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Knee Hurts Going Down Stairs

What Are Some Potential Causes Of Knee Pain That Occurs When Climbing Down Stairs

How To Instantly Fix Knee Pain When Going Up And Down Stairs

While you should never self-diagnose and treat an injury, learning about potential causes can help you take a more active role in your treatment while helping you to be more engaged with your care provider.

Here are four potential causes of knee pain that can cause pain when climbing or descending stairs:

  • Muscle strain Although usually a minor injury that can improve with time, strained muscles around the knee can make it difficult and painful to go down the stairs.
  • IT band syndrome The iliotibial, or IT, band is a long tendon that runs from the pelvis to the top of the shin, over the side of the knee. Inflammation of the IT band can cause severe knee pain when walking, running, climbing stairs and other activities.
  • Ligament sprain or tear Ligaments like the ACL and MCL that help join the knee can become sprained or even torn, causing pain that manifests when climbing stairs. These injuries can become serious conditions that require surgery in some cases, so prompt diagnosis and treatment is critical.
  • Compensatory injury Foot and ankle injuries can alter our natural biomechanics and put additional load on the knee when going down the stairs, causing painful sensations.
  • For these and other causes of knee pain, one method of treatment that can be particularly effective is physical therapy.

    Do Simple Exercises To Strengthen Your Legs

    There are also targeted exercises you can do to strengthen your leg muscles, which will make it easier to climb up and down stairs.

    The bones on each side of your knee joint are like metal rods, and youre supposed to have cartilage that acts like lubricant between them, but the cartilage wears away over time, says Dr. Minhas. As a result, you feel pain when they rub against each other. Strengthening the muscles that support your joints will anchor your bones, so theyre not hitting each other as much.

    A number of exercises can help to strengthen your legs. Dorsey recommends these two simple exercises, in particular:

    • Tippy-Toe Raises: Rise up on your tippy-toes for 10 to 15 seconds as you hold on to a counter or dresser for stability. Lower back down. Thats one rep do 10 reps total.
    • Leg Raises: While standing and holding on to a counter or dresser for stability, raise one leg a few inches off the ground by bending at the knee . Lower your foot back to the ground. Thats one rep do five reps on each side.

    Both of these exercises will build your strength and balance. Of course, the reps listed above are only suggestions, and its important to do whats right for your own body. For instance, you might rise up on your tippy toes for just five seconds to start or you may want to increase your leg raises to 10 on each side.

    Speak to your doctor before starting a new workout regimen to make sure the exercises you are doing are appropriate for your condition.

    Difficulty Climbing Stairs Treatment

    If you are having difficulty climbing stairs, there are a few different things that you can do in order to treat the problem. First, you can try to strengthen your leg muscles by doing exercises such as squats and lunges. You can also try using a cane or a walker to help you with your balance. If your problem is caused by arthritis, you can try taking over-the-counter pain medication or using heat or ice to help reduce the pain.

    People who are accustomed to certain daily tasks, such as climbing stairs or walking uphill, do not need to be concerned or afraid of them. You can use a variety of strategies to help you prepare for the difficult tasks. A gradual progression is essentially the introduction of small, less-demanding activities in order to achieve a larger, more demanding task. It is critical to strengthen your legs before embarking on a stairway or hill adventure to ensure that you have the confidence to do so. You will be able to climb any stairs without tiring if your legs are strong enough to support the weight. As an example, Ill give you a few exercises that you can do at home. We can still go out and walk around the area without much difficulty, but we must always be doing a little more each time. You will also be able to climb up hills and stairs if you exercise aerobically or cardiovascularally.

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    Talk To Your Doctor About Physical Therapy Or Surgery

    If knee pain is negatively affecting and impacting your daily life, consider seeing a physical therapist. They can create a tailored exercise program that will help strengthen the muscles around your knee and reduce pain.

    In some cases, knee pain may be due to an underlying condition that requires surgery to correct. If knee pain is severe and other treatments haven’t worked, talk to your doctor about the possibility of surgery.

    Whether you’re dealing with occasional knee pain or chronic pain, following these tips can help make going downstairs a little bit easier. If you’re still having difficulty, be sure to talk to your doctor or physical therapist for additional help.

    So there you have it our top 7 tips for avoiding knee pain when going downstairs. By following these easy and simple guidelines, you should be able to make descending stairs a breeze once again. But if the problem persists longer or gets worse, don’t hesitate to see your doctor for some professional advice. Stay healthy and happy stair-climbing!

    Improve Knee Pain With Telehealth Physical Therapy

    My knee hurts with effort stock image. Image of effort

    A physical therapist can help with knee pain. Agile Virtual Therapy can connect you with a licensed physical therapist who will consult with you and prescribe a personalized plan to strengthen the muscles around the knee for improved stability, mobility, and decreased pain. Best of all, the entire course of care can be completed from the comfort of your own home. Schedule an appointment today to regain your mobility and reduce nagging knee pain!

