Knee Clicking Up Stairs

Discomfort during regular use of stairs is often the first symptom you may notice if you have a knee issue. Many underlying causes are harmless and can be ignored, however, the greater effort of stair use can quickly highlight more severe underlying ailments. Not all symptoms are created equal a knee clicking up stairs can point to several different causes some of notable concern and others being completely harmless. These very different causes are detailed below.

 

Ailments Knee Clicking Up Stairs May Point To

There are several different conditions that can cause joint noises such as knee clicking up stairs. The most common ones include the following examples.

Mild/Non Harmful Causes

It is important to understand that just because your knee is making clicking noises when you climb up stairs that doesn’t necessarily mean there is a serious underlying medical issue. The important thing to keep in mind is, “Are there any additional symptoms ?”. If your knee is clicking but there is no associated pain, swelling, or movement related difficulties then the cause may be of a nonharmful variety.

  • Anatomy of knee muscles in watercolor and pencil. Hand drawn.

    Ligaments Tightening: some pops and clicks are caused by ligaments loosening as you move and they are stretched out. If your ligaments become tightened noise can be produced when you move. In many cases, tight ligaments are not a risk for any type of injury and may only necessitate mild stretching.

  • Synovial Fluid: your knee joint is not composed entirely of solid materials such as bone or ligaments. Synovial fluid is a white viscous liquid that serves as your joints’ natural lubricant. As you move gas can escape the fluid causing clicking noises. This is completely harmless.
  • Cartilage Rubbing: as you age cartilage can grow unevenly in the knee joint. This causes no pain but due to the cartilage being uneven when your knee is bent it can create clicking or cracking noises.

Causes Of Medical Concern

In other situations, knee clicking can be caused by much more severe knee related ailments. These conditions are accompanied by several other more painful symptoms.

  • Osteoarthritis: this condition is caused by the general degeneration of your joints with age and the gradual breakdown of cartilage in the knee. Osteoarthritis can cause knee clicking, swelling, pain, and make stair use very difficult. It is not a condition that can be fully treated but home care can reduce the impact of its symptoms.
  • A Torn Meniscus: the meniscus refers to the cartilage discs in your knee joint. Tares to the meniscus are common in athletic activities or in situations where the knee is bent at odd angles. Common symptoms include joint noises, the knee feeling weak, swelling, pain, and a reduced range of motion. Depending on the severity of the tear it can heal on its own but surgery may be required.
  • Runner’s Knee: caused by the kneecap being out of alignment. Runner’s knee is often accompanied by clicking noises, mild pain, and swelling although in mild cases clicking may be the only symptom. It is a condition that is caused by strenuous physical activity, bad posture, and deformities in the knee itself. It is a common injury and can be relatively mild overall with at home treatment adding in a faster recovery.

Possible Treatments For Knee Related Medical Ailments

Depending on the cause of knee clicking up stairs several different treatment methods can be employed to treat the underlying issue. As noted above not all causes are medical in nature, however, for clicking caused by medical problems the following treatments can help.

  • At Home Treatment Methods: PRICE standing for protect, rest, ice, compress and elevate. PRICE is a common treatment plan for knee ailments that is easy to perform at home. For mild knee injuries PRICE helps reduce swelling, reduces inflammation, and can assist in the healing process. Over the counter, anti-inflammation medication can also assist in pain relief.
  • Physical Therapy: in cases where a longer recovery time is involved (such as ligament tears) physical therapy can assist in the strengthening and recovery process. In addition to carefully designed exercises, massages, stretching, knee braces, and bands can also be used to assist in the healing process.
  • Workouts: in many cases, knee clicking can be caused due to a lack of joint and associated weak muscles. Regular workouts can stretch out the joint, strengthen muscles, and improve overall physical health.
  • Surgery: in rare cases, corrective surgery may be required. Note that this is often only for the most severe of knee injuries and only in cases where the knee will not (or cannot) heal on its own through other less invasive treatment methods.

 

Difficulty Climbing Stairs Causes

Common daily aches and pains can be a sign of greater underlying issues or the early stages of a medical ailment. If you have experienced pain while climbing stairs this could be a sign of a joint related health issue or a symptom of an internal condition affecting one of the body’s various systems such as cardiovascular or nervous. Difficulty climbing stairs causes can vary greatly and have several different root causes.

What follows are the most common difficulty climbing stairs causes, how to best approach each condition, and common methods of treatment.

Anatomy of knee muscles.

The Most Common Difficulty Climbing Stairs Causes

Knee Related Issues

In many cases, if you’re having difficulty climbing stairs various knee ailments could be the cause. However, despite similar symptoms (knee pain), the causes can be very different.

  • Osteoarthritis: is a common cause of pain when using stairs. Osteoarthritis tends to occur if you are over the age of 50, it is a degenerative ailment caused by your joints wearing down as you age. Osteoarthritis reduces the cartilage in the knee which leads to bone spurs. Symptoms can include knee stiffness, pain, a reduced range of motion, and swelling. There is no treatment for osteoarthritis, however, there are ways to reduce its impact. Common treatment methods include over the counter pain medication, exercise, knee braces, ice packs, heating pads, stair rails, injections, and increasing your overall daily movement.
  • Tendon Damage: the term tendon damage covers various injuries. In particular damage to the patellar tendon is felt when using stairs. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and inflammation. It’s a common issue with athletics and those in very active professions as overuse of the quad muscles can strain the ligament or cause small tears. Treatment can include rest, icing the knee, compression wraps, and elevating the knee as it heals. Commonly referred to as RICE this type of home treatment can greatly aid in recovery from common knee injuries.
  • Runner’s Knee: the most common of all knee-related injuries is runner’s knee. Despite the name, it does not just effect runners as it can also affect nonathletes as all of its causes are not related to physical activity. While related to the patellar tendon runner’s knee and its related symptoms are focused around the kneecap itself. Causes can include tight muscles, bad foot position or posture, weak muscles, or atomy issues with the knee itself such as its shape. Symptoms include stiffness, general pain, and notable issues when walking down stairs. Treatments include the above-noted RICE method, strengthening exercises, knee braces, increased stretching, orthotics, pain medication, and in severe cases surgical repair.

Other Difficulty Climbing Stairs Causes

While knee issues are among the most common causes of difficulty when climbing stairs, not all issues are related to joint health. There are ailments that affect the cardiovascular and nervous systems that can cause difficulty when climbing stairs. Often pain or difficulties when using the stairs may be an early sign of one of the bellow ailments.

