Pain behind knee causes effects and treatments
Knees are among the joints in our bodies that receive a lot of stress. Aside holding up a substantial portion of our weight they are also essential for walking and running. However, they are usually ignored until they start to malfunction. back of knee hurts is a common affliction today and can be caused by a myriad of structural and metabolic problems. The key to effectively dealing with pain behind knees is to find and treat its cause.
Various Causes of pain behind knee
Because of the many structures found in the knee, physicians have more or less classified the different causes for back of knee pain. Among the most common causes are muscle and tendon problems. These usually involve the calf muscles, the hamstrings, and popliteal muscles. Mechanical stress caused by fatigue, improper positioning, and poor running techniques is the usual culprit.
Nerve injury can also be a cause of pain in back of knee. This is usually secondary to trauma where in the common peroneal nerve is damaged. It can also be caused by circulation problems or knee positions that can compress the nerve. In many cases nerve and muscle injury go together.
Torn ligaments are also another common cause of pain behind the knee. Motor vehicle accidents and sports injuries are responsible for most of these injuries. Other causes include bone problems, poor blood supply, and tumors.
Pinpointing the Cause of the Pain
Physicians are trained to help figure out the cause of back of knee pain. They will ask a lot of questions such as when the pain started, when does it hurt, what aggravates and relieves it, and if there was a history of knee injury. They will also ask about diet, physical activity and weight problems as these can contribute to sore back of knee. Aside from the patient history, a set of maneuvers to help determine which structures are damaged. Fortunately today, imaging techniques such as x-rays and MRI’s can differentiate whether the problem involves the bones, the soft tissues or both. Patients who have nerve problems need to be worked up by a neurologist. Once the cause has been determined doctors can now proceed with the proper treatment.
Long term effects of untreated back of knee pain will depend on the cause. Structural injury can lead to permanent knee damage and limit mobility. Metabolic problems that cause arthritis can cause more pain, swelling and ultimately joint immobility. Deep vein thrombosis, a rare cause of back of knee pain, needs to be addressed immediately as it can stop blood supply and damage not only the knee but also the leg and foot.
Treatment and Exercise of Back of Knee Pain
Most of back of knee pain caused by muscle and tendon problems respond well to rest, medication, and cold compress. However, torn ligaments and tendons may need surgery to reattach their structures. Doctors may also require some people to lose weight and permanently change physical activities to prevent mechanical stress on the knees.
For those suffering from chronic back knee pain the best exercise would be swimming. High impact exercises such as basketball should be limited to at least once a week and should be avoided at the slightest sign of pain.