Thursday, June 2, 2011

Swelling Behind Knee

Knee pain can affect each and every activity like sitting, standing, walking, etc. Sometimes, knee pain is experienced while sleeping also. You can easily kneel, bend or stretch your legs only when knees support these basic actions well. Besides helping in the leg movements, knees also bear the entire weight of your body. Even a mild knee pain, if left untreated, may cost you much later. Swelling behind knees is usually followed by pain. There are several causes of swelling behind knees. Some of the main causes of swelling behind knee are mentioned below.

Causes of Swelling Behind Knee

Baker's Cyst: Baker's cyst is a non-malignant growth that is usually noticed in runners and tennis players. Weakened lining of the knee joint can lead to the formation of a lump or swelling behind the knee, which may restrict leg movement. It can cause pain and discomfort to the person. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can especially lead to the formation of Baker's cyst, causing unbearable pain behind knee.

Chondromalacia of Patella: Chondromalacia of the patella is also called 'runner's knee'. Swelling behind knee after running, like baker's cyst can be noticed when a runner approaches forty miles per week for the first time. Over-strain may lead to swelling and pain behind knee. Even though a few day's rest is recommended, the pain may come right back. After the first few miles of the next run the swelling behind knee can be seen increased and the pain also might flair up.

Injuries: Any injury that occurs to the knee can lead to swelling behind knee joint. A fracture or tear in your meniscus or ligaments or just a minor tear of the cartilage surface can lead to pain and swelling behind knee. Trauma, injury or fracture during a sport event or accident can lead to swelling behind knees. Read more on knee pain after running.

Overuse: Leg pain behind knee is observed when the joint is overused. Strenuous or constant exercises, wrong position during exercising or during any activity, aging or any fault in structural alignment can cause swelling behind knees, resulting in mild or severe pain. Swelling behind knee after exercise is a very common complaint. If your joint is not used to an exercise pattern, it may result in swelling behind the knee.

Weakened Muscles: Sometimes, swelling behind knee can be experienced due to weakened thigh, foot or calf muscles. Other weakened muscles can create unnecessary work pressure on the knees during any activity, like knee pain when bending. If you are overweight, then this problem can be often experienced as the knees have to carry excess weight.

Other Problems: Rubbing of the knee cap against the lowermost end of the femur (thigh bone) can cause swelling behind knee cap, leading to sharp pain. Sudden change in the daily routine, any added activity or lack of exercise, vitamin deficiency, serious diseases like cancer are also among the other causes of swelling behind knee.

Swelling Behind Knee: Treatment

    * If you are overweight, losing weight is the first requirement for avoiding knee problems. Regular exercises and balanced diet can help reduce the weight.
    * Arthritic patients also need to perform regular knee exercises under the guidance of a physician or physical trainer.
    * Regular runners should use perfect fitting shoes along with knee braces or additional arch support in the shoes, etc.
    * Baker cyst in rare cases requires removal of excess knee fluid in conjunction with cortisone injection. Doctor may prescribe medications to relieve pain and inflammation. Mostly, Baker’s cyst heals on its own and no special treatment is required.
    * For mild swelling or pain, you may opt for over the counter anti inflammatory medicines or pain killers. You can apply ice packs or hot packs, ointments, balms, etc. which can help reduce the pain and swelling behind knee.
    * When pain or swelling behind knee is noticed, you should provide sufficient rest to the joint. You should avoid rigorous physical activities which might lead to increased pressure on knees. Read more on leg exercises for bad knees.
    * If Baker's cyst is associated with cartilage tears or other internal knee problems then surgery can be the best treatment option. During the surgery, the surgeon can remove the swollen tissue (synovium) that is responsible for the cyst formation.

I hope you find the above information about swelling behind knee helpful. I hope, this article guides you to take necessary precautions while exercising or while performing daily activities. The most important thing is that you should consult your doctor about any knee problem if it is not resolved with the help of simple home remedies.


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