  • Blood Clotting: blood clots are an ailment that can affect the lower legs. When these clots accumulate symptoms can include warmness to the touch, leg pain, swelling, discoloration, and the legs feeling heavy. The most common cause of blood clots is poor circulation and the most common treatment method is a perception of blood thinners.
  • Herniated Disk: a herniated disk can affect the legs and is found in young or middle-aged people more often as elderly people tend not to have this condition. Symptoms can include weak muscles, reduced reflexes, leg and back pain, tingling, and numbness. These symptoms affect the back and travel down to the legs often only affecting one side. Treatments include pain medication, ice, steroid injections, massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, and more rarely surgery.
  • PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease): is a circulatory problem where your limbs do not receive enough blood flow due to narrowed arteries. PAD is commonly caused by plaque build up in the arteries restricting blood flow. Symptoms can include cramping in the calves, thighs, and hips after climbing stairs, numbness, weakness in the limbs, discoloration, sores that don’t heal properly, and slower toenail growth. Treatment methods include lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, medication, and surgery to treat the underlying causes.
  • Femoral Nerve Compression: the femoral nerve is found in the upper thigh and transmits movement signals and sensations to major muscle groups in the leg. Damage to the femoral nerve such as inflammation, pressure, or injury can cause weak legs, groin pains, leg pains, and greatly limit the ability to use stairs. Causes aside from outside injury can include diabetes, tumors, pelvic features, and internal bleeding. Due to having so many different root causes treatment greatly depends on what caused the condition in the first place, however, treatment methods include therapy, medication, or surgery.
  • Weak Leg Muscles: lastly, when considering difficulty climbing stairs causes your ailment may not be medical at all. A lack of physical activity, a sedentary lifestyle, or a career seated at a desk can mean your leg muscles are simply not receiving sufficient use. Regular workouts a few times a week can strengthen leg muscles and reduce movement related difficulties. Be sure to consult your doctor or a health professional for the safest and most effective workout for your health-related needs.

Final Considerations

As the above information shows, difficulty climbing stairs causes cover an assortment of different ailments and injuries. Some of the causes are as simple as sports injuries and may only require rest and recovery. While others such as blood clots can lead to far more damaging health concerns if left untreated. The important thing to understand is that problems walking up stairs merely point to an underlying cause that can greatly vary in its impact on your overall health.

If you notice such difficulties schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine what is causing your symptoms. Once you are fully aware of what the underlying ailment is your physician can then advise the next course action and the best approach to your treatment.

 

Knee Pain Climbing Stairs

Knee Pain Climbing Stairs is a very common ailment. If you have ever had knee pain climbing stairs there could be several different reasons why. Despite being a common daily activity climbing stairs puts a surprising amount of pressure on your knee. If you experience pain when climbing stairs this is often a sign of an underlying knee issue you may not have been aware of. Here are the most common knee ailments that cause knee pain climbing stairs and various ways to approach treatment.

Knee Pain Climbing Stairs Common Causes And Treatment Methods

  • Runner’s Knee: or Patellofemoral Syndrome is one of the most common knee ailments. As the name suggests it does affect runners but they are far from the only people who can have this condition. Runner’s knee tends to be a condition that builds up over time with pain becoming more noticeable. Causes can include tight muscles pulling at the kneecap, weak muscles putting more stress on the knee joint, knee bones not lining up correctly, and posture related causes such as foot position and the angle of your thigh bone. Symptoms include inconsistent pain, grinding noises, swelling, pain when using stairs, stiffness after sitting or laying down, and notable pain when performing strenuous activities. Treatment can include PRICE (an acronym standing for protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation), knee braces, stretching, strengthening exercises, moving around more, not overexerting yourself, over the counter pain medication, and very rarely surgery. Runner’s knee, in general, does not point to structural damage to the knee and is more caused by irritation and joint overuse. With that said healing can take from as short as a few weeks to as long as six months depending on cause and severity.
  • Chondromalacia Patella: is related to runner’s knee but constitutes its own condition despite being similar. The key difference is Chondromalacia Patella is accompanied by a weakening or damaging of the knee cartilage. It is commonly found in younger people who are athletically inclined with women tending to suffer from it more often. Causes include a badly aligned kneecap, flat-footedness, imbalanced muscles chiefly in the leg area, and physical overexertion. Symptoms mirror runner’s knee with swelling, mild pain, grinding noise, stiffness, and pain when using stairs. Treatment options include PRICE (see above), strengthening exercises, knee braces or supports, pacing of physical activities, anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, and very rarely surgery. In general with rest and exercise recovery can be made in a few months.
  • Pes Anserine Bursitis: is not technically the knee itself but does cause pain in the general area of the knee. Located just a few inches below the knee joint Pes Anserine Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa sac and tends to affect women more than men. Causes can include poor workout techniques such as not properly warming up, repeated stress to the knee, being overweight, injury, and tight muscles (typically hamstrings). Symptoms can include swelling, pain, tenderness to the touch, a reduced range of motion, and difficulty sleeping. Treatment methods include anti-inflammatory medication, rest, strengthening exercise (with proper stretching), and use of ice. More severe symptoms may require physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, and rarely surgical removal of the bursa sac if symptoms do not improve.
  • Arthritis: joint pain when climbing stairs is one of the most common symptoms of arthritis. In general the majority of arthritis is defined as osteoarthritis. The causes of osteoarthritis is a lifetime of wear and tear on your joints. As you age the cartilage in your knee breaks down, knee bones thicken, and bone spurs occur as knee bones grow. As a condition osteoarthritis generally affects those over the age of 50. Common symptoms include pain, a reduced range of motion, knee stiffness, and swelling. As a condition osteoarthritis is a permanent degenerative joint condition and cannot be fully recovered from. However, proper treatment methods can reduce the severity of osteoarthritis symptoms and their impact on your overall quality of life. By increasing exercise, making use of heat and ice, wearing a knee brace when symptoms flare up, improving your diet, and making use of pain medication you can limit the impact of osteoarthritis. In the case of stairs leading with your stronger leg and adding a handrail can greatly reduce the pain stair use can cause.
  • Osgood-Schlatter Disease: is a disease that commonly causes knee pain in young people between the ages of 9 and 16. It is an inflammation of where the knee meets the patella tendon. Affecting one in five adolescents it is more common in boys and tends to affect those more include to athletic or physical activity. OSD is caused by ‘growth spurts’ wherein the bones of the leg increases in length far faster than muscle growth can keep up. This results in very tight muscles which pull at the knee tendons. Symptoms include tenderness, inconsistent pain, pain when performing physical activities, and a bony lump just below the knee. Treatment options include common treatment methods such as braces and support devices, anti-inflammatory medication, PRICE, and rest. However, OSD is a condition that can flare up even after a recovery in which case treatment should be undertaken again. Luckily, OSD is an ailment that most surfers grow out of by the age of 16 but some adults have reported continuing issues.

