Popliteus Syndrome

Popliteus Syndrome

- Article by John Miller

Popliteus Syndrome

Popliteus Tendinopathy / Popliteus Strain

What is Popliteal Syndrome?

Popliteal tendinopathy occurs when the popliteal tendon, a small muscle located at the back of the knee, is overused. This condition, also known as popliteus syndrome, can be caused by several factors.

What Causes Popliteal Tendinopathy?

Various factors can cause popliteal tendinopathy. These factors include overusing the popliteus muscle in activities such as running, experiencing a traumatic knee injury, having chronic instability around the knee, having muscle imbalances in the lower limb, using incorrect exercise techniques, and experiencing fatigue.

What are the Symptoms of Popliteal Tendinopathy?

The most common symptoms of popliteal tendinopathy include:

  • Experiencing pain over the outside aspect of the knee that may also radiate to the back of the knee.
  • Noticing swelling or redness over the outside of the knee.
  • Feeling pain when straightening the knee.
  • Experiencing pain when bending the knee from a fully straightened position.
  • Experiencing weakness in the knee.
  • Feeling a sense of instability or giving way when bearing weight.
  • Hearing clicking sounds in the knee.

How is Popliteal Tendinopathy Diagnosed?

To diagnose popliteal tendinopathy, your physiotherapist or sports doctor will examine it to identify signs of the condition. They may also use diagnostic tools such as an MRI or ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis. We recommend consulting a knee physiotherapist or doctor for an accurate diagnosis and starting treatment for popliteal tendinopathy.

What is the Treatment for Popliteal Tendinopathy?


The treatment for popliteal tendinopathy typically involves physiotherapy. Within a few weeks of treatment, many patients experience improvements. The duration of your recovery depends on various factors such as age, previous activity level, adherence to treatment, and the severity and time of your injury.

Your physiotherapy treatment will focus on the following objectives:

  • Reducing pain and inflammation.
  • Restoring normal joint range of motion.
  • Strengthening the muscles surrounding your knee.
  • Strengthening other lower limb muscles, including the calves, hips, and pelvic muscles.
  • Restoring typical muscle lengths.
  • Enhancing your proprioception, agility, and balance.
  • Improving your technique and functional movements such as walking, running, squatting, hopping, and landing.
  • Minimising the risk of re-injury.

Suppose you have any questions or concerns during any stage of your rehabilitation. In that case, it is important to communicate them to your physiotherapist.

How to Prevent Popliteal Tendinopathy?

To prevent popliteal tendinopathy, you can take several proactive measures:

  1. Maintain proper conditioning: Ensure that you have adequate strength and flexibility in the muscles surrounding the knee and the lower limb in general. Training will help support the knee joint and reduce the risk of overloading the popliteal tendon.
  2. Gradual progression in activities: When participating in physical activities or sports, gradually increase intensity, duration, and frequency to allow your body to adapt and minimise the stress on the popliteus muscle.
  3. Use proper technique: Learn and practice correct exercise and movement techniques to avoid placing excessive strain on the popliteal tendon. Seek guidance from a qualified professional, such as a physiotherapist or coach, if needed.
  4. Rest and recovery: Allow sufficient rest periods between tissue repair and recovery activities. Avoid overtraining and excessive repetitive movements that can contribute to overuse injuries.
  5. Listen to your body: Pay attention to any early signs of discomfort or pain in the knee area. If you experience any symptoms, modify or decrease your activity level. Consult a knee physiotherapist for appropriate management and guidance.

Remember, seeking the advice and guidance of a knee physiotherapist is crucial for effectively managing and preventing popliteal tendinopathy. They can provide tailored recommendations and assist you in developing an appropriate prevention plan based on your needs and activities.

Knee Pain Causes

A Comprehensive Guide

Knee pain is often a symptom of underlying issues ranging from acute injuries to systemic health conditions. Identifying knee pain causes is essential for effective treatment. This guide offers an overview of potential culprits, providing a pathway to understanding and addressing your knee discomfort.

Knee Pain Causes
Knee Pain Causes

Knee Ligament Injuries

Ligament injuries, such as ACL and PCL tears, are significant knee pain causes. They can lead to instability and severe discomfort, requiring prompt medical evaluation.

ACL Injuries

An ACL injury is a common sports-related knee injury that can lead to long-term knee pain and require surgical intervention.

Knee Meniscus Injuries

Meniscus tears, often caused by twisting or turning quickly, are prevalent knee pain causes, with treatment options varying based on severity.

Kneecap Pain

Pain in the kneecap can arise from various conditions, affecting your ability to engage in daily activities comfortably.

Knee Arthritis

Arthritis is a leading cause of knee pain, particularly in older adults, with symptoms that can significantly impair quality of life.

Knee Tendon Injuries

Tendon injuries can result from overuse or sudden, high-impact activities, contributing to ongoing knee pain.

Muscle Injuries

Muscle strains and related conditions are common knee pain causes, especially among athletes and active individuals.

Knee Bursitis

Inflammation of the bursae can cause significant knee pain, often requiring targeted treatment to reduce symptoms.

Children’s Knee Conditions

Young athletes can experience specific knee conditions related to growth and activity levels.

Other Knee-Related Conditions

Various other conditions can lead to knee pain, necessitating a broad understanding of potential knee pain causes.

Knee Surgery

In some cases, surgical intervention may be the best option to address certain knee pain causes effectively.

Seek Professional Advice

For tailored information regarding your knee pain, consult a healthcare professional with experience in knee conditions, such as a knee physiotherapist, sports physician or knee surgeon. They can provide a personalised assessment and treatment plan to address your specific needs.

Knee Pain Products & FAQs

A variety of products can support knee pain management. Browse our selection and read our FAQs to learn more about how to alleviate knee discomfort. More info: Knee Pain Products & FAQs

With this guide, you’re better equipped to understand the various knee pain causes and take the first step towards recovery. Remember, early intervention by a skilled physiotherapist can significantly improve your outcomes and assist in returning you to a pain-free, active lifestyle.

Knee Pain FAQs

Knee pain is a common ailment that affects people of all ages and lifestyles. Whether it's a result of injury, wear and tear, or underlying conditions like arthritis, understanding the nature of knee pain and its potential implications is crucial for seeking appropriate care and relief. In this comprehensive set of frequently asked questions (FAQs), we will delve into various aspects of knee pain, including its diagnosis, ligament-related issues, ACL injuries, meniscal injuries, age and arthritis-related concerns, and ways to alleviate discomfort through exercise and treatment. Let's explore these questions to gain valuable insights into managing knee pain effectively and improving overall knee health.

Diagnosis Related

Knee Ligament Related

ACL Related

Meniscus Related

Age & Arthritis Related

Running Related

Knee Treatment & Exercise Related

You've just added this product to the cart: