KBDE
What are some stretches to stretch the popliteus muscle? Thanks! 7/10/2008 8:42PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
So recently, I've been having some pain right behind my knee. Basically, where the knee cap is and then on the other side (top of the calf). If I press there, that's where it hurts.

When I run, it kind of "locks up" and I feel some pain there. It's gotten worse the last few days, and in the beginning of a run I've had to adjust my stride at first (leg crashing down heavier so it doesn't hurt as much). It kind of goes away, but today I cut my run short and just jogged back easy because it was hurting in the middle of the run (when I finished it didn't hurt as much).

Basically, if I try out that "flamingo" stretch, I can't get my leg to touch my thigh like my other leg, because it hurts too much.

I'm thinking it's the popliteus muscle/knee area. What I was thinking is, could I do a contrast bath, and while the water is hot stretch? Anyone know any good stretches for that area, or any ways to strengthen it?

I've kind of been massaging the area behind the knee (top of the calf), anything else I can do? Thanks!
KBDE
RE: What are some stretches to stretch the popliteus muscle? Thanks! 7/10/2008 9:41PM - in reply to KBDE Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
bump, anyone?
KBDE
RE: What are some stretches to stretch the popliteus muscle? Thanks! 7/10/2008 10:58PM - in reply to KBDE Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
bump.
KDBE
RE: What are some stretches to stretch the popliteus muscle? Thanks! 7/13/2008 8:18PM - in reply to KBDE Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
bump sorry, just wondering if anyone knows.
herbkarp
RE: What are some stretches to stretch the popliteus muscle? Thanks! 7/13/2008 8:59PM - in reply to KDBE Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The best way to treat increased tone in the popliteus is through direct hands-on massage and ischaemic pressure. The popliteus is a very difficult muscle to stretch and will respond a lot better to hands-on treatment.

Direct massage is best done with the knee slightly flexed, as mentioned above. The bulk of the muscle belly lies in the postero-medial part of the knee under the medial gastrocnemius. Flush massage from medial to lateral tends to work best.

Direct pressure therapy is also best done with the knee slightly flexed. This will feel very uncomfortable to the patient and the therapist must be very wary of excessive pressure in the popliteal fossa, as some important nerves and blood vessels course through and down between gastrocnemius.
WV hills
RE: What are some stretches to stretch the popliteus muscle? Thanks! 7/13/2008 9:40PM - in reply to herbkarp Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Popliteus is a calf muscle, so think calf stretches. Get on the edge of a step, both legs, lock your knees straight, and let your heels sink down. Adjust your toe position either in or out (pigeon toed or duck footed); if your legs are in the right spot, you'll feel it.
Toboggan
RE: What are some stretches to stretch the popliteus muscle? Thanks! 7/13/2008 10:00PM - in reply to WV hills Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Massage has worked the best for me. Piggybacking on the direct pressure bit, if you can get someone to press down hard, and then dorsiflex and plantar flex the toe while that person is pressing, you'll get great results (and a hell of a lot of pain)
another thought
RE: What are some stretches to stretch the popliteus muscle? Thanks! 7/23/2008 10:13PM - in reply to Toboggan Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
you might want to eliminate the possibility that you have a popliteal cyst (Bakers' cyst) in the back of your knee.

I received a lot of stretching protocols for the popliteal muscle, but after I finally got a MRI, it was clear that I had a popliteal cyst. It was treated through PT (strenghtening the supporting muscles around the knee cap so that it tracks straight), and it was no longer a problem.

Another MRI years later showed that I still had the cyst, but it hasn't bothered me.

I would make sure that isn't your problem.

Best of luck!
golden league watcher
RE: What are some stretches to stretch the popliteus muscle? Thanks! 7/24/2008 12:43AM - in reply to another thought Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I had a Baker's cyst and they did an ultrasound to confirm it. It doesn't bother me though and it apparently is pretty small. It's a lump the size of a nickel in the back of my knee. They said to just leave it alone unless it gets a lot bigger. Like bigger than a golf ball. Then they'll drain it.