Conclusion

Knee pain climbing stairs does not indicate a specific knee ailment or the severity of any underlying issue. Indeed you can have the exact same knee ailment as someone else and make use of completely different treatment methods. Your health, age, existing medical, concerns, the type and severity of your knee injury all affect treatment. With so many factors that have to be considered always consult a medical professional before starting any at home treatment regiments. Proper examination assures you are aware of the type and scope of any knee issues you may have. A doctor can also specify treatment methods that work best for your unique life situation and current health needs.

Knee Pain Relief

If you have problems with your knees, you have a lot of good company. Millions of people suffer from knee pain on an occasional or chronic basis. Knee pain can be due to multiple causes, but each one has a different course of treatment that may work best to provide knee pain relief.

Athletic Injury

Whether you’re an active athlete or a weekend warrior, knee injuries are common in sports. In fact, knee injuries make up 55 percent of all sports injuries, making this a very frequent problem. Knee injury can affect any of the parts of the knee joint, such as the ligaments, tendons or bursae. Other parts of the knee that can be affected include the meniscus, cartilage or bones. Contrary to what you might believe, you don’t have to play a high-impact sport like football or hockey to injure your knees. Dancing can cause knee injuries, as can running. Knee injuries associated with running are so common that there is even a specific type of injury called “runner’s knee,” also called patellofemoral pain syndrome, which causes weakness or softening of the cartilage underneath the knee cap.

In the immediate period after a knee injury caused by sports, it’s important to treat the injury. Rest, ice, compression and elevation – the four components more commonly known by the RICE acronym – are key to relieving swelling and pain from minor knee pain caused by sprains and muscle soreness. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can also reduce swelling and alleviate discomfort. Follow up with a doctor if you think x-rays or stabilizing the knee will be needed. Knee injuries that include tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial cruciate ligament (MCL) or the meniscus often require surgical repair. If you hear a popping sound or feel a sudden sharp pain, seek further medical attention to get knee pain relief.

Overuse Injuries

Any repetitive motion is hard on the joints. When knee pain is caused by overuse, it causes soreness, pain and swelling. You may be more prone to knee injuries caused by overuse if your job requires you to make the same knee motions on a frequent basis. Exercises that require kicking the knees can also cause this type of pain. Fortunately, unlike knee pain due to acute injury or chronic conditions like arthritis, overuse injuries are likely to get better with supportive, low-technology home treatments such as ice and rest.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a common cause of joint pain and swelling that is most often thought to affect only older people. One of the most frequent causes of arthritis is simply wear and tear on the joints over a long period of time. However, arthritis can have causes unrelated to age or use, such as certain types of disease. Once the inflammation of arthritis sets in, it usually becomes a chronic condition that will remain an issue. Finding appropriate knee pain relief for arthritis can be challenging because it is ongoing and tends to get worse over time.

Arthritis suffers are most likely to find knee pain relief by using multiple forms of treatment. Exercise, specifically exercises prescribed as part of physical or occupational therapy, are designed to strengthen the knee by improving muscle weakness while also reducing further injury. Although people with arthritis may be dealing with knee pain or former injuries and may fear that exercise will cause further pain, carefully chosen exercises can actually prevent pain.

Medications are another form of knee pain relief for people with arthritis. For osteoarthritis, the most common type that is caused by normal wear and tear on weight-bearing joints, acetaminophen is prescribed as a first line of medication. For the arthritis types associated with diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, non-steroidal inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen may be prescribed first; if these are not effective enough in providing adequate knee pain relief, doctors may prescribe other drugs to reduce inflammation and to modify the immune system response that leads to the pain.

Knee pain can be frustrating and demoralizing. In the most severe cases, it can even be completely debilitating. However, you do not have to live with the same level of pain forever. Contact a supportive physician and consider seeing a physical therapist to help you to strengthen your knees and reduce the amount of pain you feel.

 

Knee Hurts Going Down Stairs

Knee ailments are one of the most common joint ailments and have a multitude of causes. Most people encounter a knee injury of some type at some point in their life. A problem can occur in figuring out what type of knee of injury you may have and how to treat it. Knee injuries have common symptoms and there is some overlap. In fact, when your knee hurts going down stairs it can be a sign of several different possible ailments. Here are four of the most common, their causes, symptoms, and possible methods of treatment.

1. Possible Condition: Osteoarthritis

  • Causes And Symptoms: osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis caused by the degeneration of cartilage and the bones of the knee itself. It is common if you’re over the age of 50 and is caused by the wearing down of joints over your lifetime. In addition to knees hurting when going down stairs, other symptoms include swelling, stiffness, pain, reduction in movement, and grinding noises.
  • Treatment: currently there is no exact treatment for arthritis however, there are ways to reduce symptoms. Common treatment methods include heating or ice, working out, knee braces, weight loss, medication, and always leading with your stronger leg when walking down stairs.

2. Possible Condition: Chondromalacia Patella

  • Causes And Symptoms: the cause of Chondromalacia Patella is damage to the cartridge of the knee specifically in the back of the joint. Symptoms include pain, swelling around the kneecap and joint noises such as grinding or clicks. It is commonly found in young patients and can be caused by flat feet, extensive use of the leg, a muscular imbalance, of the kneecap itself not sitting right.
  • Treatment: common treatment methods you may use include increased stretching, exercises, knee braces (strap types), shoe inserts, ice, standard pain medications, and in extreme situations surgery is an option. It is important to note that unlike arthritis you can recover from Chondromalacia Patella however, this is a long recovery time and can take several months.

3. Possible Condition: Pes Anserine Bursitis

  • Causes And Symptoms: this condition is named after the part of your body it affects the pes anserine bursa. The pes anserine bursa is a small sack filled with fluid that reduces the friction between your knees bones and tendons. This inflation is visible on the inner side of your knee a few inches below the knee joint. This condition causes your knee to hurt when going down stairs (going up stairs is noted to hurt more) and makes sleeping on your side quite painful. Common suffers of this condition include swimmers, runners, and people who are overweight with women being more common.
  • Treatment: methods of treatment are common for joint issues and include increased stretching, ice, resting the joint, exercises, and physical therapy if needed. More extreme symptoms may require medical injections from your doctor or in rare cases corrective surgery.

4. Possible Condition: Runners Knee

  • Causes And Symptoms: lastly, is runner’s knee the most common cause of your knee hurting going down stairs. It is also one of the most common knee issues with sports clinics reporting it as accounting for 25% of all knee ailments they encounter. This condition occurs due to the kneecap putting too much strain on the knee’s cartilage due to tight muscles, weak muscles, flat-footedness, and other physical causes. Symptoms include grinding noises, mild pain, and low amounts of swelling.
  • Treatment: methods of treatment are easy and can be done at home. Your options include ice, stretching, strengthening exercises, over the counter pain medication, braces, rest, orthotics, and simply moving around more. In rare cases, surgery may be required but this is far from common.