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    Make Sure To Address Any Underlying Injuries Or Abnormalities Causing Your Pain

    Even with making sure to go down stairs using the right body mechanics and control, ultimately, if you dont address the underlying issue, your pain will continue.

    This is why its important to seek advice and a consultation from your doctor and a physical therapist if youre having persistent knee pain.

    Once youve addressed and initiated proper treatment for the underlying issue, then using the right body mechanics and control while going down stairs will be more effective.

    For a full demonstration of what you should and shouldnt do when going down the stairs, take a look at the following video.

    What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Pfp Syndrome

    Patellofemoral pain syndrome causes pain under and around the knee. The pain often gets worse with walking, kneeling, squatting, going up or down stairs, or running. It may also hurt after sitting with a bent knee for a long time, such as in a long car ride or in a movie theater.

    Some people with PFP syndrome feel a “popping” or creaking after getting up from sitting or when going up or down stairs.

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    How To Deal With Knee Pain

    If you are experiencing knee pain going up or down stairs, or in general, there are a range of treatment options available that are non-invasive and will likely reduce inflammation and pain.

    1) R.I.C.E.

    One of the most common ways of dealing with knee pain is RICE, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. If youve injured your knee or are experiencing knee pain, these four at-home treatments can help.

    • Rest your knee and stop any activity that may be causing you pain.
    • Ice your knee to reduce pain and swelling. Apply cold for 10 to 20 minutes, 3 or more times a day, immediately following an injury or the activity that caused pain. Icing can be followed by applying heat once the swelling is gone.
    • Compression involves wrapping or bandaging your knee to reduce swelling to immobilize it. Its important not to wrap your knee too tightly. And if the pain doesnt improve after a couple of days, consult your physician to rule out a more serious knee injury.
    • Elevate your foot and knee on pillows whenever you are seated to keep the swelling down. Even better, lay down and keep your knee elevated above your heart level.

    2) OTC Medication

    Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be effective in treating knee pain temporarily, but if pain worsens, there may be an underlying cause that has to be looked at.

    3) Weight Management

    4) Exercise and Physical Therapy

    5) Support Aids

    6) Biomechanical Devices

    7) Prescription Medication

    Knee Anatomy And Knee Pain

    How to Instantly Fix Knee Pain Going Down Stairs

    While there is a lot of detail surrounding the knee anatomy, well be talking about the basics to get a better understanding as to what structures could be causing knee pain when going down stairs.

    The knee consists of 3 knee bones:

  • Femur, or thigh bone
  • Various muscles and tendon attachments to the knee:
  • Patellar tendon
  • Other soft tissue structures that can contribute to knee pain if not addressed include the following:
  • Synovial membrane
  • Knee bursae sacs
  • Iliotibial band
  • Wear and tear or injury in any of the above structures can lead to knee pain.

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    Issues That Can Cause Your Knee To Hurt When Going Down Stairs

    Physical therapists can use their musculoskeletal system expertise to pinpoint the cause of your knee pain. Some common issues they may uncover when your knee hurts while youre going down stairs are:

  • Knee osteoarthritis Knee osteoarthritis affects 10% of men and 13% of women over 60 this makes it the most common joint disorder for Americans. It occurs when the cartilage in your knee wears out over time. Worn-out cartilage may allow the bones in your knee to rub against each other. This can create pain when going up or down stairs.
  • Chondromalacia patella This knee condition primarily affects the kneecap cartilage. Your kneecap has a layer of cartilage on its bottom and sides. Chondromalacia patella occurs when this cartilage softens or breaks down, which can allow the kneecap to rub on the thighbone. This bone contact is especially likely when doing tasks like walking down stairs because such tasks put a lot of strain on your knees.
  • Patellar tendon injuries Your patellar tendons have a vital job. They help hold your kneecap in the right position while your legs are moving or at rest. Inflammation or tearing of a patellar tendon can cause you significant pain. This pain is most likely to occur when youre putting a lot of strain on the injured tendon, such as when youre going down stairs.
  • Knee Pain Going Down Stairs

    Even if you don’t have stairs in your house, you may find yourself climbing up and down stairs at other places like in work places or doing some activities. Then you may find some pains when doing it. And in fact, climbing down stairs puts more pressure on the knees than climbing up stairs, causing more knee pain. Is this your condition? Do you wonder about why it happens?

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    Ready To Improve Your Knee Pain And Get Your Life Back

    Theres no better time to get started.

    Schedule a Physical Therapy visit today and learn what exercises can get you back to feeling your best.

    No referral is required and with expanded hours and 11 locations, you can schedule a time that works for you.

    Or you can call to speak to a team member directly.

