A Baker’s cyst is also called a Popliteal cyst and can happen in the knee when too much synovial fluid is produced. The amount of fluid there causes the bursa to bulge and expand behind the knee and pressure on the back of the knee occurs. As well as seeing swelling you might also be in pain. A physio, Subiaco will look for aching behind the knee, swelling in the same place, and whether the pain increases when you stretch your leg and straighten the knee.
Causes of a Popliteal or Baker’s Cyst
This type of cyst tends to be as the result of joint damage in the knee. Things that might cause that kind of joint damage include;
- Direct damage for example a ligament or meniscus tear during a workout
- Gout or inflammation from another condition
- Arthritis, rheumatoid or osteoarthritis
Treating a Baker’s Cyst
There are a few steps to approaching treatment of a knee with a Baker’s cyst. If you are unsure you can talk to your physio Wembley about them.
First of all, you need to reduce the inflammation and swelling and you can do that in two ways. Stop, reduce or modify the movement that caused the pain. With your physio, you can work on alternative movements so you do not make your knee worse. In the short term, making these changes means you have a better chance of returning to the sport or exercise you like to do sooner and stay with it.
You also need to ice the knee, compress it and keep it elevated. Your knee should be above the heart, the compression will help reduce the swelling. You should not just stop moving completely for two weeks, that will not help with your recovery. But taking it easy and following the plan your physio comes up with is a good idea. Your physio Subiaco can help you work on your balance and your strength. It is important to note that when you are in pain in your knee for a length of time it is normal for you to have to create compensated movement patterns. Your physio can help you restore your strength and normalise how you move again. This is key for quality of life as you go about your day-to-day life, but also for returning to doing what you enjoy in terms of heading to the gym or a sport you might love to play.
Seeing a trained physiotherapist for help
When you head to your physio Wembley it is their job to assess you, take into account your lifestyle, pain level, weakness, imbalance, loading issues, and fitness level, and then come up with a program to help you. Listening to them and following their advice is the best way to regain movement range, reduce or get rid of pain, and have a full or as full as possible recovery. They can also help with learning how to avoid problems so you can keep doing what you want to.
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