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Knee Pain When Walking Downstairs

Causes And Risk Factors

How to Walk Downstairs Properly | Knee and Hip Pain Going Downstairs

Chondromalacia patella occurs when there is:

  • Abnormal kneecap positioning
  • Muscle weakness or tightness around the knee
  • Too much movement that involves the knee

Individuals who are at risk of getting chondromalacia patella include people who:

  • Had an injury, dislocation, or fracture that is related to the kneecap
  • Exercise often such as bicyclists and runners

How To Stop Knee Pain When Walking Down Stairs

Welcome to the latest episode of HT Physio Quick Tips!

In this episode, Farnhams leading over-50s physiotherapist, Will Harlow, gives you an exercise you can use that may reduce pain at the front of the knee when walking down stairs!

To get a copy of Wills new book, Thriving Beyond Fifty, you can visit here: Get Your Copy HERE!

If youre over-50 with a painful problem in the Farnham, Surrey area, you can learn more about how Will Harlow and HT Physio can help you overcome a painful problem here: Request Information About Cost & Availability

**Any information in this video should not be used as a substitute for individual medical advice. Please seek advice from your local healthcare professional before taking action on the information in this video.**

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Going Up And Down Stairs May Be Painful If Youre Living With Arthritis In Your Knees But These Strategies Can Help

If you live in a multi-story home or walk-up apartment, you know just how painstaking it can be to walk up and down stairs if you have arthritis in your knees. It may have gotten to the point of your avoiding the stairs altogether or dreaming of moving to a one-story home.

Walking up and down steps causes pain in tender knee joints because of how your weight shifts between your legs as you climb.

Climbing stairs causes more force to go through the leg than walking does, says occupational therapist , an Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. That can irritate already inflamed joints.

Knee pain with stair climbing is so common that it can be one of the first clues that someone actually has osteoarthritis in the knee. In a 2014 study published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research, researchers reviewed the pain ratings of nearly 5,000 participants with or at high risk of osteoarthritis when walking, using stairs, in bed, sitting or lying down, and standing up.

The activity that caused them to cross the threshold from no pain to some pain most often was going up and down stairs.

Knee pain is most likely to first appear during weight-bearing activities that involve bending of the knee, such as climbing stairs.

However, there are a few important ways you can make using stairs a little easier on your joints without forever swearing off stairs. Follow these strategies to make navigating stairs easier and less painful.

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How Is Chondromalacia Patella Diagnosed

A doctor will perform a physical examination of the knee to determine the cause of pain. If the diagnosis is not clear or symptoms do not improve a doctor may order one of the following:

  • Blood tests and/or a standard knee X-ray – This may help to rule out some types of arthritis or inflammation.
  • MRI scan- A tests that shows details of the knee joint and can reveal many cases of chondromalacia patella.
  • Arthroscopy – A tiny, flexible camera is inserted into the knee to see exactly what the cartilage looks like.

Medication And A Knee Brace

Knee Pain Walking Down Stairs After Running  Sharon Karam

A health care provider may prescribe medication to help control the pain and advise you to wear a knee brace. Some common options include over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, as well as prescription-strength medication.

In some cases, corticosteroid injections may also be recommended.

The knee brace can help to ease this pain by providing support and stability to the joint. It can also help to protect the knee from further injury. There are a variety of different types of knee braces available, so it is important to choose one that is right for you.

If you have any doubts, its always best to consult with a doctor or therapist.

If the knee pain is already too much, surgery may be necessary to repair damaged ligaments or cartilage. This is generally the last resort because it always has potential risks associated with each procedure.

Also Check: What To Do If Your Knee Hurts While Running

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

    Knee Pain When Climbing Stairs

    Many conditions can cause knee pain when stair climbing. Pain in the front of the knee/knee cap is a common complaint from knee pain suffers when they climb or descend a set of stairs. Stair climbing places additional stress on injured knee tissues such as tendons and cartilage.

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    Pain Walking Down Stairs After Knee Replacement

    You will most likely go up/down stairs one foot at a time for several weeks following TKR. As a result, the words Up with the good leg, Down with the bad will be followed. As you grow stronger, I encourage you to climb stairs alternating one foot per step while this may cause you some difficulty, holding onto the handrail will alleviate some of that issue.

    When climbing stairs, there is usually knee pain, and it is one of the most common complaints. Walking up and down stairs can put a lot of strain on the knees, especially if you intend to go down. If you are experiencing knee pain while climbing or descending stairs, the cartilage in your knees may have been damaged. Despite the fact that there is no cure for knee osteoarthritis, there are non-invasive treatments available. Jumpers or runners knee pain is known by this name because it causes pain in the patellofemoral joint. Running and biking are two common causes of IT Band Syndrome, which causes bending knees. When you go up or down stairs, you may experience knee pain that interferes with your ability to do so.

    There are non-invasive treatments that are expected to reduce inflammation and pain. If you maintain a healthy weight, your knees will benefit from less strain, which will also result in less pain. It is also critical to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy diet.

    Exercises To Strengthen Knees To Walk Down Stairs

    STOP Knee Pain When Walking Down Stairs with ONE Simple Trick!

    There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment you get when you walk down a set of stairs without holding onto the railing. It may seem such a small feat to some, but for those who have had trouble with this activity in the past, it’s a major victory. If your knees are weak and you’re hesitant to take on the challenge of descending stairs, don’t worry there are exercises that can help strengthen them. In fact, there are three simple exercises that you can do right at home to make taking on stairs easier than ever. Keep reading to learn more!

