Do You Suffer From Kneecap Pain And Sharp When You Go Up A Staircase
Are you noticing that this is usually the only time that your sharp knee pain occurs?
Something is definitely wrong. Knees are supposed to support us when we walk up a flight of stairs.
Other than pain around the knee cap related to an injury, most pain under, around or in the kneecap is related to pressure or damage to the cartilage of the kneecap and the area underneath it where the kneecap glides, explains Barbara Bergin, MD, board certified orthopedic surgeon at and co-founder of Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates.
Dr. Bergin continues, This area is called the femoral trochlea, and it is a concave groove at the end of the thigh bone, which matches the convex under-surface of the kneecap. See the image below.
Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator
The two structures form the patellofemoral joint, which is the fulcrum through which you bend and straighten your knee.
The times when the most amount of pressure is placed on this joint is when you do things like go up stairs, get up from chairs or squat.
When you go up a single stair, you put between four to six times your body weight into the surfaces of this joint.
So, if you weigh 100 pounds, there is about 400-600 pounds of pressure on that joint!
If you feel sharp pain, specifically when you go up stairs, this is likely due to damage to the cartilage on the kneecap or the femoral trochlea.
The damage can be acute or chronic.
Some patients describe the sensation as grating.
The Mini Side Stair Exercise
Whoever said, If you dont use it, you lose it was a wise person. I think it might have started with my great uncle Al but I cant be sure about that.
The same thing is true for stairs. Mini dosages of stairs can help you prepare for the real thing.
Use a phone book or a 3-4 inch step. Position yourself parallel to the step because youll be going up sideways.
Why? When you practice going up the step sideways, you naturally engage your glute muscle which is a key muscles which are key in stair climbing.
So you are training your body to fire up the right muscles when you practice sideways.
Make sure you have a chair on the other side for balance.
Start with the leg that often gives you trouble and pain. Lift your foot up and place it on the step. Now that your foot is on the step or phone book, lift your body up.
3 Important things to think about:
Stand up fully. When you are ready to step down. Follow the same steps as above. Ie Put pressure on your outer portion of the heel and keep the knee over the second toe.
Do this exercise in a controlled manner 10 times before switching to the other leg.
Pain In The Knees With Stairs
Many people struggle with knee pain when going up and down the stairs.
It is one of the most common knee problems reported by patients of all ages. It can affect both men and women and tend to be more prevalent in those over 40 years old but also occur frequently among young people depending on the cause.
In most cases, the pain is more severe with descending the stairs than with ascending the stairs.
This is due to the higher forces on the joint when going down a step. The required muscle strength to control your bodyweight down a step is significantly greater than going up a step.
If the muscles or joints cant tolerate the amount of force for essentially a single leg squat down the stairs, it can cause stress in the soft tissue in and around the knee joint and causes increased pressure on the weight-bearing surfaces of the joint.
In short, if the body isnt strong enough to support the knee, it crosses the threshold and starts signaling pain to the brain. This is the bodys warning system that something is awry.
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What Is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is pain in the front of the knee. It frequently occurs in teenagers, manual laborers, and athletes. It sometimes is caused by wearing down, roughening, or softening of the cartilage under the kneecap. The main symptom of patellofemoral pain syndro me is knee pain, especially when sitting with bent knees, squatting, jumping, or using the stairs . You may also experience occasional knee buckling, in which the knee suddenly and unexpectedly gives way and does not support your body weight. A catching, popping, or grinding sensation when walking or with knee movement is also common.
What causes patellofemoral pain syndrome?
Patellofemoral pain syndrome may be caused by overuse, injury, excess weight, a kneecap that is not properly aligned , or changes under the kneecap.
Is this a problem?
Usually not. Patellofemoral pain can cause limitations in activities because of the discomfort but usually there is not long term damage. Patients may continue with activities as tolerated.
How is patellofemoral pain syndrome diagnosed?
Your health professional will conduct a medical history and physical exam to determine the cause of your pain. In some cases, imaging tests including X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging may be done. These tests allow a doctor to view the tissues inside your knee to rule out damage to the structure of the knee and the tissues connected to it.
How is it treated?
Other Works Consulted
What Can Cause Knee Pain When Going Down Stairs But Not Upstairs
Does your knee hurt while going downstairs but not while going upstairs? Some individuals experience knee pain while going downstairs which can be mild and can occur periodically or the pain could be frequent. There are various causes for this. Read further and know why knee hurts going downstairs but not up.
