If The Back Of Your Knee Hurts While Running Or Walking:

This could be a symptom of hamstring tendonitis. The hamstring tendon connects the hamstring muscle to the outer aspect of the knee. This is caused by overuse in running or jumping or insufficient warm-up exercises. If you are an individual who has just started working out or increased your level of fitness, you are at risk for this injury. Pain can be felt when putting strain on the muscle or tendon.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Pain In The Back Of The Knee

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Is the knee pain affecting one or both knees?
  • Do you often feel your knees buckling?
  • Where is your knee pain?
  • How would you explain the cause of your knee pain?

Self-diagnose with our free Buoy Assistant if you answer yes on any of these questions.

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Symptoms Of Pain Behind The Knee

Symptoms of pain behind the knee will vary, depending on the cause. You may have swelling or pain when you move your knee a certain way.

If you have a posterior cruciate ligament injury, youll probably have injured other parts of your knee too. But if youve only injured your PCL, you may just feel a bit of discomfort. You may feel pain behind your knee, especially when you kneel. If your symptoms dont improve, it may be uncomfortable going down an incline, for example walking or running downhill, or going down stairs.

A popliteal cyst causes swelling and sometimes pain at the back of your knee, which youll probably notice. If you have a very large swelling, it may stop you from fully straightening your leg. The swelling may come and go, and get worse or better over time. If your cyst bursts, you may hear a pop and feel warmth spread down your calf. It may start to look red or bruised anywhere from the back of your knee down to your ankle and the top of your foot.

If you have a swollen, tender calf, its very important to see a doctor. The swelling can also be caused by a clot in your leg , which you will need urgent treatment for.

Osteoarthritis usually causes pain when you bear weight on it, and gets better when you rest. Your knee may be stiff and you might not be able to move it as well first thing in the morning, or after you sit for a while. This usually eases once you start moving around. You may also have some swelling over your knee.

Hamstring And Calf Muscle And Tendon Injuries

Knee Extension Exercise (2 Steps to Straighten Your Knee)

The hamstrings muscles are a group of large muscles that run the length of the upper legs, ending at the knee. The calf muscles are the beefy muscles that run behind the lower legs, starting at the knee.

There are tendons in the hamstrings and calf muscles that connect these muscles to the bone just behind the knee. So your back of knee pain could be caused by an injury or problem in these muscles or tendons. An additional sign of this problem might be chronically tight hamstrings or calf muscles that you constantly feel like you need to stretch or roll out .

And even further up the line, if you have hamstrings or calf muscles that wont let go and are always tight, it could be your back, not your hamstrings or your knee, thats the true cause of the problem . How does that work? Check out the video which explains the connection.

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Treatment Options For Back Of Knee Pain

There are some at-home treatment plans that you can try which may help to reduce your back knee pain.

These include:

*Resting the leg by elevating it when needed and avoiding activities that irritate the knee

*Applying ice to the back of the knee for 20 minutes every 2-3 hours

*Taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve swelling around the joint

*Treating hamstring tightness with static stretching exercises

If you are experiencing chronic back knee pain, see a doctor who can prescribe stronger medication if necessary. A cortisone injection can be used in some cases to relieve inflammation in and around the knee joint. This is normally only reserved for those who are not responding to other forms of treatment.

If the back of your knee is constantly experiencing pain, it may be time to take a break from your activities, especially if youve noticed swelling around the joint. This can help prevent further damage and allow the knee time to heal before more serious injuries develop.

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Conditions Due To Cartilage Damage

There are two triangular, or wedge shaped, pieces of cartilage in the synovial joint which are called menisci. One lies on the inside, or medial side, of the knee, and one on the outside or lateral side. They act as shock absorbers between the femur and tibia, the end surfaces of which also have a cartilage covering called articular cartilage. At the front of the synovial joint is the patella which is an oval bone protecting the front of the joint and lined internally with cartilage.

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When To See A Doctor

If you are experiencing sharp, shooting or throbbing knee pain that prevents you from putting full weight onto your leg, it’s best to see your doctor right away, says Nightingale â especially if you sustained the injury traumatically through a fall or collision.

Symptoms like locking or catching of the knee are also common signs of a more serious injury and a red flag that you should consult a doctor ASAP. Also consult the help of a professional if your knee hurts when you bend it and straighten it, as this may signal a more serious injury, like an ACL or meniscus tear.

Any chronic knee pain lasting more than a few days should be assessed as well.

To figure out what’s causing your knee pain, it can be helpful to think through a few things: type and intensity, onset, location and activities.

Pain On The Outside Of The Knee

Why Does My Knee Hurt? 10 Common Sources of Knee Pain

Pain on the outside of the knee oftentimes is referred to as lateral knee pain. It can be caused by an injury or repetitive activity. The pain can be intermittent or constant. There are many causes of lateral knee pain which include osteoarthritis, meniscus injuries, ligament laxity, and iliotibial band dysfunction.

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Treatment Of Pain Behind The Knee

Rest, applying ice packs, taking painkillers and physiotherapy can all be used to treat posterior knee pain. Depending on the severity and underlying cause of your knee pain, your doctor may also prescribe medication and/or recommend surgery.

Treatment for Bakers cysts

Bakers cysts can go away on their own or with treatment of the underlying condition causing your cyst . However, if you have a large or painful cyst, your doctor may recommend steroid injections, physiotherapy or drainage of the cyst.

Treatment for gastrocnemius tendonitis

Your knee pain should subside with rest, elevation of your leg and applying ice packs. How long this takes will depend on the size of the tear.

Treatment for meniscus tear

Rest, elevation of your leg and applying ice packs may be enough to treat your tear. However, if your tear doesnt improve on its own, your doctor may recommend surgery.

Treatment for ACL injury

Rest and physiotherapy can treat an ACL injury. However, if your ACL is torn, you may need surgery.

Treatment for PCL injury

Your knee pain should subside with rest, elevation of your leg and applying ice packs. However, your doctor may recommend surgery if you have injured more than one ligament, are unsteady on your feet or have also damaged cartilage in your knee.

Treatment for chondromalacia

Applying ice packs, taking over-the-counter painkillers and physiotherapy can treat chondromalacia. However, if the cartilage in your knee is damaged, you will need surgery.

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