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Sharp Knee Pain Going Down Stairs

Is The Sound That My Knee Makes Bad

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

As we reviewed in a popular post about the sounds that our knees make, we discussed that the majority of these sounds are not mechanical or dangerous! That means that you are probably not bone on bone or grinding away the insides of your knee when you bend it. Yes, these sounds can be annoying or even embarrassing, but they are rarely dangerous. The most common cause of this grinding sensation or sound is actually due to inflammation of the tissues inside the knee. You do not need cortisone or lubricating injections to treat these sounds or sensations.

When To See Your Doctor About Knee Pain Going Down Stairs

If you have a sudden injury, from slipping or falling, and have continued moderate or severe knee pain, then its a good idea to see your doctor to determine if there is an injury to structures inside the knee.

You should also see your doctor if there is:

  • Significant swelling, redness or warmth to the knee
  • Inability to fully straighten or bend the knee
  • Swelling or bruising into the calf
  • Weakness or numbness into the leg or foot
  • Pain that is not getting better with rest, ice and elevation
  • Other concerns that the knee is not getting better .

Remember to be consistent with doing the exercises and youll soon find that you soon wont have knee pain going down stairs anymore!

What Causes Knee Pain Going Down Stairs

Typically, if youre walking down the stairs, or downhill, the front thigh muscle is contracting as you step down. As the quadriceps muscle contracts it increases tension on the the quadricep and patellar tendons that contain the kneecap and attach to the shin bone . If youre pain is in the front of the knee below the knee cap, then your pain is most likely coming from the patellar tendon or its attachment to the tibia. If your pain is right above the patella, then the pain is usually from the quadriceps tendon. If your knee pain going down stairs feels like its inside the knee you may be dealing with either arthritis in the knee or a meniscus issue in the knee joint. Finally, pain in the back of the knee going down stairs may be due to either hamstrings or calf muscle issues or a bulge in the back of the knee called a Bakers cyst.

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General Coping Methods That Could Help When Knee Hurts Going Down Stairs

Though serious conditions causing knee pain require medical attention, some conditions can be treated by following some general coping methods or techniques. Read below.

  • Activate The Gluteus Muscles: You can activate your gluteus muscles by pushing off from the outer heel.
  • Use The Whole Foot: Use the whole foot while walking or climbing the stairs, since stepping on the toes can cause pain in the knees.
  • Take Appropriate Rest: You need to rest whenever you feel you are overstressing your knee. Rest can help a lot.
  • Physical Therapy: Some conditions causing knee pain can be improved with physical therapy. So, talk to a certified physical therapist and know the best suitable therapeutic exercises for your knees.

Do Simple Exercises To Strengthen Your Legs

Causes of Sharp Pain in the Kneecap when Climbing Stairs » Scary Symptoms

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.

Read Also: What Causes Stiff Knees After Sitting

Why Does My Knee Hurt Going Down Steps

by Taylor Prynn | Dec 11, 2014 | Foot & Ankle, Knee, Strength Exercises

Help a Friend:

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.

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Symptoms Of Chondromalacia Include:

    • Dull, aching pain that is felt in or around, on the side, behind or below the kneecap, especially on climbing stairs, during intense activity, or staying in one position for a length of time

    A feeling of grinding is felt when the cartilage is worn down, or the kneecap isnt sliding in its groove. This is typically felt when the knee is flexed during exercise or during heavy use of the legs. This can happen while:

    • Doing knee bends
    • Going up or down stairs
    • Walking down hill
    • straightening the knee while it is bearing weight

    Many times, if you stop doing the activities in mention, the pain may go away.

    Although the pain may go away for some with walking, its only because the knees do not have to move as much. Because as soon as you squat, kneel, or sit with your knees bent greater than 90 degrees it may instantly cause your pain to return with this condition.

    This is why the knees often hurt when a person is going up or down the stairs. This deeper movement means that the kneecap is forced to slide up and down over the femur more than usual and if your cartilage is beginning to wear out, watch out!

    Add in excessive utilization of the knees with running, jumping, high-intensity workout routines or any activity that needs heavy use of the knees, its no wonder we are seeing more clients needing total knee replacements in their mid-forties to early fifties. This is why its not uncommon inactive people, fitness enthusiasts and occurs in people of any age.

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    Does A Knee Fracture Also Cause Sharp Stabbing Pain

    A Knee fracture also known as the patellar fracture is a serious injury, which can impact your ability to bend or straighten your knee. Knee fractures are mostly caused by a powerful impact. Such as any accident or injury. In rare cases, the knee can be fractured due to a sudden contraction of a quadricep where the muscles can pull from the patella. However, symptoms include Immediate swelling and bruising in the knee or sharp stabbing pain in the knee that comes and goes.

    However, Fractures and tears of the ligaments and cartilage of the knee often require surgical intervention but often have great success.

    You Might: Have Stiff Ankles Or Tight Calves

    Knee Pain Going Down Stairs? | How To Fix Knee Pain Going Down Stairs

    Walking down stairs is like doing a mini single-leg squat over and over again. But in order to do those squats effectively, you need plenty of ankle mobility.

    “If your ankles are really stiff or your calves are tight, you might have to move in a different way to get around that stiffness,” Canham says.

    Usually, this means shifting your weight too far forward, which adds loads of stress to the knee joint. Again, you’ll likely feel pain in the front of your knee or behind the knee cap.

    Fix It

    Just as with squats, you want to keep your heels down when you descend the stairs. âSometimes Iâll have my patients try to go down the stairs or squat with their ankles fixed,â Canham says. âThey notice that it certainly changes their mechanics!â

    The next time you walk down stairs, try to keep your heels down. If your calves and ankles are too tight to manage, Canham suggests rolling out your calf muscles daily to loosen them up. This should help increase flexibility in your ankles and ease the strain on your knees.

