Bakers Cyst or Popliteal Cyst

bakers cyst treatment physiotherapy toronto downtown

Bakers Cyst or Popliteal Cyst

bakers cyst treatment physiotherapy toronto downtownBakers Cyst or Popliteal Cyst

What is a Bakers cyst?

A Bakers cyst or as it is sometimes called, a popliteal cyst, is a fluid-filled sac at the back of your knee beneath the popliteus muscle.  Synovial fluid is a clear liquid that circulates through your knee cavities and helps to lubricate the knee joint. In any form of knee joint swelling sometimes there is too much of this fluid and it is forced to the back of your knee, where it bulges out. Typically, Baker’s cysts develop in people aged over 40 and are more common in women than men.

Causes of a Bakers cyst

Any factors that cause increased swelling within the knee joint can potential contribute towards this condition including:

  • Impacts to the knee: Sports-related injuries or a severe blow to your knee that causes intra capsular swelling.
  • Osteoarthritis: Wear and tear, lose of joint space in the knee joints due to aging
  • Inflammatory arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis caused by the immune system attacking the joints
  • Cartilage tears such as a torn meniscus
  • Gout: A medical condition that is characterized by recurrent attacks of severe inflammation in the joints of the upper and lower limbs. Gout results from the deposition of uric acid, in and around the joints.

Signs and symptoms of a Bakers kneepopliteal cyst treatment physiotherapy

The main sign is a build-up of fluid at the back of your knee. The main symptom is pain and tightness in the back of your knee and upper calf, especially while bending or straightening the knee.  At times, you may experience locking or clicking in your knee joint and in some cases range of motion may be limited. There could be ruptures in some cases which would lead to fluid leaking down into your calf. This situation can cause a swelling and a sharp pain in your calf. The skin of the area could turn into red and appear inflamed.

Treatment of a Bakers cyst

The treatment of a Baker’s cyst may include a combination of the following:

  • Medications: NSAIDs to reduce the pain and swelling
  • Rest: Avoiding aggravating activities such as kneeling and climbing
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises: To increase the range of motion and strengthen the muscles around the knee
  • Icing: Regular icing to reduce swelling and inflammation
  • Taping: Using Sport kinesio tape we unload painful structures of the knee
  • Treatment of the underlying systemic conditions: Gout, arthritis, etc.
  • Ultrasound: Used to reduce inflammation and swelling
  • Laser Therapy:  Used to reduce swelling and inflammation and promote healing

Our Toronto Physiotherapy Clinic provides expert care to help you with your Bakers cyst and  improve your knee function by utilizing advanced Physiotherapy techniques tailored to your needs. To book an appointment at Ace Physio call our friendly staff  today at 416-900-6653.


About the Author

Brad SaltzBrad is a Registered Physiotherapist at Ace Physio, a highly respected Physiotherapy clinic in downtown Toronto. Ace Physio provides high quality one on one Physiotherapy that combined state-of-art technology such as; Shockwave Therapy, Laser Therapy, and Spinal Decompression with traditional Physiotherapy.View all posts by Brad Saltz