Rice: Rest Ice Compress Elevate
RICE is an acronym for rest, ice, compress, and elevate. This treatment is beneficial for minor muscle injuries, including knee pain. When youre experiencing knee pain, you can rest and avoid putting pressure on your knee. Then, wrap ice in a clean cloth and apply to your knees for 20 minutes, multiple times a day. Later on, you can try compressing your knee by snuggling it with an elastic bandage. But make sure not to make it too tight. If your knees are swelling, elevate them higher than your heart. With this method, you can help remedy most mild knee pain.
Pain Behind The Knee When Walking Or Running
The cause of pain at the back of the leg behind the knee could be hamstring tendonitis. This is caused by the tendons of the hamstring becoming inflamed, often due to overuse of the hamstring muscles, but the pain will subside after rest and first aid centred on the RICE method .
If you notice a sudden sharp pain in the back of the thigh when undergoing vigorous exercise this may be due to a pull, partial tear or tear of the hamstring, and is due to overloading the muscle. This type of injury is most often treated by a doctor. A similar pain in the calf may be due to gastrocnemius tendonitis.
A tenderness behind the knee, felt when rotating the leg inwards in the act of walking could denote an injury to the popliteus muscle. A cold pack applied for 10 minutes every hour for the first day after injury can alleviate the symptoms.
All the muscles at the back of the leg can be subject to cramp. This is a common condition and occurs when a muscle goes into spasm. The symptoms are a tightening of the muscle accompanied by pain. Amongst other causes, it could be due to dehydration, muscle fatigue or a restriction of the blood supply to the affected muscles. Cramp is not serious and can be relieved by relaxing, massaging and stretching the affected muscle.
What Does A Knee Injury Feel Like
Obviously, it hurts! But the type of pain and where you feel it can vary, depending on what the problem is. You may have:
- Pain, usually when you bend or straighten the knee
- Trouble putting weight on the knee
- Problems moving your knee
- Knee buckling or âlockingâ
If you have these symptoms, see your doctor. They will check your knee. You may also need X-rays or an MRI to see more detail of the joint.
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What To Do If Your Knee Hurts When Bending
More than a quarter of adults suffer from regular bouts of knee pain. Its really no surprise as our knees handle a tremendous amount stress day-to-day.1-2 Scientists have found that for every pound of bodyweight, our knees are subjected to up to seven pounds of pressure when they are bent or in weight-bearing.3 If youre here, it is because youve noticed that your knee hurts when bending it, is painful walking down stairs and feels uncomfortable while squatting. The fix for this really depends on the diagnosis. Below are some common causes of knee pain.
Why Do My Knees Hurt When Bending
Knee pain has many origins unrelated to an underlying disease. Injuries due to trauma, overuse or overexertion are common causes of knee pain. Many Americans experience knee pain when bending specifically, which can be troublesome when we dont know the exact reason behind it.
Experts estimate that for every pound we weigh, our knees can be subject to four to six times that pressure when we bend them and/or place them in a weight bearing position. Therefore, bending, climbing stairs and squatting can make certain areas of the knee ache with pain.
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What Else Can Help
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: 10/06/21
Types Of Knee Pain When Bending
Pain in the Knee, with Locking in the Joint
Inside the knee joint, there are two C shaped pieces of cartilage called menisci, which keep the surfaces of the upper leg bone and lower leg bones from grinding against each other. Injuries to this cartilage usually result from a trauma, like landing a jump or twisting your knee. You may also notice problems with range of motion, walking, or even a locking sensation in the joint. Resting the knee and managing inflammation will help heal minor tears, while physical therapy can help strengthen and stabilize it.
Pain Behind the Kneecap
Patella-Femoral Syndrome is a term that describes joint pain between the kneecap and upper leg bone. Under the kneecap is a smooth cartilage lining that creates a gliding surface between the bones, and if it softens or wears away it can result in pain and inflammation. According to Neuromuscular Specialist and co-founder of the Performance Institute in New York City, major contributing factors to this knee pain are poor alignment when landing, as well as imbalanced quadricep muscles, which can pull the kneecap side to side. Strengthening the quads and stretches to lengthen hamstrings and calfs will help reduce the risk of injury.
Pain and Tenderness on the outside of the Knee
Pain with a Pop
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Experiencing Different Kinds Of Pain
The varying kinds of pain include a dull, sharp, or burning sensation. These kinds of pain may lay siege on your knee at once or slowly build up to a loud throbbing.
The other thing is that the pain could become consistent throughout or just when you exert pressure on it. This could also mean discomfort when you walk or try to bend your knee.
