≡ Menu

Latest News

What’s Causing My Pain Behind the Knee?

Author: Niki L. Carayannopoulos, DO

Many of us have known knee pain that feels like it’s coming from the joint itself. However, knee pain can also occur behind the knee. There are several potential causes of pain behind the knee, a few of which we will discuss here on the blog. If you are experiencing pain behind your knee, you should see your primary care physician or a Houston orthopedic doctor for an evaluation.

4 Common Causes of Pain Behind the Knee

  1. Hamstring Inflammation. The biceps femoris is a tendon in the back of the thigh that is part of the hamstring muscle group; it attaches around the back of the knee. If the biceps femoris is torn, it can cause pain in the back of the knee. People who are at a greater risk for this type of injury include kickboxers, sprinters, and runners. Downhill running, especially, can lead to inflammation. Standard RICE therapy may be useful for treating this injury.
  2. Meniscus Tear. Your knee has two menisci, wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage that serve as shock absorbers between the thighbone and shinbone. Menisci can tear as a result of long-term overuse or sudden trauma. Pain behind the knee is a fairly common symptom. Again, RICE is a good therapy for this injury. However, you should still see a provider for an evaluation. Learn more about meniscus tears and your treatment options at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics.
  3. Baker’s Cyst. A cyst is a fluid-filled sac-like pocket that is typically harmless, though at times quite uncomfortable. Baker’s Cyst (also known as a popliteal cyst) is a type of cyst that can develop on the back of the knee. A Baker’s cyst may be caused by arthritis or a cartilage tear. These cysts are somewhat common among runners, due to the fact that running causes wear and rubbing of the cartilage within the knee. The issue may be exacerbated in runners who maintain consistent speed and mileage. These cysts may go away on their own with rest or alteration in routine. However, there are treatments available, which vary depending on the cause for the Baker’s cyst.
  4. Arthritis. Lastly, osteoarthritis can cause pain and swelling in the back of the knee (as well as other areas of the joint). If you are at risk for osteoarthritis, consider seeing a Houston orthopedic doctor near you. Risk factors may include obesity, joint overuse, family history, being 65 years or older, or having a previous knee injury. Learn about five non-surgical therapies for arthritis.

Schedule With a Houston Orthopedic Doctor

To learn more about your knee pain treatment options, schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics. Call (713) 756-5546, or schedule your appointment online.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.