Baker’s Cyst and Knee Pain

A Baker’s cyst is a swelling located in the back of the knee that can be either asymptomatic or bothersome, especially when bending the knee. Researchers estimate that up to 94% of popliteal (back of the knee) cysts are associated with an intra-articular disorder, most commonly meniscus (“cartilage”) tears, as well as osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis (like rheumatoid), and ACL tears.

In about 50% of healthy adult knees, there is a valvular opening located high on the inside of the knee joint that connects the joint capsule to a bursa (a fluid filled sac that functions to lubricate muscle attachments). It is thought that when there is an effusion or swelling inside the knee joint, the excess fluid flows one way to the inner knee joint bursa (called “pes anserine bursitis), which reduces pressure from inside the joint. Although there are other causes of popliteal cysts, this is the most common.

So, what can chiropractors do for the patient with a Baker’s cyst?  Chiropractic management includes both passive and active care approaches that focus on the knee joint and surrounding soft tissues to help reduce pain and swelling and improving function, as well as home exercise instruction to maintain the health of the knee joint. Such exercise recommendations can include the following:

Your Pro Rehab doctor of chiropractic can train you in these exercises and provide care to address any musculoskeletal issues that may contribute to your knee pain.

Author
Dr. James Sheehan Dr. James Sheehan is an expert in the treatment of neck and back pain.

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