Tightness Behind Knee


People often have the feeling of tightness behind the knees. Sometimes, this might be a minor problem and sometimes it might be the indication of something very serious. According to Greek mythology, the job of the knee joint is to bear weight. The saying is true in reality as well. There could be several reasons responsible for feeling tightness behind the knees. Due to the weight bearing role, the knees are prone to overuse, arthritis and athletic injuries. The knee joint has the complex array of bones, ligaments, muscles and cartilage. There could be pain or stiffness in the knees as a result of maladies arising from cystic or vascular conditions. Whatever be the nature of discomfort, it should be investigated as soon as possible to avoid complexions.


Possible Causes

Hamstring Pull

A hamstring pull is common if you are an athlete. Pursuing sports activities are good for health but do have injury concerns. Sports may result in thigh muscle injury that will cause tightness behind the knees. Other reasons are poor conditioning, fatigue and poor balance of the muscles.


Arthritis may be the reason for tightness behind the knees. The dislocation or degeneration of the knee joint is termed osteoarthritis and is common in senior citizens. This condition is also known as the Baker’s cyst and has the potential of causing tightness behind the knees.

Baker’s Cyst

If you notice some form of lump behind the knees, it could be the result of baker’s cyst. This is mainly caused due to the accumulation of fluid or torn cartilage. During the initial stages, Baker’s cyst is easy to cure. The remedy normally is to drain out the accumulated fluid with the help of a syringe. However, with time, Baker’s cyst may become a serious issue. The general advice to follow when you have Baker’s cyst is to apply ice packs multiple times.


Sometimes you might experience ligament rupture without noticing. A ligament rupture may be the result of the rough landing, pivoting, etc. Such type of injuries results in severe pain especially, during running, jogging, walking, etc.

The ligament is also responsible for your bending capabilities of the knees. Being the primary stabilizing element, any injury to the ligament may cause considerable swelling or stiffening of the knees. You might need to visit a doctor if the pain is too severe and does not cease with the application of regular pain – killers.


The ideal remedies to the problems related to tightness behind the knees are simple forms of exercises. These exercises are listed below –

Upright Stretch

You should consider exercising by putting your hands stretched on a wall up to the shoulder level. You should do this exercise for at least 8 – 10 minutes. This will help you to reduce the stiffness associated with the knees.

Extension in passive form

This form of exercise requires to extend your legs and naturally extend them. You should do the exercise for 4 – 5 minutes before releasing. It is advisable to bend your knees before releasing your position. The normal procedure is to perform the same step at least 5 – 6 times to get the best result.

Stretches in wall

Here you are required to lie down with your feet facing the side of the wall. You should complete the exercise by making your legs flat. The next step is to take approximately 50 seconds of rest before performing the exercise once more.

Stretches involving the chest and leg

This exercise requires you to lie down and raise your leg. It should be done in such a way so that the tightness behind the knee is towards your chest. Take some rest before repeating the exercise.

Stool Stretches

Place your leg on a stool and make it straight as much as you can. Bend forward the upper body gently and stretch your knees.

You can also benefit by resting your knees as much as possible and applying ice caps frequently. In cases of severe pain, please seek expert advice.


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