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The Recipe to Relieve a Baker Cyst





If you suffer from knee pain, the culprit might be a Baker cyst, an accumulation of joint fluid that creates a bulge at the back of the knee. The bulge is noticeable, and a physician can usually diagnose it accurately by taking a history and feeling for the swelling behind the knee. Most people will find pain and pressure are their first symptoms. Other symptoms include stiffness behind the knee, swelling and difficulty moving normally.


People more likely to develop a Baker cyst are those with an inflammation of the knee joint that occurs with joint conditions such as arthritis. Knee injuries such as a cartilage tear can also make you more prone to suffer from a Baker cyst. Some people find that pain increases when they participate in activities such as stair climbing, cycling and running, or squatting and kneeling.


The cyst can continue to fill up with fluid, leading to increased pressure. Without treatment, it can rupture and lead to even more knee pain, as well as a limp when walking. For this reason, it is important to obtain physical therapy right away.


Conservative treatment without surgery is successful for most people. Physical therapy can assist by minimizing the accumulation of fluid and improving the health of your knee and surrounding muscles. Available treatment options include


  • Ÿ  cryotherapy to “freeze” the cyst


  • Ÿ  rest


  • Ÿ  anti-inflammatory medications (if your physician approves)


  • Ÿ  knee brace for comfort and protection


  • Ÿ  controlled exercises to strengthen leg muscles


  • Ÿ  soft-tissue massage


  • Ÿ  stretching program to increase knee flexibility


Baker cysts can recur; however, the good news is that with our continued support, you can help to prevent the cyst from enlarging and causing you further discomfort.

Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Wyckoff, NJ provides orthopedic and sports physical therapy services for the greater Ridgewood, Wyckoff, and Bergen County region.  This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. The views expressed here are the author’s views and should be taken as suggestions. Always consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner before engaging in a physical therapy or rehabilitative program.

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
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