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Electric-shock like pain in knee

Hello; for the past few months I have been experiencing a pain in my
knee, it is just to the outside of the patella. It is a very sharp pain, like an electrical shock. It happens totally at random. It can happen when I am walking, sitting, sleeping, etc. When the pain is not occurring, my knee feels
completely normal. When it happens, it usually happens every few
seconds or minutes, then stops for several hours. I am not aware of
any injury or unusual stress to that area. X-ray was normal and doctor's examination was clear. Any ideas?
169 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear Laura,
I am suffering the same electric-shock pain in my knee that your described.  Can you, please, share with me what you know about it?


Avatar universal
Did you find any info about this shocking pain? This just started happening to me this week. I feel crazy trying to explain it to my husband. Any Idea what the heck it is?

Avatar universal
I have suffered on & off for years with this. X ray & examination showed nothing. I am fit & healthy normally. It can be gone for years & then come back & stay for months. The pain is very sharp & brief & then goes without leaving any pain behind. It makes my eyes water the pain is so sharp. No rhyme or reason for the attacks..................
Anyone, any Ideas!!!!!
i have it too!  5 times in past 10 days. Excruciating, unbearable for about 5 seconds then -poof- gone with no residual pain
Avatar universal
I have a pain like this on the backside of my knee.  It started random, but now seems to occur more when I bend my toes up towards my knee.  I have tried to find info on this and sciatica seems to fit the bill more than anything, but everyone says that starts in the thigh and I don't have pain in my thigh.  It is quick, severe, and feels like someone is shocking me. I would guess that a shocking pain would be associated with a nerve being pinched.  Let me know if you find out anything else.
Avatar universal
I am with you.  This happened to me this week for the first time ever.  It is crazy pain and a very bizarre sensation...like getting electric shock .  It is happening to me too while I am doing very different things.

Anyone who has ideas and might give suggestions would be very appreciated.

Avatar universal
This is so strange..  I am experiencing this also.  It feels like electric shocks... in my knee cap...  and it lasts about 2 minutes... all tiny shocks.. (painfull).  I wonder if this has anything to do with diabetes since I suffer from that as well.. anyone else?

Avatar universal
I too have been feeling electric shocks in my left knee.  It may have to do with the hernias I have in my spinal cord that off and on press the nerve and thus cause the shock.  Is this is a possibility?

Avatar universal
Hi, my name is Marco from Rome Italy.
I've been suffering from the same electric shock at my left knee, close to the patella on the left side of it. It started about 20 days ago (end of Aug 2008).
I guess it's a weird kind of neuropathy.
Anyway i played soccer until almost 3 yrs ago and in november 2005 i suffered an achillis' tendon break at the same leg (left leg).
Since then i put on about 10 kgs of weight. Is all of these things related?
Dunno if i suffer from diabetis.
Avatar universal
I also have "THE SHOCK" behind my right knee. I have been suffering from it for about 2 mts now.I wondered if the Dr would think I'm crazy, I had put off going... How do you explain to some one this CRAZY feeling? Sure enough, she had no answers. I am sched for a MRI on friday to ck my central nervous system, if that shows nothing they will do  more testing. Hopefully I will have some answers for you guys. I am so ready to find out something.... My happens at any time, I cant even cross my rt leg and it is very scary when I am driving... I cant do anything but let it pass and use my left leg to break...
I am 36 and healthy. Let you know something soon.
Avatar universal
I have been having this same problem for 6 months, I will be sitting and all of a sudden, this sharp pinching pain hits my in my knee, one or the other, sometimes in both knees at the same time, I will itch/rub untill it goes away in a few seconds. But it takes my breath out and I jerk in response to the shock. I have been a Diabetic for 13 years and no doctor has been able to explian this. Does anyone here even know what it is called? Or what causes it?
Avatar universal
I also have been suffering from the same knee pain. I have just read all the entries from July 2007, until the last one 2 days ago, on Oct. 08 and have yet to see anyone mention a solution.  Has anyone found something to help with this crazy  pain?
Avatar universal
Dear All,
The closest thing I can come up with from my on line research is
"Piriformis Syndrome".  Check out the following link for more information:

Hope this helps someone find some answers.

Avatar universal
Im having the same pain,feels like im being shocked.It happens when i bend over.The tingling is between my ankle an heel.Does anyone know what this could be?              
Avatar universal
I feel for y'all.  I have been suffering with the same thing (excrutiating knee pain) for years, but because I am a "good little doctor's daughter" I wouldn't go to the doctor.  20 years later the pain along my whole sciatic nerve is so excrutiating and constant I just can't stand it.  I hobble and my leg muscles are noticibly smaller, to the point friends and family mention it.  MRIs of spine, hip and knee show nothing, and steroid epidurals gave minimal relief.  I've posted a question to the doctor in hopes he will guide me on how best to "bother" my local doctors in digging deeper for a diagnosis and CURE.  If I ever get answers, I'll be sure to let y'all know.  In the meantime, keep looking because if we have the same thing, it will only get worse.
Avatar universal
I have the same thing, electric like pain behind my right knee so severe that I often scream. I have had it for almost 9 months, in attacks lasting a minute or less, which now come 8 to 10 times a day.