Final Thoughts

There are many different ailments that can cause knee hurts going down stairs. Before deciding on any type of treatment or pain coping strategy always consult your doctor. This is important because you need to know what the root cause of your knee pain is before beginning treatment. Also, always listen to proper medical advice on what treatment methods to undertake. While not all knee ailments are treatable even in the case of arthritis steps can be taken to reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Knee Pain Walking Down Stairs

 

Whether you live in a two-story building or not, walking down stairs can often be unavoidable on a daily basis. If you experience knee pain going down a flight of stairs or even just a few steps, it’s often because of your kneecap (patella). Your knee cap is a small bone, but it’s placed under undue pressure daily, which makes it hard for it to move around. Walking down stairs puts even extra strain on your patellofemoral joint, which is the underside of your kneecap. To protect your kneecaps, each one is surrounded with the thickest layer of cartilage in your entire body.

When you are walking down stairs, your kneecap feels extra pressure and stress since it feels up to 4x your body weight. That means that a 150 pound person feels almost 600 pounds in their kneecap when they are going down a flight of steps. If anything interferes with how your kneecap moves or how your cartilage is surrounded around it, you’ll feel knee pain going down stairs.

Causes of Knee Pain Walking Down Stairs

These are some of the most common reasons of knee pain going down stairs:

Runner’s Knee

While Runner’s Knee accounts for 25% of knee injuries by athletes, it also affects non-runners and sedentary people. It remains the number one cause of knee pain going down stairs.

  • Definition: It’s a problem in the way your knee cap (patella) moves, which puts extra pressure on the cartilage.
  • Causes: muscle weakness, muscle tightness, flat feet, and problematic shape of your kneecap or groove.
  • Symptoms: achiness at the sides and underneath the knee, grinding/grating sounds of the knee, mild swelling
  • Aggravated by: walking down stairs, kneeling/squatting, repeated activities, extended periods of inactivity.
  • Treatment Options: The main goal is to reduce pain and swelling by using one of these methods.
  • Rest your knee until pain reduces. Use ice or cold packs for 10 minutes to reduce swelling and reapply after two hours.
  • If you experience knee pain after inactivity, aim to walk around a bit once every 30 minutes. This keeps your knee joint lubricated and makes it easier to walk downstairs without pain.
  • Wear a brace to support your knee and keep the patella in place.

Chondromalacia Patella

This condition often gets mixed up with Runner’s Knee, but it affects the back of your knee instead. It also tends to affect teens and young adults more often, especially females. Chondromalacia Patella happens when your kneecap rubs against a bone versus merely touching it.

  • Definition: It’s damage to the cartilage at the back of your kneecap.
  • Causes: Muscle imbalance, flat feet, overuse of that leg and knee, and poor alignment so the kneecap sits either too high or too low.
  • Symptoms: achiness and front knee pain, grinding/grating noises, minor swelling and tenderness, knee pain going down stairs.
  • Aggravated by: going down stairs, getting up from a seated position, playing sports
  • Treatment options: In order to properly treat this, it’s imperative to know what’s causing it. The first part of treatment often involves studying your leg muscles. It’s is also important to realize recovery takes a few months.
  • PRICE-Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. This is the first step in reducing pain and inflammation to begin your recovery process.
  • Try some kneecap exercises, as well as general strengthening exercises. This will help with the muscle imbalance and improve your kneecap.
  • Take some NSAID’s to help with the pain.
  • Re-think your work-out routine. Avoid running for awhile and try something easier like swimming.

General Treatment Ideas

  • Buy different footwear. Wearing the correct footwear will help in absorbing some of the shock and protect your kneecap. If the arches of your feet roll inward, you’re likely to have a flattened arch, which puts even more pressure on your knee. Consider getting some personalized orthotics.
  • Lose some weight. This is the perfect time to lose a few pounds. For every pound of your body weight, your knees feel an extra four pounds on your knees when going down a flight of steps. Even if you lost five pounds, your knees would feel 20 pounds less pressure, which could be a lot less pain.
  • Perform some flexibility exercises. If your knee, calf, hamstring, or ITB muscles are tight, it will cause pain in your kneecaps. Performing some exercises to strengthen your quadriceps, your glutes, and your ankles reduces the pressure put on your knees.

For more information about knee pain walking down stairs, please see some of our related sections: //www.kneepain.com/knee-pain-going-down-stairs-but-not-upstairs/

Knee Pain Going Down Stairs

One of the most common forms of knee pain is knee pain when going down stairs.

Going down the stairs produces a lot of stress on sensitive joints and ligaments around the knee, so it’s possible to experience pain in this situation even if you have no other knee discomfort. In fact, going down stairs is a significantly more burdensome activity than climbing up them.

Many different conditions can produce knee pain going down stairs. An accurate diagnosis is key, but your own observations about your condition will help your doctor get it right.

Some of the conditions that might cause this pain include:

1. Runner’s Knee

This common condition is often experienced by people who run or jog frequently, hence the name. It is usually caused by muscle weakness or tightness in the muscles around the patella or kneecap – a small, freestanding bone. It’s characterized by kneecap pain and mild swelling.

Runner’s knee treatment includes home care such as stretches and exercises that strengthen the glutes and quads. Cryotherapy is generally helpful for reducing the inflammation and pain of runner’s knee. When anatomical issues contribute, special insoles may help prevent attacks.

2. Chondromalacia Patella

This condition is caused by damage to the cartilage lining the kneecap. Sufferers experience an aching pain in the kneecap along with mild swelling. In addition to knee pain going down stairs, the condition may be aggravated when standing up from a seated position.

The condition is most likely among younger people who engage in regular exercise. Women are more often affected than men. Kneecap stretches and exercises are common self-care. Rest, icing, and elevation help, as will non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen.

3. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can affect joints throughout the body. The knees are some of the most frequently affected areas of the body. Sufferers are likely to notice stiffness in the morning, reduced range of motion, and pain in the affected joints.

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common age-related afflictions. Over time, degradation of the cartilage can result in bone spurs and make the bones themselves more prone to breakage. No treatment can completely resolve the issue, but symptoms can be reduced and quality of life preserved.

Various forms of medication can be prescribed to control symptoms and slow the progress of the condition. Hydrotherapy, stretching, and physical therapy targeting damaged knee joints can also provide relief and preserve range of motion into later life.

4. Pes Anserine Bursitis

The pes anserine bursa is a small, fluid-filled sac that serves to reduce the friction between tendons and bone around the knee. Because the pain is centered in an area about 2-3 inches below the joint, on the knee’s inner side, it is often easy for sufferers to recognize.

Runners and swimmers are at enhanced risk of pes anserine bursitis. Women who are overweight are somewhat more likely than overweight men to encounter the issue. Your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid injection that reduces pain and makes other treatments more effective.

