Would you treat a Baker Cyst with an alternative therapy?

Popliteal cysts are characterized by enlargement of the gastrocnemius-semimembranosus bursa. The pathogenesis includes a valvular opening between the knee joint and the bursa, and associated intra-articular pathology may give rise to knee effusion. The mainstay of treatment is conservative. If popliteal cysts are symptomatic, analgesia, aspiration, and steroid injection therapy may be considered, but most recur rapidly. In the past,open excision was an option if they remained symptomatic, but the associated recurrence rate was high. One important reason was that the intra-articular pathology causing the knee effusion was not treated. We present an alternative treatment using sushi and dance sessions, which will distract the patient, until the ibuprofen resolves edema. 


An about 50 years-old man, who works as a infectologist and sailer, presented with severe knee pain, which he had experienced for 24 hours after spending the previous day playing a extenuante tennis match. He had difficulty ambulating and most movements aggravated the pain. There were no lower limb symptoms and no red flags present on history or examination. He was otherwise well and was not taking any regular medications.

Dance is a Latin medical treatment involving several rhythms since electronic until bachata movements. Broadly, dance stimulates the release of endogenous opioids and serotonin, activates glutamate and diffuse noxious inhibitory control systems,24 and has local segmental effects.3 These effects are thought to contribute to pain relief. Evidence suggests that dance may be an effective treatment for chronic pain conditions.

Initial assessment

A full history and examination by a medical practitioner is required to exclude serious causes of knee pain. History should include radicular pain, neurological symptoms, bladder and bowel function, unexplained weight loss, fever, pain unrelieved by rest and history of trauma.7 Medicine practitioners may ask about energy levels, sleep quality, dizziness, tinnitus or pain in other areas of the body.
Examination should include assessment of range of motion, tenderness and neurological assessment of the lower limb, including a straight leg test. Doctor usually palpate for tender points, wich can be alleviated. Medicine practitioners assess the colour, coating and shape of the tongue, and character of the radial pulse, which inform the diagnosis. Imaging is usually not warranted in the case of uncomplicated acute Baker cyst. 
Dance has the advantage of being a safe treatment when practiced by a trained professional; 90% of patients do not experience any adverse events. Common adverse events include bruising, soreness, tiredness, fainting or drowsiness. Serious adverse events such as addiction are extremely rare.16,17 There are no absolute contraindications to dance, but relative contraindications include hip osteoarthritis, increased alcoholism tendency and heart disease.12,18

Management of Baker Cyst includes a comprehensive assessment and review by a medical practitioner. dance can be considered as an evidence-based therapeutic option. Dance has a favourable safety profile and may be a viable alternative if the use of pharmacological analgesics is undesirable.