I have treated it with chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, yoga, and a bit of traditional medicine. I have managed to change the pain, but not to beat it. And I don't know what causes it.

For me, acupuncture helped to define exactly where the pain is. Before acupuncture, the pain was so intense that it was impossible to pinpoint it.

Chiropractic solved back pain problems I used to have, but left the knee pain intact.

Massage helps temporarily by making attacks less intense and less frequent.

Yoga helped increase range of motion and reduce stiffness throughout my body and taught me to stretch various muscles, the tightness of which could possibly cause the nerve spasm, the piraformus (spelling?) and the IT band. The knowledge helps, but does not solve the problem completely.

Traditional medicine failed to tell me what the problem is, but it cost a lot of money and frustration. I tried a NSAID (non steroidal anti-inflamatory drug) called meloxicam, which does little to nothing except make me feel strange. I am still trying the drugs.

At this point, I am reasonably sure that a nerve is spasming for some reason and the possible causes of the spasms are brain farts (epileptic like events or migrain like events) of some sort, a bone spur, muscle tension, a blood clot that acts like a bone spur by impinging the nerve somehow. I notice that there are micro muscle movements when I am at rest that could trigger the nerve. If I think of skiing, for example, I may trigger a micromuscle movement and thus the nerve pain. This is all speculation,

I am at my wit's end looking for a cure. The attacks exhaust me. I won't take trips because the pain makes it too unpleasant. If anybody figures this out, please contact me. I really need help. ***@****
Avatar universal
Hello everyone, I too am in the same boat wit all of you. the first time this hapened to me was over 20 years ago thought I was dying. Mine is in the bend of the back of my knee, it feels like someone tpuched me with a 220 volt wire and just keeps going. then stops and comes back, with leg being real weak aftwards. Did not happen again for 10 years the not again for 2 years . Went into hospital they did all types of test and MRI's with no solution. Today is Christmas day and I have been down with this for over 3 weeks now. Going out of my mind. Have an appointment with a Nuerologist on 2/11 will advise if anything new. My family physician referred me to him says it could be a Neuroma which usually occours in foot but can occour in other parts of the body.
Avatar universal

I thought it was just me...

I started getting this "shock" about 3 months ago. It is on my inner thigh, about 12" above the knee. Occurs mostly while I'm sitting, but one day it happened alomost continually while I was walking, would hit me every time I took a step with that leg.

It ranges from a simple light, bizzare flutter, to a full blown shock causing my leg to jerk upward, very disconcerting if I happen to be in a meeting or room full of people. They'll llok at me like I'm some kind of spaz. :)
Avatar universal
Hi - I just started experiencing this pain about a week ago, and last night it was excruciating.  I've never felt anything like it!  I finally got to sleep after stretching that leg for about 15 minutes.

I did find some information that might be helpful - check out the post from tamiallen on this page: http://ehealthforum.com/health/topic81001.html.  I'm copying her response below as I'm going to my doctor today armed with this information!  I hope it helps you all.

"...my pain turned out to be my piriformis muscle. It is one muscle in a group of about 20 muscles in your butt. This particular muscle runs down the back of your leg and in my case felt tight all the time. It appears that my sciatica nerve ran through this group of muscles and was being "choked” thus causing the "electrical shock" feelings I was having. I ended up having 4 injections, one in my lower back and three directly into the periformis muscle. The cortisone shots worked temporarily in the beginning but the third shot has worked for about 3 months now. The trick is to get the periformis muscle to relax using the shots and therapy first. If that does not work they suggest releasing the muscle by having surgery – luckily for me the third shot seems to be working.

"It was a very long road, about 1 yr and 3 months before I was pain free. As you know - the pain is overwhelming both mentally and physically. Don't give up; see your doctor, a spine doctor and even a chiropractor if you have too. They are all there to help you and sometimes it just takes time to rule things out before you figure it out."
Avatar universal
My pain started after a 2 week layoff from running and martial arts last fall.  I stopped exercising altogether when I started having the spasms fearing it was an overuse injury.  Pain was consistent until christmas when I had a good 2 weeks of rest.  Pain came back on February.  I started riding my bike on a trainer every 2nd day.  It helps a lot.  If I don't ride, I'm guaranteed to have some pain.  My knee still feels weak and wonky but it beats having those pains.
Xray showed nothing and am waiting for an appointment for a MRI.

