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Many people report suffering from back-of-knee pain after walking. If you are experiencing pain behind your knee after exercise or while at rest, it can b a symptom of several conditions. The knee is a complex joint that has a lot of different components.


Identifying why you are suffering from back-of-knee pain after walking is your first step on the path to recovery. Understanding knee joint pain, including posterior knee pain (back-of-the-knee pain), can help you get your knee pain in check.

Why Do You Have Back-of-Knee Pain After Walking?

Several conditions can cause back-of-knee pain after walking. Sometimes, a combination of factors can cause discomfort. For example, let’s say you already have arthritis, and then you injure a tendon. Many people experience pain in the knee joint itself that seems to be radiating from behind the knee.

Trauma Can Cause Knee Pain

When you think of trauma to the knee, you may think of a catastrophic incident, but trauma can be as simple as landing the wrong way on your knee after taking a step. An improper action or movement can cause a tendon tear or a ligament tear.


An ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear can cause pain behind the knee, as can a PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) injury. Likewise, sprains and other soft tissue knee injuries may require changes to your exercise routine.

Osteoarthritis, Bone-on-Bone Pain

OA is a condition where the cartilage in the knee has worn away, leaving the “bone on bone”“bone on bone” without any cushioning. The pain from OA may not be specifically behind your knee, but it can feel like it. Arthritis is the leading cause of knee pain in seniors.

Baker’s Cyst

A Baker’s cyst (also called a popliteal cyst or baker cyst) is a fluid-filled cyst that forms in the back of the knee. It can be painful, especially when you try to extend your knee or bend your knee. Doctors can usually remove it successfully.

Meniscus Tear

The meniscus is cartilage that has the shape of a C and which provides cushioning in your knee. A meniscus tear could leave you with back-of-knee pain after walking. It is one of the most common knee injuries.

Soft Tissue Damage

“Soft tissue damage” refers to any condition or injury that is not a bone injury. A pulled tendon, tendonitis, pulled muscles, and more fall under the “soft tissue” heading. A soft tissue injury or condition can cause you back-of-knee pain after walking.

What Can Help with Back-of-Knee Pain?

Depending on your knee condition, you may be able to walk in moderation. However, walking puts a lot of stress on the knees. Many people have found better ways to exercise. They choose low-impact exercise activities to get their knee pain under control without missing out on the benefits of exercise.

In addition, moderate walking may well be the best cardio exercise for bad knees.


Other things that may help control knee pain include taking supplements to improve joint health. If you are overweight, losing some weight can make a positive difference for your joints.


Is Low-Impact Exercise Good for Back-of-Knee Pain After Walking?


Low-impact exercises are exercises that do not “impact” the knee joint. For example, walking, jogging, or running are NOT low-impact because of the constant pounding on the pavement. Here are some low-impact exercises that many seniors have found to work for them:


  • Rowing. Rowing may be one of the best cardio exercises for people with bad knees, since it gives a whole-body, low-impact workout.
  • Swimming. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that works the entire body
  • Cycling. A stationary bike can be a great way to get a low-impact workout. However, some knee-pain sufferers can have difficulty with the motion of the pedals.

Final Words on Back-of-Knee Pain

When you suffer from pain behind the knees, especially when waking exacerbates the discomfort, you do not need to resign yourself to becoming sedentary.


Be sure to consult a doctor, such as an orthopedic or sports medicine specialist, to diagnose the cause of your pain. Physical therapy may assist you with establishing an exercise routine that will help you heal the injury while strengthening the surrounding muscles and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The material on this website is intended for educational information purposes only.  It should not substitute or delay medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.