why do the back of my knees hurt after running

posted Nov-01-2006 02:25 PM Pain behind my knee (not behind knee cap, literally the back of my leg, the back of the knee), started last night at about mile 11 of a 14 mile MP run. The pain wasn't that bad, almost just bothersome. I slowed my pace and it subsided a bit. I am assuming it is probably overuse (ran 18 on Saturday and moved a 1/2 ton shed on Saturday also), but I was wondering if anyone could clue me in on what it could be. It is almost like my lower, lower hamstring where it attaches behind the knee. There is no inflammation and isn't sore to the touch today.


I just went to the PT for this same thing today. Part of the culprit is the bottom of the hamstring where it attaches to the upper thigh. The other part is the triangular muscle or tendon, popleteal it's called, behind the knee on the back of the leg that gets stressed or injured. The PT gave me some exercises to do, did ultrasound,heat, deep tissue massage, then iced it for about 2 minutes. He said to reduce amount of running and do it very slowly or cross-train for a couple of weeks, gave me some stretches, and I will go in 3 times a week for 2 weeks for therapy.


No lunges, no leg curls, no squats, no hills, no hills, no hills. Pop*lit"e*al (? ; 277), a. [From L. poples, -itis, the ham. ] (Anat. ) Of or pertaining to the ham; in the region of the ham, or behind the knee joint; as, the popliteal space. (anatomy) of the area behind the knee. [This message has been edited by goal2run (edited Nov-01-2006). ]
[This message has been edited by goal2run (edited Nov-01-2006). ] IP: Your hamstrings and gastrocnemius (large outer calf muscles) cross behind your knee. The hamstrings originate at the pelvis (the small bony protrusions that you sit on) and extend (bring back) the leg at the hip and bend the knee.


The 3 hamstrings attach around the knee (back of the tibia and to the side of the tibia and fibula). You describe pain in the side of the knee - I'm not sure if you're referring to the inside or outside aspect of the knee. On the outside, pain may be due to inflammation of the IT band or the biceps femoris tendon (outside hamstring). Pain on the inside aspect of the knee may be due to inflammation of the hamstrings and several other tendons that attach to the inside of the tibia and the underlying bursa (pes anserine).


Your symptoms are related to the - the quadriceps and patella extend (straighten) the knee and the hamstrings work antagonistically to flex (bend) the knee. It's important to work your gluteal muscles. Perform clam shells: lay on your side with one leg on top of the other and your knees bent 45-60 degrees. Keep you feet together and open your knees like a clam shell. Perform 3 sets of 10 and gradually increase the number of repetitions. Perform side planks and as you get stronger, incorporate leg lifts while performing the side plank.


Continue working on your current exercises. Check out the Running Times website for on the treatment of IT band problems (May 2004). Keep in mind that bony pain may be due to a stress fracture. If you experience pain in the tibia when performing a single leg hop, you should be evaluated for a possible stress fracture. Try performing the exercises. Apply ice to your knees for 15-20 minutes after running. If pain persists, increases or new symptoms develop, you should seek medical evaluation. Cathy Fieseler, MD