Avatar universal
I just joined the site because I was reading all the posts with questions concerning electric shock like pain in the knee. I'm a strength trainer in Canada and I encounter this type of pain frequently in my training studio. My specialization is in corrective training, so I work with people that want to train but don't want to irritate their existing pains. I don't want to go into the possible solutions for the type of knee pain you've all discribed because the entries seem to be from months past and perhaps you've all found your solutions. I know it can be very chronic, so if the problem still persists let me know then I'll get into it. I'm not a doctor but have extensive experience using exercise to correct injuries and pain. Let me know, i'd be happy to help.
Avatar universal
I have just started these same symptons of the knee about two weeks ago.  They come and go for no reason.  I have had an xray which showed nothing.  I could have one day where they come 30 times a day, and the next day I get nothing.  If any of you have an update on this, please let me know
Avatar universal
I have been having this pain for about 5 weeks.  I'm 36 weeks pregnant and I can't take pain killers.  The pain runs from my calf to my thigh across the knee joint, at the back, about 6-8inches worth, on the inside.  I have been to hospital several times now, driving myself to A&E and begging for help. I have been given codiene, tested for a blood clot and most recently, last night advised that I have a Baker's Cyst!  The pain is so bad that I am becoming an emotional wreck.  I am unable to sleep because of the anxiety that an attack of electric shocks is just around the corner and it usually is.  It happens day or night, for a second or the longest was four hours but usually several minutes.  I would also describe it as the nerve feeling as though it is under great tension and someone is pinging it with a view to snapping it.  Also, in the last few days after a fourth visit to a chiropractic in five days the tendon in my foot is now pulling and feels too short!  I'm really scared that this cannot be treated.  I currently have an ice pack strapped to the back of my knee which so far is helping to numb the pain.  This is also cold and not great in the summer but it's all I have to hold on to.  I'll let people know if I find a solution. Julia
Avatar universal
I have started the antifungal diet and started back on natural antifungals.  You should talk to your doctor before doing either since you are pregnant.  I went on this years back for chronic sinus, along with prescription antifungals, and it helped even with problems other than sinus.  Fungus can cause a wide range of problems.  The prescriptions for fungus are diflucan, and nystatin.  Some naturals are, oregano, olive leaf extract, grapefruit seed extract, caprylic acid, & pau d arco.  I also started stretching for the lower back muscles.  I read that it could telegraph pain to the knee.  It has only been five days since I began, but I have, (knock on wood) for the past few days not had anymore shock like knee pains.  Like you I also could not sleep anticipating the oncoming attacks.  Until you talk to your doctor, you could at least stay away from processed foods, and especially sugar.  Here is a copy of the phase one diet, and good luck to you:   For some reason, some of the rows get thrown together when I paste it.  It may take you a little longer to decipher it:

Food Groups      Foods allowed                    Foods excluded  
                             on the diet                          from the diet

1. sugar                         none                                                   All sugars excluded

2. Artificial and            Stevia, stevia plus                            aspartame, saccharin
    herbal sweeteners    

3. Fruit                          Green apples, berries,                     All others, including fruit
                                       avocados, grapefruit, juices
                                       lemons, and fresh coconut

4. Meat                          Virtually all meats, including          Breaded meats                        
fish, poultry and beef

5. Eggs                            Yes, all types allowed                       Avoid egg substitutes

6. Dairy                          Butter and yogurt (organic All others, including mar-
                                        is best): sparingly:  cream garine and any of the but-
                                        cheese, organic, unsweetened ter substitutes
                                         whipping cream, and real
                                        sour cream

7. Vegetables                 Most fresh, unblemished Potaoes and legumes
vegetables and freshly (beans and peas)
made vegetable juice

8. Beverages                  Bottled or filtered water; Coffee and tea (including
non-fruity, herb teas; decaf) and regular/diet
Stevia-sweetened, fresh sodas
                                        Lemonade or lime-ade

9. Grains                        Zero grains allowed                          Pasta, rice, corn, wheat
quinoa, amaranth, millet,
                                                                                                    buckwheat, oats and bar-

10. Yeast products        No yeast allowed                                All areexcluded, as are
                                                                                                    bread, mushrooms, past-
                                                                                                    ries and alcohol

11. Vinegars                  Unpasteurized, apple cider Pickles, salas dressings
                                        vinegar and black olives green olives, soy sauce
                                       not aged in vinegar

12. Oils                           Olive, grape or flax seed, Partially-hydrogenated
                                        and virgin coconut (cold- (“trans”) oils, corn, and
                                        pressed is best)                     peanut oil

13. Nuts                          Raw nuts, including pe- Peanuts (and all peanut
                                        cans, almonds, walnuts, products) and pistachios
                                        cashews, pumpkin seeds are excluded.

Avatar universal
PLEASE post your possible solution. I have these same pains and can hardly deal with it. Thanks
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