Help! Back of knee hurts when I straighten my leg. (Read 44041 times)

Right on Hereford...

    Has anyone else experienced this? I feel pain in the back of my knee when I straighten my leg. It feels like I've overextended my knee, like it's a tendon pain. I first felt it 2-3 weeks ago after a series of harder, longer runs. It's come and gone, but now I'm noticing it after almost every fast or long workout. It usually doesn't feel bad when I'm running, but it hurts afterwards and at night when I'm trying to sleep. I'm kind of perplexed, because my wife, a massage therapist, doesn't know what's causing it, and she works with athletes on a daily basis. Any clues, folks?
      alot of times it can be from the camber of the road surface you run on......it's making you twist the knee in an odd way when you are running or forcing it to overcompensate.

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        Yes. As a matter of fact, I'm sitting here with a steady dull ache in my knee -- and pulling the leg straight with my quads feels like it is really stretching everything in the back of the knee, especially the outside tendons and that area where your calf attaches. In my case, the Physical Therapist attributed it to ligament and IT band strain caused by tight / painful hamstrings. In trying to keep the hamstrings from pulling and/or hurting I've completely tweaked by foot strike and am beating the heck of the knee. Her treatment is focusing on hamstring stretching and flexibility. Seems to be helping, but I can't seem to get back to a natural, smooth gait.

        I've done my best to live the right way. I get up every morning and go to work each day. (for now)

          http://www.runningahead.com/forums/topic/87bcb187dc4b44a78c835bdb04fb348c I'm still going through this occasionally. It just kinda comes and goes by itself. I really think its the tendon part of the hamstring that comes from the back of the leg and wraps around to the front lower inside of the knee. But my pain started directly behind my knee as well. my running didnt affect it at all either - so i just kept at it. But to stretch or straighten my knee made me see stars. every night I tried stretching it little by little and laid off a little on the running and now it the pain isnt really there as much as it used to be. But i notice sometimes when I am seated or leave my leg in a bent position too long (i.e. riding in the car or sitting watching a movie) when I get up again and try to fully straighten it, its sore the first couple of steps. Good luck with this, I can't offer any more help other than getting it looked at.
            Sounds like what I had about 6 months ago, when I would feel it near the end of long runs or speed workouts. I'd also feel it when getting up from sitting sometimes, getting out of bed for the first steps,etc. Mine was at the back & just below the knee, almost at the calf, but I'd say it was probably a hamstring tendon. It didn't seem to effect my running so much, so I didn't alter that a great deal (maybe didn't do an extra interval or km once or twice), but I iced it a lot, made sure to stretch carefully, and paid close attention that it didn't get worse (it didn't). Fortunately instead it eventually went away after about 6 weeks. Good luck. MilkTruck & cewickbe: good luck with yours as well. Injury sucks.
            Next goal: Great Wall Marathon
              Sounds like the SAME problem I have. My leg hurts when I straighten it and stretch it, too. Did you ever get an answer as to what was going on? I know other people have said that it went away but my pain never does unless I stop running, which I don't want to do!

                I had exactly the same problem! It sort of feels like the hamstring has gotten shorter all of the sudden, and I couldn't stretch it at all. Before I could touch the knee with my forhead, now I could barely sit in 90° position. I also had real difficulty sitting in a car for longer periods of time. This initially happened when I started doing longer runs (half marathon), and I felt pain especially after the run, but not so much during the run. I used knee support while running, and this SLOWLY passed after 3 months. I kept running throughout, but avoided any other strain, such as doing lower body weights. Also did light massage and occationally used voltaren when I was in really bad shape. Now my flexibility is back and the pain is completely gone. This was quite painful, I hope you get better soon!
                  I had similar pains last year and ended up at the sports doc. Officially was told it was patellofemoral pain syndrome. I wasn't much of a runner back then so I did the knee cap exercises and took to heart the news that my hamstrings felt like softballs in the back of the legs...So I took up yoga to get those puppies loose and totally overhauled my running style with extremely minimalist shoes and working more of a pose method to my runs. I've had no pain since these things were implemented.

                    Glad I found this article. I was beginning to think I was the only one with this ailment. My running club membesr have never heard of this. I had all the same signs as above postings( tight hamstring, then knee on long runs). I was training for my first marathon in December of 2011 when the back of my knee started to hurt. Initially, knee did not start hurting until around mile 14. I ignored it as cramps and ran through discomfort. Then 2 weeks later I could'nt even run a mile. I went and had an MRI done, surgeon saw a small miniscus tear and was reluctant to operate at first. The more we discussed it, the more he wanted to scope the knee. I had surgery in Feb. and miniscuss was repaired along with damaged tissue removed. Surgeon felt the damaged tissue was cause of pain. I started running in April and back of knee still hurt. I now use knee braces and stretch more. I have'nt gone over 7 miles yet, but knee pain is there. After reading these posts I realize my stride and strike have changed due to tight hamstrings. I just finished an olympic tri. and back of my knees were screaming from bike ride. I am going to try and change my stride and stretch more. I also bought The Stick. I wish I would have found this post before surgery, although I did need damage dtissue removed.   

                      I had the exact same symptoms last spring.  It turns out that my issues were caused by over striding.  I think this stressed the muscles and tendons in the back of my knee and caused my problems.  I know it was over strding that caused my problems because correcting the overstriding caused the symptoms to disappear, almost immediately.


                      I read in another post where Nobby described the proper running technique as a "push" and "swing" motion.  I think I was using a "push", "swing" and then a "pull" motion with my leg.  The pulling was when I reached out too far with my lead foot and I would then use a pulling force to bring the foot under my center of gravity.


                      It sounds obvious that we should not run this way, but it is easy to over stride without realizing it.  It was not like I over strided by that much, but even a little bit can definitely stress the back of the legs if you are using a pulling force at all.  And I would bet that if someone is doing really long runs, that as they tire, they could easily fall into this overstriding.


                      I am not saying that overstriding is always the cause of these kinds of issues, but it certainly worth considering.


                        i agree with Zahk78 - i had the same problem, saw an o-surgeon, had the MRI, and it turned out to be a meniscus wear& tear. Luckily, the o-surgeon used to work with NHL teams, and had some decent advise for me: unless its painful all the time, never get the surgery. Its best to use ice therapy, and physical therapy, work on strengthening the muscles around the joint. he said most surgeries arent very successful, as they tend to re-arrange, or move the joint tissue/nerves around, creating false pain signals for the brain  - and that's after the surgery. its very tricky. A friend of mine (an avid runner) had the surgery, and he has been in pain for almost 2 yrs now, he cant even walk fast, even tho the MRI reveals a perfectly repaired knee. He still waiting to recover from the false pain signals. i am not doctor, but it helps to talk to multiple surgeons b4 making the decision, and to friends who had the surgery - GL