If you suffer from frequent knee pain going down stairs, it is important to seek treatment as soon as you can. Knee pain going down stairs can be a sign of a serious condition, including degenerative issues that require long-term care.

When evaluating knee pain, a doctor may take a wide range of diagnostic images. These may include a traditional x-ray, CT scan, or ultrasound. The ultrasound, which uses sound waves to develop an image of the body, is especially helpful because it can pinpoint problems in soft tissue.

Blood tests may also be necessary if arthritis and certain unusual infections are suspected.

Pain Behind Knee

Nackter Mann geht von vorne nach hinten auf weiß isoliertThe knee is one of the most complex structures in the human body, so it’s no surprise that things sometimes go wrong with it. If you’ve been experiencing pain behind the knee, there are a variety of possible causes. Here is some basic information you can use when you speak to your doctor. Since knee pain can sometimes be a sign of a serious condition, it’s important that you get it checked out by a skilled medical professional.

 

Baker’s Cyst

Your knee normally produces a natural lubricating fluid that helps the joint move smoothly; it stores this fluid in sacs at the back of your knee. Sometimes, however, the knee produces too much fluid. When this happens, the fluid can collect and cause the sac to expand. This creates a lump behind the knee called a baker’s cyst (also known as a popliteal cyst). A baker’s cyst causes pain and a sense of tightening, and it usually gets worse when you fully extend your leg. The pain will also tend to worsen over time as more fluid builds up. Usually, a baker’s cyst forms in response to some form of trauma, such as a blow to the back of the knee, but it can also be a result of certain knee conditions, such as arthritis.

Baker’s Cyst Treatment

Though unusual, it’s possible that a more serious condition is at the root of a bulge on the back of your knee, so it’s important that you get a potential baker’s cyst checked out as soon as possible. Baker’s cyst treatment usually consists of treating the cause. If you’ve experienced an injury, you may need to ice the area, rest, and sometimes wear a brace to help stabilize the area and force the fluid out of the sac it is trapped in. If your baker’s cyst is a result of arthritis, your doctor will treat you for it, often using simple over-the-counter medications, but sometimes with stronger medications, such as prescription anti-inflammatory medications. Be sure to contact your doctor if your condition fails to improve or gets worse.

Osteoarthritis

Another common cause of pain behind the knee is osteoarthritis. Normal wear and tear, usually the kind associated with aging, often causes the natural cushioning in joints (including the knee joint) to break down. When that happens, bones begin to rub together. Though osteoarthritis usually affects the front of the knee, pain can also occur at the back. Other common sites for osteoarthritis pain include your finger joints, wrists, and elbows. If you are also having pain in these areas, especially if you are over 45, osteoarthritis may well be the culprit.

 

Osteoartrosi, artrosi, malattia ginocchio, ossa

Osteoarthritis Treatment

Though there is currently no cure for osteoarthritis, staying active, maintaining a healthy weight, and occasional use of over-the-counter pain medications can often manage the condition effectively. If osteoarthritis pain is bad enough to impact your ability to function, talk to your doctor. She can recommend other possible treatments, such as corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. It can also help to try herbal supplements such as glucosamine, which help to cushion the joints when used consistently. You should also talk to your doctor before trying glucosamine, as it can interact with some medications.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is another possible cause of pain behind the knee. Though its symptoms are similar to those of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is actually quite different. Rheumatoid arthritis (sometimes called R.A.) is an autoimmune condition that causes your body’s own immune system to attack your joints. Symptoms include warm, tender joints, morning stiffness that may last for a few hours, fatigue, fever, and unintentional weight loss. You may also feel small, hard bumps under your skin. Rheumatoid arthritis can present at any age, though it is most common in people over 40 years of age. If you have symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (which can mimic the symptoms of many other diseases), your doctor may suggest seeing an immunologist to confirm your diagnosis.

Arthritis of the human knee joint

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis is treatable, though there is currently no cure. Since rheumatoid arthritis can damage your joints if left untreated, most doctors recommend trying one of a class of drugs designed to help slow the damage and modify your body’s immune responses. These drugs can increase your risk for infection, so you’ll need to make sure to take them exactly as prescribed, notify your doctor of any illness, and limit your exposure to infectious agents. Over the counter and prescription pain medications can help manage pain, as can corticosteroids, which reduce overall inflammation.

Final Thoughts for Pain Behind Kee

With all types of knee pain, it’s best to see your doctor ASAP, since early detection is crucial to treatment for a variety of knee conditions. Taking your doctor’s advice and taking care of yourself can help keep your knees healthy for years to come.

 

Knee Pain After Running

The term runner’s knee, or patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), is a common condition occurring in people who experience knee pain after running. Although not typically debilitating, this condition can cause significant pain in the knee joint which worsens over time if corrective measures are not taken. In the majority of cases, when pain is addressed quickly, simple treatments and/or alterations encourage marked improvements while allowing you to continue with or return to the sport of running without an extensive delay.

Runner’s Knee Has Specific Characteristics

PFPS is characterized by a specific type of knee pain which originates below the kneecap itself, often on the upper end where the thigh muscles and the kneecap meet. Pain is typically felt when the knee is in a bent position, whether while running, walking, bending, or even sitting. Inflammation is also typically present. When symptoms first begin, you may only notice knee pain after running, but continuing with the same workout routine without making adjustments will likely lead to a steady increase in the frequency of symptoms, until eventually, you experience pain even in sedentary situations.

Numerous Factors Are Responsible for PFPS

Knee pain after running is attributed to a number of causative factors, including:

  • Misalignment of the kneecap, or patella, which forces your knee to bear weight unevenly.
  • Weak thigh muscles, which may be the underlying factor behind a misaligned patella. The vastus lateralis, or most lateral quadricep muscle, is often stronger than the other three quad muscles, and can pull the patella laterally as it overpowers the weaker muscles.
  • Fallen arches or overpronation, known as flat feet. Under the impact of running, the arches of the feet can collapse, causing extreme impact on the knee joint due to excessive stretching of the muscles and tendons.
  • Overuse of the knees, as repetitive bending can irritate the nerve endings behind the kneecap.

Human knee quadracept

Those who choose to have a professional diagnosis for their knee pain after running will typically undergo a physical exam as well as x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc. However, research has shown no obvious structural damage is typically present with PFPS; rather, the condition is described as a chronic stimulation of the nerve endings in the knee joint, resulting in pain and inflammation.

Allow Your Knee to Heal to Avoid Further Damage

Although consulting with your doctor is always wise with any injury, in the case of PFPS, treatment can often be carried out at home with no medical intervention. First and foremost, any activity which you know causes knee pain should be ceased to avoid further irritation or damage to the knee itself. If your PFPS has become so severe that you are unable to run at all without experiencing knee pain after running, than a complete break from running will be in order to allow your knee to properly heal.