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Knee Pain Going Down Stairs Treatment
Most people experience knee pain going down stairs at some point in their lives. There are several treatments that can help reduce the pain and improve your ability to walk. Physical therapy, exercises, and weight loss are all effective treatments for knee pain going down stairs.
The force through the kneecap when you step down the stairs is 3.5 times your body weight. If you interfere with the way the patella moves, the large forces that are required to move the knee will magnify and cause knee pain. Four of the most common causes of knee pain during stairs walking are as follows. Runners knee, also known as anterior knee pain or patellofemoral pain syndrome, is the most common cause of the condition. This condition causes damage to the cartilage on the back of the kneecap. In the pes anserine bursa, inflammation is caused by the adjacent pes anserine Bursitis. A quad strain is when one or more of the front thighs muscles are partially or completely torn.
In addition to stairs, jumping, kicking, and pulling a quad are common causes of knee pain. There are simple things you can do to alleviate knee pain in order to make stairs easier to climb and descend. The How To Treat Knee Pain article is worth a look. In our On The Stairs article, we look at the top 10 ways to reduce knee pain on stairs.
Why Do Stairs Make My Knees Hurt
There are a few reasons why stairs might make your knees hurt. One possibility is that you have arthritis, which is a condition that causes inflammation in the joints. If the stairs are particularly steep or you have to walk up them a lot, that can also put extra strain on your knees and cause pain. Finally, if youre carrying a lot of weight, that can also put extra pressure on your knees and make them hurt.
One of the most common causes of knee pain is aching while climbing stairs. Walking up and down stairs puts a lot of strain on the knees, particularly if you go down. If you are experiencing knee pain while climbing or descending stairs, it is possible that the cartilage has been damaged. There is no cure for knee osteoarthritis, but there are non-invasive treatments available. Jumpers knee, also known as runners knee, is another name for Patellofemoral pain syndrome. In most cases, IT Band Syndrome is caused by repetitive knee bending activities such as running and biking. A knee injury is common, and it can be debilitating when you go up or down stairs.
Non-invasive treatments have been shown to reduce inflammation and pain. Your weight management can reduce your knees strain, which in turn can help you reduce your pain. Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a healthy diet can also improve overall health.
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Who Is At Risk For Chondromalacia Patella
Many people are surprised to find their cartilage is damaged because theyve never hurt their knees in the past. Unfortunately, chondromalacia can be brought on by more than an accident or injury.
People who are at risk for developing chondromalacia patella include:
- Those who are overweight
- People who have had an injury, fracture, or dislocation related to the kneecap
- Runners, soccer, basketball, tennis players, weightlifters and exercise enthusiasts, cyclists, and other people who exercise often
- Teenagers and healthy young adults, more often females
Hip Strategy Exercise Posterior Step Down
The posterior step down shown here allows one to shift their weight back towards their hips, and utilize more of the muscles on the back of the legs, while also taking some stress off the knee.
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How To Decrease Knee Pain With Stairs
It is 8:00 AM and you have four flights of stairs to walk down before you can get to your class or your job on time. You know you are going to have knee pain. But I dont have any pain once I get down the stairs and walk across campus or walk into the office. We understand many of us are in the same boat when it comes to knee pain with stairs. Dont worry, we are here to clear up why you may be experiencing this knee pain, and how you can combat knee pain with stairs on your own!
Three Factors Leading To Knee Pain When Walking Up Stairs
Your knees are very important because theyre a major reason your legs can move you around. However, there are many conditions that can cause pain in these joints. One such condition is called chondromalacia or runners knee, and this is when the cartilage under the kneecap is damaged. Damage to this cartilage makes it harder for the kneecap to stay in its proper position as the knee moves. In turn, this can lead to knee pain when doing activities like walking up stairs. Three factors increase a persons risk of developing this type of pain.
Knee pain when walking up stairs often develops from overusing the knee joint. Overuse is especially common in people who do lots of repetitive knee movements, which is why runners are more prone to develop chondromalacia and its painful symptoms. As you might expect, walking up stairs too frequently can also lead to this condition. This means that people like sports stadium food vendors are very likely to get chondromalacia.
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What Causes Pfp Syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is an overuse disorder. These happen when someone does the same movements that stress the knee over and over again.
In PFP syndrome, repeated bending and straightening the knee stresses the kneecap. It’s most common in athletes.
