YOUR BAKER'S CYST CARE GUIDE

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Additional information on Baker's Cysts (also called a Popliteal Cyst) is available here.

KEY POINT

Unless a Baker's cyst is causing symptoms other than swelling, it is often left to resolve with time and conservative care.

YOUR GOAL

First you need to understand our main objective: Reducing strain on the joint. This will allow inflammation to settle down and healing to begin.

REST

With that in mind, minimize activities that exacerbate your pain. Don't worry, this isn't forever, just long enough to give the joint a rest. Even just a few days can go a long way to promote recovery.

ICE OR HEAT
Due to the swelling, go with ice instead of hot packs. This will help soothe the inflammation, reduce stiffness and promote healing. You can learn more about correct icing techniques on our Icing Instructional Guide.

 

EXERCISES
Also begin a targeted Baker's Cyst exercise program. Make sure you address strength, range-of-motion and flexibility.
Luckily you don't have to figure out which exercises to perform, our PT's have done it for you! 

 

Due to your limited time, we have prioritized the Top 3 Exercises. See below.

 

Try to do your exercises a few times a day. You can cycle down as the pain diminishes.

KNEE BRACE

The evidence on knee braces is mixed and should not replace exercises. That said, many individuals report significant pain relief with a good brace. For a Baker's Cyst, a brace providing compression to reduce the swelling is key. For additional guidance, please view our Knee Brace Review page.

WHAT TO EXPECT
If it is a mild case then you should see significant improvement within 1-3 days. 

BACK IN ACTION
Once the pain and swelling diminishes, slowly ease back into your normal daily and athletic activities. Let your body be your guide. If you notice an activity worsens the pain or swelling - back off!

 

JOINT CARE + YOUR INSURANCE

Not improving fast enough? Time to talk to a joint pro. To find a clinician who accepts your insurance, you can launch our Physiobot Care Access Specialist. Telehealth options included.

 

To review your Physical Therapy options, check out our PT Resource Guide.

RESOURCES

-- Check with your doctor or PT prior to initiating a new exercise program --

YOUR EXERCISES

#1

Range of Motion

Baker's cysts tend to restrict knee range-of-motion, which can lead to increased pain/swelling/abnormal walking patterns. This exercise methodically and safely addresses this issue.

Selected based on your condition match and care profile

Stretches

Hold for 45-60 seconds

1-2 repetitions per session

Perform on each side

Strengthening

10-15 repetitions per set

1 set per session

Perform on each side

Want to save for later? We are happy to email your exercises.

#2

Quad Strength

Weakness in the quadriceps muscles is a common side effect of a Baker's Cyst. This can lead to knee buckling and pain. This simple and effective exercise is highly recommended.

#3

Hamstring Stretch

The hamstrings run along the back of your thigh and attach around the knee. Stretching these muscles helps alleviate tightness and pain associated with Baker's cysts. Just be sure to maintain a light and pain-free stretch only.