Are you one of the millions of Americans wondering what are the various causes of knee pain? The knee is the body’s largest joint that supports your body in static and dynamic positions. When compared to other joints in the body, your knees bear the brunt of the wear and tear throughout your life. It comes as no surprise that knee pain is extremely common worldwide.
Knee pain is one of the most common complaints, affecting all ages. Unfortunately, the causes of knee pain can be as diverse as the symptoms making it tricky to identify, especially if you have had previous knee injuries related to ACL or meniscus repairs.
If you find yourself complaining of inner, outer, or posterior knee pain, you may have a tight popliteus. When the popliteus gets tight, in can change the position of your tibia resulting in pain on the inner, outer, or posterior part of the knee. Introducing the popliteus, a small muscle at the back of your knee that might be contributing to your knee pain due to fascial restrictions resulting in tightness.
What is the Popliteus?
The popliteus is a small, triangular muscle located at the back of the knee. It starts from your femur and meniscus and connects to the back of your tibia. Despite its small size, it plays a significant role in knee function.
- Unlocks the knee, allowing for it to bend
- Aids in knee stabilization
- Assists in flexion
- Prevents the meniscus from being pinched when your knee bends
The knee joint is the human body’s largest and most complex joint making it one of the most vulnerable. While most of us are familiar with the quads, hamstrings, and calves, the popliteus is one small muscle that plays a significant role in knee stability and is located behind the knee.
The popliteus is responsible for healthy operation of the knee joint because of its position and muscle activity. That being said, the popliteus is most typically hurt while engaging in sports such as skiing or running. Additionally, when you have EDS, your joints often have a wider range of motion than normal. This can also result in knee hyperextension and injury.
How can I treat posterior knee pain?
Treating your knee pain will go a long way toward injury prevention. A successful treatment could prevent injury in your knees, hips as well as ankles.
Check out the video above for a beginners’ exercise you can expect when addressing your knee pain from the comfort of your home. In this video, you can learn how to do an eccentric hamstring curl which is a quick and effective movement that can assist in building strength to reduce strain on the popliteus muscle. This simple exercise allows your body to send the right information to your legs to give you more control when making contact with the ground in order to prevent your knee from shifting or twisting to prevent injury.
As always, consult your physical therapist before beginning any at-home treatments or exercises, and discontinue the exercise if you experience any pain or discomfort. Please note, these exercises are meant to improve mobility and reduce discomfort.
For more advanced knee issues, we strongly advise seeking additional professional treatment from a physical therapist to avoid potential worsening of your pain. Check out our YouTube channel for more expert advice and exercise tip videos.