    To roll out your calves:

  • Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
  • Place a water bottle, foam roller or tennis ball under one calf. Roll until you find a tender spot and stop there. Cross the other leg over the top and let it rest on your bottom leg to help pin it in place.
  • Roll your bottom ankle in circles 10 times in each direction to knead the tender spot.
  • Find a new tender spot and repeat. You can also try pointing and flexing your bottom foot.
  • Recommended Reading: Why Does The Bone Under My Knee Hurt

    Stay In The Groove To Avoid Knee Pain When Climbing The Stairs

    Similar to other activities, proper form is necessary when climbing stairs, especially if your knees are tender. But, as we were learning to climb stairs as children, our parents were more focused on preventing falls than teaching us the proper stair-climbing technique.

    If climbing stairs causes pain, assess your posture and the alignment of your feet and legs. Here are three tips to remember.

  • Align your knee over your second toe.
  • Dont lead with your foot, lead with your body. Bend your torso forward to redistribute the force of your weight from the knee to the hamstrings at the back of the thigh.
  • Place the heel of your foot on the step before you step up.
  • Repeat the steps for each stair you climb.

    If your knee pain increases or lasts for more than two weeks, its time to contact your orthopedic specialist. Continuing to walk on a sore knee can cause significant internal damage to the tendons and ligaments inside your knee.

    Sharp Knee Pain Symptoms

    The knee is the largest and most stressed joint in the human body. It is used in every movement walking, jumping, running, even standing and as a result, the knee is extremely vulnerable to injury. Most people, regardless of age, experience knee pain at some point in their lives. Older individuals may experience knee pain and discomfort due to multiple age-related conditions, and younger individuals may experience similar symptoms due to sports or other physical activities. However, sharp knee pain symptoms are often a sign of serious knee injury, and you should see a physician immediately.

    Read Also: Does Meniscus Surgery Lead To Knee Replacement

    How Else To Beat Knee Pain On Stairs

    Here I have shared with you my top tips and tricks for getting up and down stairs with knee pain, tried and tested over 10 years as a physiotherapist. I hope that you find them useful.

    But remember, it is really important to know what is causing your knee to hurt on stairs in the first place. Knee pain treatment will be slightly different depending on what is wrong you may have a cartilage tear, arthritis, an inflamed bursa or something else entirely causing your knee pain on stairs. There are a number of different knee problems that can cause knee pain going up and down stairs. LEARN MORE >

    So get checked out, follow the advice given here, do your exercises and take back control so you can beat knee pain on stairs.

    How To Handle Stairs When You Have Arthritic Knees

    Knee Pain Going Down Stairs?

    Knee arthritis can make it painful to go up and down stairs. We have some suggestions to help you take the stairs with less pain.

    Most teens and young adults dont think twice about dashing up and down steps. As we age, however, our knee joints feel less invincible and more vulnerable and stairs may no longer be an effortless prospect. Climbing and descending stairs is particularly difficult for people with knee arthritis.

    Arthritis causes degeneration of the cartilage that cushions the knee joint. Without protective cushioning, the act of climbing stairs becomes uncomfortable. Even when people have mild arthritis, it can be discouragingly painful to navigate stairs.

    Most people with knee problems find descending stairs far more painful than climbing them. This is because going down the stairs puts significant force on the knee and the patello-femoral joint located beneath the kneecap. This force is intensified for people who have weak quadriceps or thigh muscles, because theres no muscle to absorb the force of each step. The entire impact falls on the knee joint.

    If you suffer from arthritis or other joint problems that make stairs a challenge, there are some steps you can take to improve your mobility on the stairs and decrease your pain.

    • Avoid prolonged sitting. When you spend hours at your chair in front of a computer, your knees can become stiff. This makes it even more difficult to tackle the stairs.

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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 43:21642173 3. 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.

    How Does Knee Support Help

    The goal of Knee Support for patients is to provide support for the knee. Also, to decrease the pain, and improve function. However, Braces may allow people to feel more comfortable. Also, braces provide stability and manage the pain and associated swelling by supporting the soft tissues around the knee.

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    Go Up With Your Stronger Leg And Down With The Other

    When youre climbing up stairs, lead with your stronger leg . As you go back down the stairs, lead with your other leg.

    When youre going up the stairs, you have to shift your entire body weight against gravity, so you want to have the strongest leg ready to transfer all that weight onto, says Dorsey. When youre going down the stairs, you want to lead with your weaker leg because you have the advantage of gravity.

    Knee Function And Anatomy

    Quick Fix To Knee Pain Going Down Stairs- Physio Advice

    The knee is a complex system of bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and muscles responsible for weight-bearing and movement. See this image for a visual representation of these many components and how they connect. Any situation or condition that causes stress, inflammation or injury to any of these components can result in sharp knee pain.

    • Bones: The bones of the knee include the femur , patella , and tibia . The knee joint works to keep these bones securely in place.
    • Cartilage: The two types of cartilage in the knee are the minuscular cartilage and the articular cartilage. The cartilage act as cushions around the bones of the knee that reduce friction during movement, and help the bones move smoothly against each other. There is a medial meniscus on the inner side of the knee and a lateral meniscus on the outer side of the knee.
    • Ligaments: The knee has four ligaments that connect bones to other bones and promote stability: medial collateral, lateral collateral, posterior cruciate, and anterior cruciate ligaments. These ligaments prevent the side-to-side movement of the femur as well as excessive backward and forward movement of the femur and tibia.
    • Tendons: The tendons are similar to the ligaments and connect bone to muscle. The patellar tendon is the largest and attaches to the quadriceps.
    • Joint capsule and bursa: The joint capsule and bursa are fluid-filled membranes that lubricate the joint and reduce friction.

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