Pain Behind The Knee:Symptoms, Causes & More

Pain in your knees is a common concern in individuals. It can range from youngsters to seniors and factors such as diet, lifestyle, and medical conditions. Pain behind the knee can be painful, reduce mobility, and cause discomfort. Reasons include weight concerns, overuse of muscles, and other factors.

Read on to know more about the pain behind the knee, its symptoms, causes, and possible treatment plans.

What Is Pain Behind the Knee

The knee is one of the most important joints in your body and hence is more prone to the risk of injury. When the back of the knee, also known as the posterior knee, is injured, causing pain, swelling, and other problems, it is known as pain behind the knee.

Sudden impact, wear and tear, and other factors can cause pain in the back of the knee region.

Symptoms of pain behind the knee

Common symptoms of pain behind the back of the knee are swelling and tenderness in the back of the knee region. This can be followed by varying degrees of pain in the knee while performing activities such as sitting, standing, or jogging.

Stiffness in the knee is another common symptom of pain behind the knee. Pain below knee can result in reduced mobility and pain while engaging in physical activities that engage the knee.

Other symptoms of the back of knee pain are redness in the knee region and tenderness that hurts when touched.

10 Common Causes for Pain Behind the Knee

The knee is prone to several risks and possible injuries. Here are a few common causes of back side of knee pain.

Cramps, Dislocations, and Fractures

One of the most common causes of pain behind the knee would be any form of cramps, dislocation, or bone fractures. This kind of physical injury to the bones and muscles can result in pain and reduced mobility in the posterior knee region.

Dislocation and fracture may occur when a sudden and forceful impact occurs, breaking bones, cartilage, or even ligaments.

Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament

The ACL is a cruciate ligament in the knee that connects your thigh bone to the shinbone and is essential in ensuring stability while moving around. If there is an ACL tear, the knee loses strength and can cause severe pain and reduced mobility.

Common reasons for an ACL tear are frequent use of the knees in sports such as football and other high-intensity sports.

Different Types of Arthritis

Autoimmune diseases like arthritis can be a significant cause of knee pain. Various forms of it result in stiffness and reduced joint mobility and can be seen in knees. Pain behind the knee can result in swelling and pain and facilitate movement to a large extent.

While there is no known cause for arthritis, it can get worse over time if not treated.

Baker's Cyst

A fluid-filled sac helps lubricate movement in the knee region and other joints. In some cases, this sac filled with synovial fluid may be inflamed for various reasons, resulting in the production of excess synovial fluid. This can form a joint cyst that creates knee friction and causes pain, inflammation, and reduced movement.

Jumper’s Knee

This is a condition where there is an injury to the tendon of the knee that connects your knee cap to the shinbone. As the name suggests, it occurs when there is a sudden impact on the knee due to activities such as jumping or changing directions quickly. This sudden stress on the tendons can result in a tear.

It can result in weakness, stiffness, and difficulty bending your knee.

Hamstring Injuries

Hamstring injuries are common injuries to the knee, where the hamstring - a series of muscles that run down your thigh is injured. Pain on back of knee can result from excessive strain on the back of your thigh due to religious activities such as running, playing, and intensive driving. This “pull” like feeling can result in pain, tenderness, and reduced mobility in the knee and thighs to bend your knee.

Meniscus Tear

A meniscus tear occurs when the wedge-shaped piece of cartilage that acts as a cushion to stabilize your knee joints is injured. This can result in stiffness, soreness, and inflammation of the knee joint area.

Some common causes are high impact, sudden force, and physical injury. The cartilage can also wear and degenerate as you age or have chronic conditions such as arthritis.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

DVT is a condition where there is clotting in one of the deep veins in the leg. Pain below knee can cause severe pain when you stand or sit and pulsating pain in the leg. Check DVT as there are possibilities for the clot in the bloodstream and lungs, resulting in complications.

Redness, warm skin, and leg swelling are some common symptoms of nerve pain behind the knee. 

Calf Tear

A calf tear occurs when the muscles that make up the calf are injured or strained. A calf tear occurs when there is excessive stress on these muscles due to physical activities or injuries. Pain behind the knee can be painful, cause limping and reduced mobility, and take a long time to recover.

Symptoms such as swelling in the calf region, tenderness, and pain in the area are expected.


Infection to the knee joints, muscles, and skin in and around the knee joints can also cause knee pain. Pain behind the knee results in inflammation of the joints and can cause pain and stiffness in the knees. Infection to the bones and fluid sacs can also cause knee pain.

Treatment for Pain Behind the Knee

There are several treatment options for pain in the knee. While medication is a common way of treating it based on the diagnosis, physiotherapy is also an effective way of improving mobility in the knee. It can also help reduce pain and stiffness.

Other treatment options are surgery, acupuncture, and chiropractic care, which can help improve the function of the knees and aid in recovery.

Our experts at Physiotattva are qualified to ascertain the root cause of such knee pains and offer several treatment plans that are comfortable for the individual.

Reach out to our team to learn about effective treatment plans for pain behind the knees today

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal for the back of your knee to hurt?

While it is not normal for the back of the knee to hurt, it can be a signifier of possible injury to the knee. This means there is a need for rest and care to improve the condition.

How do I know if my knee pain is severe?

It is essential to consult a doctor when the back side of knee pain is severe and intensifies over a while. If the back side of knee pain results in stiffness, extreme pain, and other complications such as fever, it needs medical intervention immediately.