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Do you experience pain in the back of your knee and are unsure about its cause? The knee joint is a complicated joint in your body that experiences a lot of movement throughout the day. Since it’s involved in almost everything, it’s problematic if it begins to hurt. Knee pain can make it difficult for you to perform everyday tasks like walking, running, or getting up from a seated position.

This blog will discuss the possible causes of pain in your knee’s back and address how to treat it. By the end, you’ll be informed about your condition and can take appropriate measures to stop the discomfort.

Possible Causes of Back of Knee Pain

Pain behind the knee can occur for several reasons, often difficult to diagnose. Here are some of the most common causes of knee pain.

Baker’s cyst

If you feel a lump-like swelling behind the knee, it may be due to Baker’s cyst, also called a popliteal cyst. It occurs when synovial fluid builds up behind your knee, generally triggered by an injury or stress from arthritis.


Arthritis is a generic name for the diseases that affect joints in your body. It can cause pain anywhere in your knee joint. But the knee pain is often associated with osteoarthritis, which is often related to overuse or aging. Another type of arthritis known as rheumatoid arthritis can cause knee pain, but it occurs in both knees at the same time.


Several types of infection in the knee joint can cause pain behind the knee, including:

  • Infectious arthritis
  • Cellulitis (skin infection)
  • Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
  • Septic bursitis (bursa infection)

The symptoms of these infections are different. However, redness, swelling, pain, and heat are common in most infections.

Knee Injury

Damage to a tendon, ligament, muscle, or other tissue could cause knee pain. These injuries can be serious and caused by impact or overuse. Other reasons you feel pain behind the knee include meniscus tears, hamstring injuries, and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injuries.


A tumor rarely causes knee pain. Following are the types of cancer that could cause posterior knee pain:

  • Liposarcoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Synovial sarcoma

Common Back of Knee Pains: Treatment

You can easily treat most knee pains using the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation.)

  • Rest is crucial for healing tissues in the body. If you experience knee pain, limit the use of your knee joint and avoid strenuous activities.
  • Ice helps reduce inflammation and provides some relief. For this reason, you can use a rolled-up towel to prevent extreme temperature exposure. Apply to the affected area for 15 minutes at a time.
  • Compression helps reduce swelling and pain. Wrap your knee tightly in a compression bandage but make sure not to make it too tight.
  • Elevation helps improve blood circulation to the legs and reduces swelling.

When to see the doctor for pain behind the knee

Most posterior knee pains call for professional help. If you have signs of infection or persistent pain even with RICE treatment, you should visit Family Diagnostic Clinic. Give us a call at 281-351-6800 to schedule an appointment with the best primary care physician in Tomball, TX.

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