The knee is your body’s largest joint, experiencing a lot of movement throughout the day. Since you use it for everything, it’s bothersome, to say the least, when your knee begins to hurt. You might be facing many difficulties doing basic daily tasks like walking or getting up from a seated position. Also, it’s even worse if the pain is chronic and won’t go away. So, if you’re wondering why you have pain in the back of your knee, read on to find out more.

This post will discuss some of the reasons that back of knee pain can begin and what you can do to alleviate it.

The Knee is a Complicated Joint and Can Become Injured

Your knee is the largest joint in your entire body. It’s also the most complicated, carrying your entire body weight while running, walking, and jumping. However, because it’s in an exposed central location, it is vulnerable to injury. Common knee injuries can involve the front of the knee. But, back of knee pain can be because of several reasons:

  • Hamstring injury or strain
  • Calf injury or strain
  • ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury
  • PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) injury
  • Patellar tendonitis (Jumper’s knee)
  • Muscle cramps
  • Torn meniscus
  • Arthritis

Let’s learn how to distinguish their symptoms.

Injuries That Cause Back of Knee Pain: Symptoms

Complex attachments to bones and muscles surround both sides of the knee in ligaments and tendons. Additionally, the muscles that surround the knee are some of the most powerful in the body. Often, it’s these attachments or the muscles themselves that are causing the pain.

A muscle cramp can often cause pain that can be felt in the back of the knee, as a leg cramp may involve a muscle close to the back of the knee, such as your calves or hamstrings. This pain is often temporary, lasting until the cramp subsides, after which the lingering soreness disappears in a few hours.

Sometimes, though, you might experience inflammation or injury in a muscle or associated tendon. In particular, you can pull or injure your hamstring muscle, called the biceps femoris. Symptoms include pain, bruising, swelling, and weakness in the back of your leg.

Arthritis and meniscus tears, however, present with stiffness in your joints instead of weakness.

Treating Common Back of Knee Pains

Most knee pains can be treated using the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation.)

  • Rest is important for healing tissues in the body, so if you’re experiencing pain, minimize the use of the joint and don’t engage in strenuous activities.
  • Ice will help reduce swelling and provide some pain relief. Use a rolled-up towel to avoid exposing the area to temperatures that are too cold and ice for no more than 20 minutes at a time.
  • Compression can help provide a sense of relief and reduce swelling. You can tightly wrap the knee in a compression bandage or wrap.
  • Elevation can help reduce swelling and improve circulation to the legs.


If you’re experiencing chronic pain, visit a doctor that specializes in treating pain. A pain-free knee can give you your sense of mobility and freedom back and remove the discomfort from your daily activities.

At Genesis Pain Clinic, we’re proud to be practitioners of the highest standard of interventional pain management. We offer diagnostic testing and regenerative medicine, with the mission to allow all our patients to live healthy, pain-free lives. Please give us a call if you have any questions at (913) 871-9888.

We look forward to helping you.
Genesis Pain Management Clinic of Overland Park
6700 W 121st St Ste #300, Overland Park, KS 66209

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