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What Causes Baker’s Cysts?

The human body has such a wide variety of complex systems and functions that it makes sense when some of them can go awry. For instance, take a look at arthritis. This swelling and tenderness in the joints affects a large swath of the population. However, when you look at the reality of this condition, it does make a lot of sense. 

We use our joints every day for a variety of activities. Naturally, the tissues, ligaments, and connective tissue that move our bones will begin to wear with time. And, that is exactly what you see when looking at arthritis. A condition that worsens with age and feels like inflammation in the movable parts of our body. Plus, the most common areas for osteoarthritis are also the most heavily moving parts of our body, like the wrists, fingers, and knees.

How does this relate to Baker’s Cysts, you ask? Well, much more than you may think.


Why Do Baker’s Cysts Cause Knee Pain in Calgary?

Baker’s Cysts are a condition that manifests as swelling in the back of the knee joint. They are a large deposit of fluid that can cause knee pain in Calgary or other problems, such as joint stiffness and the inability to fully flex your knee. 

Fun Fact: Baker’s Cysts are also known as Popliteal (pop-luh-TEE-ul) Cysts.

Although there are some cases where there is no pain or discomfort with Baker’s Cysts, it is not very common. Usually, the cause of this ailment is, you guessed it, arthritis. As mentioned above, the joints require several different instruments to perform their essential job, but one of these is not a material at all. Indeed, we are discussing synovial fluid.


Types of Fluid Buildup

Synovial fluid is a lubricating fluid present in the joints, and it helps to facilitate the movement of your limbs and digits. Typically, when doctors refer to the “fluid buildup” that causes Baker’s Cysts, they are referring to the buildup of synovial fluid specifically. This fluid begins to build as a result of knee inflammation, which is stereotypical of arthritis.

Interestingly, synovial fluid is not the only bodily fluid that can experience excessive buildup due to arthritis. Another fluid is uric acid, which can increase and cause the condition of gout. Gout is a problem that frequently occurs in the legs and even has a chance of causing Baker’s Cysts. The difference with Gout is that it will create a fiery sensation of pain and can be much more challenging to endure.

However, arthritis is not always the sole cause of Baker’s Cysts. In other circumstances, they may result from a cartilage tear or other knee-related injury. This cause can be much more painful, but it is also much easier to understand why the pain or swelling is occurring. Of note, when Baker’s Cysts happen as a direct result of a form of trauma, it can lead to more pressing complications. Luckily, standard treatments for Baker’s Cysts are not overly invasive.


How to Treat Knee Pain in Calgary

The first, and most common, treatment option is the one recommended since time immemorial. Indeed, we are referring to icing the affected area using indirect cooling, such as a compression wrap, bag of peas, or ice wrapped in a cloth. This treatment will reduce swelling. Plus, it is even more effective when you can keep the leg above the elevation of the heart.

Similarly, you can perform a home treatment using mild painkillers, such as ibuprofen. However, you should consult with your doctor before using any medication. Allergies, interactions between drugs, and other issues can arise if you are not careful. Finally, if you are experiencing a Baker’s Cyst, the most effective treatment is resting your leg to reduce knee pain in Calgary.


Severe Complications with Treatment

Although there can be more severe complications with this condition. For instance, the fluid buildup may leak into the calf region, causing sharp pain, swelling in the calf, and redness or a feeling of water running down your calf. If this is the case, or the pain simply becomes too intense, seek the advice of a medical professional. 

Doctors may prescribe you steroids to treat the condition, which will accelerate the reduction in swelling. Or, they may drain the cyst to relieve pressure in the area. Another effective treatment involves gentle exercises, which will slowly reduce the fluid levels and provide relief. Finally, in the most severe cases, surgery may be necessary to enact a solution quickly.

Welcome to Brentwood Physiotherapy, your trusted Calgary physiotherapy clinic. For over 16 years, our experienced physiotherapists have been treating individuals suffering from acute to chronic conditions, with one goal. The goal is to address the core cause of their pain and put them on the road to recovery. Get back on the path to a healthier you by contacting Brentwood Physiotherapy today at 403-282-8050


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