Pain behind knee after squatting:

It is a common complaint that affects people of all ages. Common signs include swelling, weakness, or redness in the knee. However, it may be the result of an injury, such as a torn cartilage or you may feel knee pain when squatting.

Many types of minor knee pain respond well to self-care measurements like correcting squat techniques, exercising daily. However, Physical therapy and knee braces also can help relieve pain behind knee.

In some severe cases, you may require surgical repair to treat posterior knee pain.

What is Posterior Knee Pain?

Pain behind knee is also called posterior knee pain. The word ‘posterior’ means behind. As well as pain, you may have some redness or swelling in the knee. This may be just at the back of your knee or can go up into your calf. 

However, The swelling may be bad enough to stop you from bending your leg properly.

What are the types of pain behind the knee?

Two of the most types of knee pain include:

  • Posterior cruciate ligament injury
  • Popliteal cyst, or Baker’s cyst

A posterior cruciate ligament injury can happen if we overstretch or tear the ligament, which runs across your knee from your thigh to your shin bone. However, This can happen if you hit your knee on the dashboard during a car accident.

A popliteal cyst is a cyst in a shallow pit at the back of your knee. Which is linked to other conditions that affect the knee, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. If your knee gets injured it may cause a collection of fluid to develop within your knee. However, You can feel this in the depression at the back of your knee.

What are the Causes of pain behind the knee?

There are a number of causes that concludes to knee pain:

  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Knee injury.
  • Cancerous growth.
  • Infection.

However, the symptoms of knee pain depend on the cause. You may have swelling or pain when you move your knee a certain way. Or You may also feel pain while squatting because of incorrect squatting techniques.

Can squats cause knee pain?

The knee is designed to move and facilitate squatting as a movement. In healthy people squatting should not cause knee pain. 

However, knee pain when squatting is a common complaint, indicating some issue with the movement, or the knee joint itself.

Some common conditions that may cause knee pain when squatting include:

  • Knee Osteoarthritis.
  • Tendinopathies.
  • Ligament sprains.
  • Tendon or muscle strains.
  • Cartilage or Meniscus Tears.

What causes pain when squatting?

Some of the common causes include:

Patello-femoral pain syndrome: 

A common issue for knee pain when squatting is when there is some type of mal-tracking of the patella as the knee moves through its range. However, it is because of some muscle imbalance occurring in your quadriceps. It may look like your knees collapsing inwards towards each other as you begin or end the squatting movement.

Ilio-tibial band syndrome: 

When a person bends their knee, a strong band of tissues moves to support it. If this band becomes tight or rubs on the outer knee, it can become inflamed and cause pain.                                                                                       However, This can occur when the hip muscles, specifically the gluteal muscles don’t support the knee sufficiently.

Limited Ankle Mobility:

As you squat, you need to bring your knees forward to keep your center of gravity over your feet, meaning you need to have flexible ankles. However, Without this mobility, there is no way to allow proper form and range of motion

How to Squat Correctly?

Squatting is a functional movement. It helps you do activities in your daily life, such as picking up shoes off the floor. Squatting also helps build strength in the legs and hips and stronger muscles.  

But if you don’t squat correctly, it can be painful to sore knees. 

The Right Way to Squat 

For example, when you go to reach into a low cabinet hold on to the countertop and “sit” down, using the muscles in your arms and buttocks for lowering and pulling yourself up. If squatting this way is still painful, place a chair in front of the cabinet or area where you need to pick something up. “Reaching to the floor from a seated position is much less stressful on the knees,”

Build Strength with Wall Squats 

The ability to squat correctly without pain can be improved by building quadriceps, buttocks, and core muscles. Start with 10 wall squats three times per week.                                                     Stop at the point where you feel muscle pain, but continue to perform the exercise regularly, so that the non-painful range will increase as thigh, buttocks, and core muscles become stronger.

1. Stand with your back flat against a wall. Feet should be shoulder-width apart and heels 18 inches away from the wall. Keep knees in line with heels, not out in front of toes. 

2. Breathe in and exhale as you squat by “sitting down” as far as you can comfortably go. Don’t drop buttocks lower than knees and keep knees in line with heels. 

3. Tighten abdominal muscles and flatten back against the wall. Or, place a ball behind your back to keep you from moving too far forward. Inhale as you return to standing position, pushing up through heels to work the muscles in the back of your legs and buttocks. 

How can we cure pain behind knee?

If you’re simply having some general pain when you squat, you may try treating it at home by the following methods.


The R.I.C.E. method involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation:

  • Rest by stopping activities that make your knee hurt. 
  • Ice by applying cold packs to your knee for 20 minutes at a time, several times throughout the day.
  • Compress to prevent swelling. You can find elastic bandages at most drug stores. Resist the urge to wrap your knee too tightly. Light but snug tension is best. Be sure to leave a hole open over your kneecap.
  • Elevate your knee as often as you can. You can lie down and prop your knee up on pillows so it rests higher than your heart.


Over-the-counter medications may help ease your pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs help with both discomfort and inflammation. You may know these medications ibuprofen and naproxen.                                                                                                         However, there are also other otc pain-relief methods available, including creams and gels which can help knee pain when squatting.


Massage with a licensed massage therapist helps ease tension in the muscles that surround your joints, it also gives your relief when squatting.                                                                    However, Sports massage may be best for injuries related to sports and overuse. The technique is similar to Swedish massage, but it focuses specifically on affected muscles.

How can physiotherapy help?

Physiotherapy can help prevent knee pain and eliminate it when squatting. However, it also tightens loose knee muscles. Also, a physiotherapist prescribes you the right exercises for knee pain. These exercises will depend on the individual weaknesses and affected structures for each patient.


Surgery may help in serious cases especially when other treatments are failed. However, common surgical procedures include:

  • Arthroscopy is a procedure where your doctor inserts a thin device with a camera into your knee to look for and correct damage.
  • Realignment is another, more invasive surgery that involves repositioning the kneecap or relieving pressure caused by cartilage.

However, Surgery may require months of healing.

How to prevent knee pain while squatting?

Squatting treatment includes hands-on therapy to relieve pain and help alleviate tightness where appropriate. It will also include exercises that will progress to strengthen weaker muscles.

Other tips you can incorporate into your daily life include:

  • Lose weight. Carrying less weight can help reduce the amount of pressure that’s placed on your knees daily.
  • Exercise regularly to keep your muscles and bones strong. Increase activity gradually to avoid injury.
  • Make sure you properly warm up and cool down from all athletic activities.
  • Wear any recommended orthotics to keep the alignment of your leg in check. 
  • Incorporate strength training into your routine to target your leg muscles.

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