Many runners, however, are able to run for a certain amount of time or for a certain distance without experiencing any knee pain after running. If, for example, pain begins after 30 minutes of running, you may be able to safely run for 20 minutes during a session. Some runners may be able to run every other day, but not on consecutive days. The general idea is to run as much as your body allows, but not push beyond what is comfortable, to keep your knees accustomed to running while still allowing natural healing to occur. After a few weeks, try increasing the amount of time you spend running to see if your pain limits have improved.

Simple Treatment Measures Provide Pain Relief

In addition to adjusting your running schedule, any or all of the following are likely to provide relief from the symptoms of PFPS:

  • Resting your knee throughout the day; elevate your knee while sitting or lying down to reduce inflammation.
  • Applying ice packs to your knee for 20-30 minutes, 3 or 4 times each day, until pain subsides.
  • Providing extra knee support with an elastic bandage or strap, especially while running.
  • Stretching and strengthening your thigh muscles to encourage proper alignment and tracking of your kneecap.
  • Wearing comfortable running shoes with arch supports to help reduce pain resulting from flat feet.
  • Avoiding running on concrete or on uneven ground.
  • Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help reduce inflammation.

Although knee pain after running is likely to worsen if ignored, only extreme cases require medical intervention such as surgery to fully heal. The key with PFPS is to listen to your body and never push yourself beyond a comfortable amount of running. Remember, your knee cannot heal when you are experiencing pain. Try cross training activities such as bicycling or swimming to stay fit while in recovery, or just to mix up your fitness routine to lessen the stress on those knee joints.

 

Knee Injuries

The knee is one of the largest and most complex joints in your body. It’s comprised of bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons.

  • Two major bones meet to form the joint: the femur (thighbone) and tibia (shinbone). The fibula is located alongside the tibia on the back of the knee, and a fourth small bone, the patella or kneecap, rests on the front to help protect the joint.
  • In between the femur and tibia are two wedge-shaped sections of tough, rubbery cartilage, the menisci, which act as shock absorbers.
  • Four rope-like ligaments hold the bones together and stabilize the knee.
  • Tendons connect the upper and lower leg muscles to the bones to facilitate joint movement.

Human knee joint anatomy

In addition to bending, your knee is designed move side to side, push, twist and withstand significant pressure. Its complexity and location leave the joint vulnerable to injuries, which can happen if a knee receives a direct blow, is twisted beyond its tolerance, gets landed on in a fall, or is simply overused.

Here are some of the most common types of knee injuries, along with their symptoms and usual treatments.

Ligament Injuries

The tough, thick ligaments that stabilize the knee are the medial collateral ligament (MCL) along the outside, the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) along the inside, and two cruciate ligaments that form an “x” in the center of the joint. In the wrong circumstances, these ligaments can become sprained by being stretched, partially ruptured or completely torn.

— A blow to either side of the knee while your leg is stretched out can injure the MCL or LCL. Symptoms can include pain on the affected side of the knee, joint instability and difficulty walking. Often, little swelling occurs when these ligaments are injured.

knee ligament

  • Rest, compression, icing and elevation are often the recommended treatments for these knee injuries, along with immobilizing and stabilizing the joint with a removable splint. Healing from minor or moderate damage may take a few weeks. The need for surgery and a prolonged long recovery time are only likely when multiple ligaments and other structures of the joint are damaged.

— Stretching or tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can happen during a fall, or by simply landing on your leg and then twisting or pivoting the knee. Injuries to the wider posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) are less common, and they’re often the result of a violent impact, such as your knee hitting the dashboard in a car accident. With both of these types of knee injuries, swelling occurs rapidly, and bending the joint is painful and very difficult.

  • Anti-inflammatory medications, icing, compression, rest and elevation are typically used as initial treatments. Depending on the severity of the injury, surgery and/or physical therapy may also be necessary. Returning to full functionality after an ACL or PCL injury can take several months.

Muscle and Tendon Injuries

The knee is extended and flexed by two main thigh muscle groups: the quadriceps on the front of the leg, and the hamstrings on the back. The strong, elastic tendons that attach the leg muscles to the bones include the quadriceps and patellar tendons on the front, and the hamstring tendon on the back. There are various types of muscle and tendon injuries that affect the knee.

— Muscle contusions and tears known as strains can be caused by overuse, sudden twisting or an impact, resulting in pain, swelling and stiffness.

  • Minor strains tend to heal quickly with rest, icing, elevation and the use of an anti-inflammatory/pain reliever.
  • More serious injuries can also require compression with a knee sleeve and physical therapy. While these strains may take longer to heal, surgery is rarely needed.

— Over-flexing or overextending the knee can result in torn or detached tendons. If a tendon tears, you’ll experience swelling and pain when you attempt to flex or extend the knee. If trauma causes a tendon to detach from the bone, you may feel a sudden, noticable “snap.” You’ll also suffer pain, and a loss of stability and normal movement in bending or straightening the leg.

  • In order for a partially torn tendon to heal, it’s typically necessary to completely immobilize the knee in a brace or cast for several weeks.
  • A completely torn tendon requires surgical reattachment, followed by a longer recovery period.
  • With both these types of knee injuries, physical therapy is often necessary to restore flexibility and strength in your knee and leg.

Cartilage Injuries

Hyper-flexing or severely twisting your knee can pinch and tear the C-shaped cartilage pads, or menisci, located between the thigh and shin bones. After a cartilage tear, you’ll have pain and swelling that develops relatively slowly over a number of hours. You may notice popping in the knee, and it can also buckle unexpectedly. If the injury isn’t treated, these symptoms can continue intermittently, usually when you’re climbing stairs or walking uphill.

Meniscal Tear

  • Once a cartilage tear is diagnosed, physical therapy is often recommended to strengthen the muscles and stabilize the joint. If the symptoms don’t subside, surgery may be necessary to repair the torn cartilage.

Overuse Injuries

Overuse that puts repeated, prolonged pressure on your knee can cause irritation of the tissues and joint structures, leading to localized pain during movement, swelling and instability. These types of knee injuries often occur during athletic training or when playing sports, or they result from activities such as running, jogging and bike riding. Age and excess weight are other contributing factors. Common overuse knee injuries include:

— Bursitis, which is painful inflammation of the fluid-filled bursa sacs around the knee that cushion and lubricate the joint.

Plica syndrome, where a thickened or folded inner knee ligament becomes irritated and inflamed.

Patellofemoral syndrome, which causes pain in the front of the knee when it’s bent.

Iliotibial band syndrome, where the fibrous band of tissue running along the outside of the thigh becomes irritated, causing pain in the outer knee.

Tendinitis, which is painful irritation or inflammation of the tendons of the knee.

  • Most often, overuse injuries are managed or resolved by resting and elevating the knee, applying ice and taking anti-inflammatory medications. Physical therapy or steroid injections are recommended with some injuries, and surgery may be necessary in certain instances.

