Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"Why do the back of my knees hurt so much? It's worse after standing still."

ZocdocAnswersWhy do the back of my knees hurt so much? It's worse after standing still.


I'm a 33 year old female, not overweight. Knees hurt bad after standing still even for a short while, have tried different shoes and magnets but no help. Have seen many doctors and had MRI's done and every Dr. said they cant find anything wrong. I have lived with this for over 20 years and no one can tell may anything. I gave up on Dr's in early 2001 and have not been back since, so unknown if any treatment has become effective since then. My knees never swell or anything just pain in the back of both knees. I have not taken any pain medicine that has helped at all


It sounds like you have a very complicated situation. Knee pain for the most part is fairly straight forward to diagnose. It seems that you have had a fairly extensive work-up without anything found that could be responsible for your discomfort. If you pain has not changed over that time, I would not suggest having your knees re-imaged. I think that a new MRI is unlikely to show anything new, and would just be a source of frustration for you. Your pattern of pain does not fit the pattern of any particular knee injury, nor are you likely to benefit from any surgery. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with a pain specialist. He or she can take a detailed history of your knee pain and perform a thorough physical exam. It is possible that you have developed a chronic pain syndrome known as neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is pain that you perceive, but is not do to any tissue injury that can be picked up on imaging. There are special medications that can be tried for this type of pain. These medicines are different from the classic analgesics that you have probably tried in the past. Hopefully, you can get some relief soon.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.