Some people with PFP syndrome have a kneecap that is out of line with the thighbone . The kneecap can get out of line, or wiggle as it moves along the thighbone, because of muscle weakness, trauma, or another problem. If this happens, the kneecap doesn’t glide smoothly over the thighbone when the knee bends and straightens. The kneecap gets injured and this causes the pain of PFP syndrome.
Going Up The Stairs With Sharp Kneecap Pain
What can you do, then? A physical therapist, after a proper diagnosis, will guide you with exercises.
Its very easy for a doctor or physical therapist to quickly diagnose chondromalacia patella based on a clinical exam.
A physical therapist will likely have you doing leg extensions, with the goal of eventually using a weight machine.
Leg extension. George Stepanek/CC
Leg extensions strengthen the structures surrounding the kneecap, including the quadriceps muscles, which attach to the kneecap via tendons.
As these muscles become very strong and durable, you will notice perhaps a complete disappearance of your sharp knee pain.
With an overall fitness regimen and a healthy body weight, you can once again be walking, even running, up flights of stairs without any discomfort.
But you must be consistent with the strengthening exercises. Stopping them is bound to cause a return of the pain.
And remaining at a healthy body weight is also crucial. The knee is the most unstable joint in the body. Excess weight, over time, can only harm this joint.
Dr. Berginis a general orthopedist, surgically and conservatively treating all manner of bone and joint conditions. She enjoys educating patients so they can emerge stronger than they were before their orthopedic injury or surgery.
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Will Chondromalacia Heal On Its Own
Damagecaused by chondromalacia can often heal, unlike the damagecaused by arthritis. Since rest and physical therapy can eliminate the symptoms, conservative treatment is usually recommended first. The inflammation caused by chondromalacia needs to be controlled. This can be done by using a corticosteroid, such as prednisone, which is used to treat arthritis. Chondrocytes are a type of cell that make collagen.
Collagen is a protein found in the connective tissue of bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. It is important for the body to maintain a healthy balance between collagen production and degradation. If the balance is disturbed, it can lead to a variety of problems, including osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis , and other degenerative diseases.
Knee Osteoarthritis Limiting Stairs
Knee arthritis is one of the most common causes of knee pain with stairs, especially in older adults. This occurs when damage to the smooth cartilage that covers the ends of bones in your knees. The knee becomes stiff and painful over time and can problems with sending and especially descending stairs.
It can be challenging to move around, as knee osteoarthritis causes swelling in the joint, making moving your knee more challenging than usual.
You might also experience pain when going up and down stairs due to this condition because there may be less cartilage for shock absorption and less tolerance for pressure.
This is compounded further in almost all cases by any weakness that might be present from years of favoring the knee due to progressing deterioration of the joint.
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Does Climbing Stairs Make Knee Pain Worse
However, as runners, athletes, and hikers exert additional strain on their knees, the pain rises. These motions put the kneecap in a downward spiral. When the kneecap is under pressure, the kneecap cannot stay in the groove of the knee.
Christine suffers from severe knee pain when she is forced to climb and descend stairs, especially when she is running. Christines knee joint muscles are likely to be weak and others are tight as a result of the weakness. Christine may also be at fault for the improper movement habits that she practices while working out at the gym. You must be strong and flexible in your thigh muscles, as well as in your hamstrings, calf, and hip muscles. You should be doing this so that your knee tracts do not become inflamed and that you do not develop osteoarthritis. If you continue to have this problem, you may develop chondromalacia patellae, which is a painful knee condition. When the kneecap falls up and down over the femoral bone, this is referred to as chondromalacia patella.
Does Climbing Stairs Cause Knee Problems
Climbing stairs does not cause knee problems. In fact, stair climbing is often recommended as a low-impact exercise for people with knee pain.
The soft cartilage that covers the kneecap softens and wears away as a result of chondromalacia. As a result, you may experience knee pain while climbing stairs. Walking may alleviate pain because the knees are not required to move as much. A variety of factors, such as overuse, injuries, and misalignments, contribute to the common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome. When the knee is misaligned, some people may experience pain. It is more likely to occur if you have arthritis or chronic pain. It can be worsened by activities such as climbing stairs, squatting, jumping, cycling, running, sitting with the knees bent for an extended period of time, or simply doing the same thing over and over.
Stair climbing is a great way to improve your balance and strength in your legs, glutes, and thighs. Your knees will be better able to withstand future stress if you work all of these muscles. Stair climbing can help you prevent future knee problems by increasing your thigh, knee, and glutes strength. The more you walk up and down stairs, the more calories you burn, and the more muscle groups you will be able to build to help prevent knee problems in the future.
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