    1. T. P. Andriacchi, G. B. Andersson, R. W. Fermier, D. Stern, J. O. Galante A study of lower-limb mechanics during stair-climbing. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1980 1980 July 62: 749757.2. Kutznera I, Heinleina, B, Graichena F. Loading of the knee joint during activities of daily living measured in vivo in five subjects. Journal of Biomechanics. 2010 Aug 43:216421733. Mian OS, Thom JM, Narici MV, Baltzopoulos V. Kinematics of stair descent in young and older adults and the impact of exercise training. Gait Posture 2007 25:9-17.4. Brouwer B, Olney SJ. Aging skeletal muscle and the impact of resistance exercise. Physiother Can 2004 56:80-87.5. Startzell JK, Owens DA, Mulfinger LM, Cavanagh PR. Stair negotiation in older people: a review. J Am Geriatr Soc 2000 48:567-580.6. Brindle TJ, Mattacola C, McCrory J. Electromyographic changes in the gluteus medius during stair ascent and descent in subjects with anterior knee pain. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy. 2003 Jul 11:244-251.7. http://www.nlm.nih.gov

    Why Does It Hurt My Knee When I Go Up And Down Stairs

    Knee Pain Going Down Stairs? Heres Why (and How to Treat It)  Facts ...

    One of the most common conditions of the knee that physiotherapists see is people who report that their knee hurts when they go up and down stairs! This everyday activity is responsible for many people experiencing knee symptoms.

    The most common cause of knee pain when going up and down stairs is patellofemoral pain syndrome .

    PFS is a condition characterized by pain and crepitus that is felt around the patella . It is often the result of increased pressure on the retropatellar surface when the knee is bent and the Quadriceps are contracted, which is the position of the knee when travelling up or down stairs, hills and inclines.

    PFS is also referred to as Runners Knee, and the onset of pain is gradual, rather than following a specific inciting event.

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    Knee Pain Down Stairs Meniscus

    Because of the lack of normal knee motion, the patient may be unable to climb stairs or get into and out of chairs or vehicles. When you have knee pain, the brain shuts down the thigh muscles, causing you to feel a giving way sensation.

    One of the most common causes of knee pain is being aching while climbing stairs. When you walk up or down stairs, you put a lot of strain on your knees, especially if you are going down. It is possible that your knee will be damaged if you experience knee pain while climbing or descending stairs. There is no cure for knee osteoarthritis however, non-invasive treatments exist to prevent it. Jumpers or runners knee are two terms that describe the Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. repetitive knee bending activities, such as running and biking, are frequently associated with IT Band Syndrome. When you climb or descend stairs, you may experience knee pain that is debilitating.

    Non-invasive treatments are likely to reduce inflammation and pain in the long run. Weight loss can reduce the strain on your knees and, as a result, help you manage your pain. You must also maintain a healthy weight and a healthy diet in order to be in good health.

    Keep Your Knee Straight And Don’t Lock Your Knee

    When going downstairs, it’s important to keep your knee straight and not let it collapse inward. This may mean that you need to focus on using your leg muscles to lift your legs up higher than usual. However, this will help reduce the impact on your knee and prevent pain. This will help reduce stress on the knee joint and prevent pain.

    And when you reach the bottom of a step, don’t lock your knee as this can put unnecessary strain on the joint. Instead, keep your knee slightly bent to reduce stress.

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    What Kind Of Knee Pain Comes And Goes

    In most but not all cases, the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis come and go, becoming gradually worse and more frequent over a number of years. There may be a persistent, dull ache, accompanied by flare-ups of more intense pain after certain activities that strain the knee joint .

    How To Instantly Fix Knee Pain Going Down Stairs

    Structure Of The Knee Joint


    To start, lets dive shortly into the structure of our knees.

    The knee is a complex joint made up of the thigh bone , shin bone , and patella . The latter is found in the front of your knee. This joint is connected by a series of ligaments, tendons, and muscles which provide stability and prevent excessive movements.

    The knee joint has all the muscles it needs to remain very strong and stable. but as a persons body weight increases, goes through normal wear and tear while aging, or has a previous knee injury, the demand on the articular cartilage of the knee also increases thus creating knee problems.

    When descending, the persons body weight is transferred from the quadriceps muscle to the hamstrings, which puts more strain on the joint. In addition, going downstairs requires the person to bend their knees more than normal, which also leads to a painful knee experience, if they arent training properly.

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    Arthritis In Your Knee

    Arthritis can happen in any joint in your body, but it’s especially common in your knee. It can make it hard to do things like walk or climb stairs.

    Osteoarthritis is one of the most common kinds of arthritis. It’s the “wear and tear” kind that usually affects people over 50. OA happens slowly, and it hurts more over time. The cartilage wears away in your joint, and, just like with runner’s knee, bone rubs on bone and causes pain.

    If you have OA, your knee may feel stiff and swollen and you may have trouble bending and straightening it. It’s often worse in the morning or during rainy weather. Your knee may buckle or feel weak.


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