Bone Fractures

Knee injuries that result in bone fractures are typically caused by acute trauma or a severe blow directly to the joint. Bone fractures are usually accompanied by considerable pain, moderate to severe swelling, bruising, and an inability to bend the knee or put weight on the affected leg.

— The most common type of knee fracture affects the patella, and the injury is often caused by a fall and landing on the bone.

  • A minor fracture of the kneecap may be treated by immobilizing the joint with a cast for several weeks. If the patella is dislocated, a surgical repair and follow-up physical therapy become necessary, and a longer recovery period can be expected.

— Fractures of your femur or tibia can result from impact during an auto accident, a serious blow to the joint when playing a contact sport, or a fall from an extreme height. These fractures can also occur in elderly individuals with thin bones or degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis. The fractured bone(s) may be dislocated, or even break through the skin. In many cases, these traumatic knee injuries damage nerves, blood vessels, ligaments and tendons as well.

knee fracture

  • Once the extent of the damage is determined, surgery is usual, and it may involve the placement of screws, wires, plates or rods to repair shattered bones and stabilize the knee. Physical therapy is often necessary to restore function, and depending on the severity of the injury, recovery can take weeks or months.

Runner’s Knee

Almost without exception, every athlete who regularly uses their legs to any extent will eventually be plagued with a problem in one of their joints. This goes for those of world-class caliber like Shaquille O’Neil as well as for the modest weekend runner. Foremost among these problems is the dreaded “runner’s knee” one of the most common repetitive strain injuries evident in athletes. Here’s what you need to know about this debilitating and potentially quite serious condition:

Typical Causes

Running injury, knee painOften referred to as patellofemoral pain or iliotibial band syndrome – depending on exactly where the pain is localized – runner’s knee is a broadly defined condition that can be caused by any number of strain-producing activities. Chief among these issues are:

  • Overuse – Repeated bending of the knee while running, working out or otherwise engaging in exercise will often irritate the nerves of the kneecap for no apparent reason.
  • Overstretching – While a cherished tradition of the athletic community, stretching is not always as beneficial as thought. In particular, abusing tendons – the tissues that connect the muscles to the bones – by overstretching can result in an inflammation in the knee.
  • Trauma – A severe fall or blow can damage otherwise healthy tissue leading to recurrent, idiopathic pain throughout the joint.
  • Misalignment – The luck of the genetic draw sometimes leaves an individual with one or several bones out of their optimal position. These misaligned bones cause pressure and other physical stress to be distributed unevenly throughout the knee joint. Over time, damage is caused and pain results.
  • Foot Issues – Similarly, pronation or more familiarly, “flat feet,” is another congenital condition that places undue stress on the knee joint. As the extremity impacts the ground, the “fallen arches” of the foot collapse more than is necessary thus overly stretching the muscles and the tendons in the joint.

Common Symptoms

As you can imagine, the symptoms of runner’s knee involve pain in and around the joint where the thighbone and the kneecap meet. More specifically, the patient will describe a general joint pain when simply bending the knee – whether they are simply walking, attempting to sit or kneel or are engaged in squatting and other more vigorous types of exercise.

In addition, the pain in the joint is usually more extreme when the victim is walking down a flight of stairs or even a small downhill incline. Finally, victims of runner’s knee commonly experience swelling in the affected joint – by the way, it is not at all uncommon for only one joint to be affected – as well as a popping noise or grinding sensation when the joint is in use.

Professional Diagnosis

Radiologist kneeStandard techniques for diagnosing runner’s knee include a thorough physical exam of the area including manual manipulation of the joint. As mentioned above, runner’s knee falls into two distinct categories. Patellofemoral syndrome is indicated by pain specifically in the kneecap while iliotibial band syndrome causes distress along the side of the joint. The former is more painful ascending stairs and inclines while the latter hurts far more when moving downhill.

Once the doctor appraises the general condition of the joint, he will most likely order a battery of tests to better understand the nature of the injury. These additional tests may include X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging or computerized axial tomography. These tests in addition to the the history of the patient and their activities will, in most cases, reveal the true extent of the problem.

Prescribed Treatment

There are no real surprises when it comes to the treatment of either type of runner’s knee. The primary treatments are simple and include:

  • Extended Rest – As with any repetitive stress injury, eliminating the actual stress is paramount even to the point of placing no weight on the joint. Athletes and exercise addicts may not want to face the truth but allowing the joint to heal is the best, most effective treatment. It is also recommended to keep the joint elevated when resting.
  • Apply Ice – The swelling of the knee joint, though your body’s way of trying to minimize any damage, produces it owns stresses – including pain! The judicious use of ice is one way to ameliorate this situation. An ice pack applied every four hours for 20-30 minutes is the best course of action.
  • Use Physical Compression – Similarly, elastic bandages can slow the excess flow of blood and other fluids into the affected area and help the healing process. One note of warning, these compresses can get rather comfortable but do not leave them on overnight.Knee pain
  • Consider Anti-Inflammatory Painkillers – There are several name-brand and generic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) available that will help with pain and swelling. Consult your physician for which one is best for you.

Knee Pain Going Down Stairs But Not Upstairs

If you are experience knee pain going down stairs but not upstairs, you’ve come the right place.  There is a vast amount of information about knee pain on stairs in general and on knee pain going up stairs, but a lack of information specifically tageting knee pain going down stairs.

While all of the main causes of knee pain can be applicable to situations where you have knee pain going down stairs but not upstairs, there are usually just a couple of likely causes and they are easy to remedy.

knee pain going down stairs but not upstairsBelieve it or not, going down stairs actually puts more weight or force on your knee cap than going up stairs.  It can be as much as 4x your body weight.  So, if you weigh 200 lbs, the force on your knee cap when going down stairs can be as much as 800lbs!  That’s a lot of force and that’s why your knee cap has the thickest layer of cartilage in you entire body on the back of it.

It is almost always damage to the knee cap or the cartilage on the back of it that causes knee pain when you go down stairs but not up.

The most common cause is a condition called runner’s knee.  This is caused by prolonged periods of repeated, stressful, activities – such as running, jumping or even standing and twisting on your knees.

The second most common cause of knee pain going down stairs but not upstairs is a condition called Chondromalacia Patella.  Patella means knee cap.   You can determine this is the condition that you have by moving your knee joint.  Most often, you’ll here clicking and/or grinding in the knee.  This noise / feeling combined with knee pain only when going down stairs is the combination of conditions that indicate Chondromalacia Patella.

The really good news is that no matter what the cause, the solution is the same to fix the issue. R.I.C.E. — that stands for:

1. Rest.

Because these conditions are both caused by your activities you need to take a break from those activities.

