How to Keep on Your Feet with a Baker’s Cyst
Do you have trouble straightening out your leg? Do you have a soft lump at the back of your knee? Does your knee ache in bed at night? Are you avoiding exercise because of this? Chances are that you may have Baker’s cysts. A Baker’s cyst (also called popliteal cyst) is a build up of fluid in a bursa of the knee. Bursa are fluid sacks which act like cushions to allow the muscles and tendons to move freely around the bones of the knee. An injury, torn cartilage or arthritis in the knee commonly leads to a build up of fluid in a bursa in the knee resulting in a soft lump at the back of the knee. This lump is not always obvious but it restricts the normal movements of the knee and can lead to a persistent ache. The back of the knee usually feels tight when the leg is straightened out. Although a Baker’s cyst is a sign of other damage in the knee, treating the Baker’s cyst itself often reduces pain and discomfort and increases mobility. Conventional treatment usually involves medication for the underlying arthritis or surgery for the damaged cartilage. In some cases fluid can be removed from the cyst however it often comes back again.
Acupuncture is another way of treating this condition which usually leads to a reduction in pain, increased mobility and a reduction in pain relieving medication. Four or five acupuncture treatments about a week apart usually results in significant improvement. Follow up treatment between four and eight weeks apart often keeps the condition under control. Glucosamine with chondroiton and Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) along with fish oil are useful supplements which often help to manage any underlying arthritis and inflammation. It is surprising how many people put up with this condition without realising that in most cases it responds well to treatment. With ageing one key to health is maintaining mobility so don’t let a Baker’s cyst keep you off your feet!