Have you experienced such pain of late?
What Is A Meniscus Tear
A meniscus tear is a common knee injury. The meniscus is a rubbery, C-shaped disc that cushions your knee. Each knee has two menisci one at the outer edge of the knee and one at the inner edge. They keep your knee steady by balancing your weight across the knee. A torn meniscus can prevent your knee from working right.
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How Are Knee Problems Diagnosed
In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, other tests for knee problems may include:
X-ray. This test uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to make images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
Magnetic resonance imaging . This test uses large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to make detailed images of organs and structures within the body can often determine damage or disease in a surrounding ligament or muscle.
Computed tomography scan . This test uses X-rays and computer technology to make horizontal, or axial, images of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.
Arthroscopy. A minimally-invasive diagnostic and treatment procedure used for conditions of a joint. This procedure uses a small, lighted, optic tube , which is inserted into the joint through a small incision in the joint. Images of the inside of the joint are projected onto a screen used to evaluate any degenerative or arthritic changes in the joint to detect bone diseases and tumors to determine the cause of bone pain and inflammation.
Radionuclide bone scan. A nuclear imaging technique that uses a very small amount of radioactive material, which is injected into the patient’s bloodstream to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.
Knowing The Pain Behind Your Knee
Well, if you are a runner, cyclist, or athlete of any kind, chances are that youâll suffer PFPS at one point in your life. But that does not mean that youâre safe if you spend most of your time seated.
There are a few muscles involved in a single knee movement:
You can find the big quadriceps muscles located in front of your thighs. There are also the calve muscles located behind the shins. Lastly in the group, are the hamstring muscles found right behind your thigh.
Collectively, the 3 muscles above control your knee joint. These muscles also play a critical part in the movement of your lower body.
PFPS may arise from things like a slight change in your workout routine. Other factors include muscle dysfunctions and biomechanical anomalies like a flat foot or high arch.
PFPS manifests itself as a fluctuating pain rising from behind your knee, and extends to your thighbone.
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What Are The Eight Most Common Causes Of The Knee Pain
Knee pain can arise from a number of conditions. It is important to understand where your knee pain is arising from. This will allow for the best treatment plan. The most common causes of knee pain include:
Cartlage is a smooth coating on the end of your thigh and shin bone that allow smooth, painless movement of your knee. It is a flexible connective tissue that cushions your bones against the pressures and forces of daily living. Unfortunately it is susceptible to injury and degeneration. The most common causes of cartilage damage are wear and tear, repeitive use, and trauma.
Ligaments are thick pieces of connective tissue that connect bone to bone. They provide important stability for a joint. Important ligaments in the knee include the anterior cruciate ligament , posterior cruciate ligament , medial collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligament . Ligaments can be injured due to overuse, injury, aging and medical conditions such as diabetes. Ligament injury can cause the knee to hurt when you bend or straighten it.
Tendons are thick pieces of connective tissue that connect muscle to bone. They serve to stabilize and move a given joint. There are many tendons in the knee which include the patellar and distal quadriceps tendon. Tendons are susceptible to injury due to overuse, muscle imbalance, trauma, medications such as certain anti-biotics and medical conditions.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Pfp Syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome causes pain under and around the knee. The pain often gets worse with walking, kneeling, squatting, going up or down stairs, or running. It may also hurt after sitting with a bent knee for a long time, such as in a long car ride or in a movie theater.
Some people with PFP syndrome feel a “popping” or creaking after getting up from sitting or when going up or down stairs.
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When To See A Doctor
When it comes to the health of your body and joints, if it does not seem right to you, then you should always talk with your doctor. They will properly diagnose the pain so that you can begin proper treatment.
There is a very long list of all the types and severities of pain in the knees that give you reason to visit your doctor however, below you will find a short list of reasons that you should visit your doctor immediately:
- Abnormal swelling
- Buckling or giving way of the knees
- Locked and unable to bend or straighten
- A specific location on your knee is in pain
When you do visit your doctor it is important that you are honest when answering questions. An accurate diagnosis can only be made with accurate information.
What Does It Mean When The Back Of Your Leg Hurts Behind The Knee
Pain at the back of your knee when bending depends on several factors. These include how the pain started, your age, medical history, and so on.
If you are an athlete and/or play contact sports often, you could have:
- A hamstring or gastrocnemius tendinitis
- Pes anserine bursitis
If youre over 60 years old, you could have:
- A leg cramp
- Bakers cyst
- Knee arthritis
If youre not sure or if youve had pain for more than 6 weeks, go to the doctor to find out whats going on.