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    Runners Knee Or Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

    Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as Runners knee or jumpers knee is a condition where the affected person feels anterior knee pain. This occurs when irregular movement takes place in the knee cap or patella, thus leading to damage in the soft tissues around the knee joint.

    Chondromalacia patella can cause patellofemoral pain and some symptoms include clicking or grinding in the knee while moving the joint or pain and swelling in the knee cap. Even anatomical abnormalities, muscle weakness, or flat feet, could be causing your knees to hurt while going downstairs.

    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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    Go Up With Your Stronger Leg And Down With The Other

    When climbing stairs, lead with your stronger leg . So, When you come back down the stairs, lead with the other foot. But When you walk upstairs, you have to shift your entire body weight against gravity, so you want to have your strongest leg ready to carry all the weight. And When walking downstairs, you want to lead with the weaker leg because you have the advantage of gravity.

    How To Deal With Knee Pain

    Why Do I Get Knee Pain Going Down Stairs?

    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

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    How Do I Know If My Knees Are Strong Enough To Go Down Stairs

    If you are unsure about your knee strength, it’s always best to speak with your doctor or physical therapist. They will be able to give you specific exercises to help strengthen your knee muscles and joints. Once you have completed these exercises, you should be able to go downstairs without any pain or discomfort.

    Put Your Entire Foot On The Step Of The Stairs

    Narrow steps can be especially tricky if you have arthritis because they dont allow your full foot onto each step. Its important to put your foot fully on each step as you climb up stairs, so you can push off the step using your heel rather than the ball of your foot.

    If you push up from your heel, that will shift the work from the front of your knees and quads which may cause pain to your glutes, which are stronger muscles, says Dr. Minhas.

    Its also important to wear supportive shoes when you climb up and down stairs. If the arches of your feet collapse flat when you stand, it pushes your knees inward, which can cause pain and stress in your knees.

    Having your knees go inward is one of the worst things you can do when going up stairs, so look for shoes that have good arch support and that you can walk around at home in, says Dr. Minhas. That will counteract the natural tendency for the arch to collapse.

    Consider getting a new pair of indoor shoes just for wearing at home. This will reduce foot pain that comes from spending too much time barefoot. Foot pain can exacerbate knee pain.

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    Best Tips To Avoid Knee Pain When Going Down Stairs

    There’s nothing quite like the feeling of relief when you finally reach the bottom of a flight of stairs, especially if you’ve been struggling with knee pain. Unfortunately, for many people, this simple task can be very difficult and painful. If you’re dealing with knee pain, here are 7 tips to help make going downstairs a little bit easier.

    Why Does My Knee Hurt When I Walk Downstairs

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    We tend not to think too much about walking downstairs when we can do it painlessly. When every step is a sore one, it becomes a far more complex task. Dave Duffy explains why.

    Mechanically speaking, walking downstairs is really a matter of the load youre putting through your knee and your ability to control it. In particular, pain when youre bending your knee, as you do when walking downstairs, is often a problem with the patellofemoral joint the point at which the back of your kneecap and thighbone meet the front of your knee.

    Its easiest to explain what happens when youre walking downstairs or downhill by first considering whats going on when youre simply sitting or standing.

    Standing: When youre standing straight, your kneecap isnt fully engaged with the knee joint. It sits slight proud, or proximal, of the joint. As a result, the load is low.

    Sitting: Sit down, and your kneecap shifts. Now it engages with the knee joint, sitting in a groove at the front of the knee. Even though youre sitting down, load is now passing through the kneecap. Some people will say their knees hurt when theyve been driving for a while or when theyve been sat on a plane or at the cinema. Its all a result of the increased load passing through the patellofemoral joint.

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    Got Knee Pain Going Down Stairs Telehealth Can Help

    A common complaint about knee pain is aching when climbing up and down stairs. While running or walking stairs is a great form of cardiovascular exercise, it does put strain on the knees. If you experience knee pain going up or down stairs, it may be time to consult with a physical therapist.

    Moment Arm Going Down Stairs

    Now lets take a look at the moment arm length when going down stairs. In this instance I am stepping down from the step to the floor.

    As I start to step down my bodyweight presses down through the front of my back foot. Once again, the ground reaction force works upward from the point of contact .

    We work out the external knee flexion moment arm length out in the same way as the two previous examples. The green arrow points from the centre of the knee back to where it meets the ground reaction force line.

    Straight away you should be able to see that the moment arm in green is much longer than in the previous two examples. Remember a longer moment arm is like a longer lever, it places more force through the knee.

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    Why Does My Knee Hurt Going Down Steps

    If your knees are sore on steps or you find yourself going down sideways to make it easier, this article is for you.

    Whether you have stairs in the home or not, climbing steps in everyday situations is unavoidable.

    Whether its a set of steps or stepping down from a curb, this everyday task can be challenging. Surprisingly, some individuals can climb steps pain-free, but the going down hurts.

    Why? Compared to going up a step, going down actually places greater strain on the knee. This is especially true at the undersurface of your kneecap, known as your patellofemoral joint. Walking down steps puts 346% of your body weight into the kneecap, while going up a step puts 316%.

    To put this into perspective, a person weighing 185 pounds is placing nearly 650 pounds of force through the kneecap while going down a step. Unfortunately, the strain to the knee gets worse when other areas of the body, mainly the ankle and hips, are either weak or tight.

    The range of motion required for stairs is much greater than other daily tasks like walking. Loss of motion due to tightness or previous injury can cause your body to compensate and increase the strain on the knee

    Lack of strength in the hips, knee, and ankle can also cause the knee to compensate while on stairs. Research suggests knee pain during stair negotiation is consistent with altered activity and weakness of an hip muscles.

  • Patellofemoral Pain

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