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Preventing Knee Hyperextension Injuries
There are a couple of things you can do to reduce the risk of a hyperextended knee
- Warm Up: before playing sports so that your body and muscles are ready for action
- Strengthening Exercises: Having good strength and core stability helps to protect the knee from hyperextension injuries. This is particularly important if you are hypermobile
When To See Your Doctor
Don’t wait if your knee pain is sudden and intense. Pick up the phone if it won’t go away or gets worse.
To make a diagnosis, your doctor might take X-rays or other images of your knee. Blood or knee fluid samples can help confirm or rule out certain conditions. Treatment may include medication, special exercises, braces, or in some cases surgery. Losing weight could help lessen pressure and strain on your knees.
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Medications And Steroid Injections
- Corticosteroids. The most effective type of medicine for knee arthritis, triamcinolone acetonide , is the only FDA-approved medication to treat osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a corticosteroid injected into your knee that releases medicine slowly over a 3-month period. The slow release of the medicine has been found to relieve pain and swelling and reduce some of the negative side effects of steroids, such as increased blood sugar.
- Topical pain relievers. The Arthritis Foundation recommends that people who have knee arthritis try topical pain relievers which is medicine you apply directly on the skin, instead of taking by mouth because it can help relieve pain without as many side effects.
- Hyaluronic acid injection. Although more research on this remedy for knee arthritis is needed, it has often been used to help supplement fluids in the knee joint to decrease pain.
Calf Or Hamstring Strain Or Cramp
Sudden activity and overuse are two leading causes of pain behind the knee due to a calf or hamstring strain or cramp, according to Dr. Tanaka. Movements that require pushing off or severe knee bending cause this calf and hamstring pain, respectively. Both can be managed with ice, rest, gentle stretching, and anti-inflammatories however, one should seek care if there is swelling or persistent pain associated with this to rule out blood clots, Dr. Tanaka says. Dr. Lyons adds that although an orthopedist could treat this, if you cant bear weight on the knee or are at risk of falling, then its time to go to the emergency room. Heres what else could be causing pain in your calf.
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On The Outside Of The Knee
If bending causes pain on the outside of the knee, you may be experiencing:
- Iliotibial band syndrome. The IT band is a thick band of tissues that runs from the outside of the hip down to the knee. When the IT band becomes tight, irritated and inflamed, it can lead to pain on the outside of the knee.
Conditions Associated With Pain Behind The Knee
Two common conditions that cause pain behind the knee are:
- a popliteal cyst, also called Bakers cyst
- posterior cruciate ligament injury
A cyst is a collection of fluid inside a thin layer. A popliteal cyst is a cyst in the shallow depression at the back of the knee. Its often linked to other conditions affecting the knee, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cartilage injuries and inflammation of the knee joint. Many types of injury can cause a collection of fluid. Often it will be a heavy blow to the front of the knee, from falling forwards or playing a contact sport. The natural mechanism of the knee pushes this excess fluid backwards and it collects in the depression at the back of the knee, over time, causing a cyst to form.
A posterior cruciate ligament injury is caused by overstretching or tearing of this ligament, which runs across the knee from the thigh to the shin bone. It often results from a heavy blow to the front of a bent knee, sometimes from falling forwards or during a contact sport, such as rugby. Other typical injuries can occur when the knee hits the dashboard during a car accident or when the leg is over-straightened and the knee is bent backwards. Doctors call this hyperextension.
You can access a range of treatments on a pay as you go basis, including physiotherapy. Find out more about physiotherapy >
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Three Reasons Your Knee Hurts When Straight But Not When Bent
Your knees are complex joints that bear a lot of your body weight and power your legs for a wide range of activities like walking, running and jumping. Its important to take care of your knees so you can live out your normal daily life and enjoy physical activities. However, despite your best efforts, injuries and conditions can affect your knees, which can limit their use.
Some conditions cause pain that only affects your knees when trying to straighten them but not bending them. Common conditions that cause this kind of pain include:
1. Torn meniscus
The meniscus is a small, flat piece of cartilage that rests between the thighbones and shinbones on each side of your knees. There are two menisci in each knee. They exist to absorb shock in the knees and keep the bones from grinding against one another.
A traumatic injury that causes the knee to violently twist can cause a meniscus to tear. A torn meniscus might fold on itself, which can keep you from fully straightening your leg and cause knee pain when you try to do so.
2. Runners knee
Runners knee is the common term for pain around the kneecap. This is a condition in which the tendon that connects your kneecap to your shinbone becomes inflamed from repetitive motions. This can make it painful around the kneecap when you try and fully straighten your leg.
3. Strained muscles