2. Ice

Applying ice to you knee reduces the swelling and stops the pattern of inflammation, pain and damage.

3. Compression

Tightly wrapping your knee can caused relief of pain and help reduce swellings.

4. Elevation

Raising your knee slightly while laying down will also help reduce inflammation, swelling and pain.

For more details visit our more detailed page on knee pain going down stairs

Knee Pain Going Down Stairs

When you experience knee pain when going down stairs, it often is a sign of an issue with your knee cap (patella) and it’s ability to move around.  Your knee cap is a relatively small bone but it is placed under extreme pressure during every day activities.  To be able to withstand these forces, the knee cap is lined with a thick layer of cartilage on the back.

knee pain going down stairsWhen you are going down stairs, the force exerted on your knee cap is often 4x as much as your body weight.  By comparison, regular walking might apply a force of half your weight.  Anything that interferes with how your knee cap moves or the cartilage lining on the back will cause pain when going down stairs.

The two most common causes of knee pain going down stairs are:

1. Runner’s Knee

A common condition that most affects individuals that partake is repeated activities that involve their knees.  While the name may suggest that it only applies to runners, any activity can cause it to occur.

If you have runner’s knee, you will experience pain when going down stairs and it usually includes swelling and tenderness on the kneecap.

Getting rid of your knee pain going down stairs is easy:

  1. Reduce or eliminate repetitious activity until healed.
  2. Apply ice.
  3. Elevate the knee when you can.
  4. Take a pain reliever such as Ibuprofen or Aleve.
  5. Optional: compression with an ACE wrap or compression sock.

2. Chondromalacia Patella

Don’t let the name scare you.  Chondromalacia Patella is simply damage to the cartilage on the back of the kneecap.  You’ll usually experience an “achy” pain on the knee cap, slight swelling of the knee cap and, it’s telltale sign – a clicking and/or grinding felling or sound when you move the joint.

You’ll notice the pain most often when standing up from sitting, during sports and, of course when going down stairs.

Chondomalacia Patella most often affects young, healthy people and is more common in women than in men.

To find out more about the causes of knee pain going down stairs please visits our related sections:

knee pain going up stairs or knee pain when climbing stairs

Knee Pain Going Up Stairs

Knee pain going up stairs is very common, and, unlike many other knee pain issues, it occurs in people of all ages.  Quite often, people who experience knee pain going up stairs are perfectly fine and mobile while walking on flat ground or standing.  Knee pain going up stairs can be caused by a large number of things and is something that should be taken care of as it can get worse depending on the root cause.

The most common causes of knee pain going up stairs are: (in order of likelihood)

1. Runner’s Knee

runner's knee

As you may have guessed from the name – this condition most commonly affects runners – but it can also affect others who perform activities over and over such and walking or kneeling down.  Simply put, any activity that involves extending your knee can cause runner’s knee.

Usually, people with runner’s knee will experience pain, mild swelling and tenderness on the kneecap – often accompanied by a deep dull aching feeling around the knee.  Sometimes popping can occur with almost no activity.  These conditions are often exacerbated by going up stairs.

If runner’s knee is the cause of your knee pain going up stairs, then you’re in luck because the treatment is simple:

  1. Reduce or eliminate repetitious activity until healed.
  2. Apply ice.
  3. Elevate the knee when you can.
  4. Take a pain reliever such as Ibuprofen or Aleve.
  5. Optional: compression with an ACE wrap or compression sock.

2. Knee Arthritis

knee-arthritisArthritis is one of the most common human ailments and can take many forms.  The most common forms are osteoarthritis and autoimmune arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is when tissues break down and cartilage wears thin – causing inflammation.  This inflammation increases the pain you feel even more.  Over time, bone spurs can develop.

Autoimmune arthritis occurs when the body “attacks” itself and causes damage to joints and their supporting tissues.  The joint, in turn, becomes inflamed and pain and swelling occur.

Home treatment for Knee Arthritis usually involves using pain relievers such as ibuprofen or Tylenol, combined with rest, ice and elevating the knee.  Physical activity should be reduced as much as possible.  Autoimmune arthritis requires consultation with a doctor.

3. Patellar Tendinitis

patellar tendinitisDo you run and/or jump alot?  Then you may have Patellar Tendinitis.  This condition gets it’s name from the affected tendon – the Patellar tendon.  The Patellar tendon is the one that connects your kneecap to your shin bone.  Almost any activity that involves extending your knee repeatedly can cause this condition.  Pain usually starts during activities such as sports and then progresses to every day activities such as going up stairs.

Similar to the other members of our top 3 causes, treatment for Patellar Tendinitis is simple.  Reduce activities, apply ice, get rest and elevate the knee.

We hope that you’ve found the cause of your knee pain going up stairs.  For a more exhaustive list, visit our Knee Pain When Climbing Stairs page.

Knee Pain Symptoms

There are many, many different types and locations of knee pain and a variety of causes. Quite often, there will be accompanying symptoms that are helpful to identify in order to determine the proper course of action in resolving the pain. Use our handy knee pain symptoms list below to help you out:

knee pain symptoms

  • Check if you knee is swollen or larger than normal. If you can’t immediately tell, sometimes it’s helpful to push lightly on your injured knee with your finger and then push in the same spot on your healthy knee and feel for differences. If the injured knee is much softer, it is likely that you have swelling and should consider applying ice and/or using an anti-inflamatory like ibuprofen.
  • You may also be experiencing stifness of your knee. If you have swelling, applying ice and/or taking ibuprofen may be helpful. If the injury is from activity, rest will be helpful
  • If you are experiencing weakness or instability on your knee, rest is the best answer. However, if you can’t bear any weight on the knee, unfortunately it’s time to go see your doctor as the injury may be serious (like a fracture or toren ligament)
  • Crunching or poping noises coming from your knee can be difficult to diagnose. Some people, especially when going through growth spurts in their teens, experience this as part of growing. However, if you are having knee pain that accompanies the crunching or poping, you should probably get checked out by a doctor
  • If you are unable to straigten your knee or are experiencing “locking” of the knee, you need to go see a doctor. There is no home soluation that is going to remedy this.
  • If you have a fever in addition to any of the above symptoms, you should go see your doctor immediately as the knee pain may be a symptom of something more serious.

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.

View the top 3 causes of Knee Pain Going Up Stairs

Patellar Tendinitis

Patellar tendinitis can cause knee pain when climbing stairs. Patellar tendinitis is a painful condition and can be debilitating. The patellar tendon connects the patella ( knee cap ) with the larger bone of the shin ( tibia ).

A significant amount of stress is placed on the patellar tendon during activities that require repetitive sprinting and jumping movements. Typically, patellar tendinitis is associated with overuse. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain where the patellar tendon joins the kneecap
  • Knee stiffness
  • Knee pain/stiffness when squatting or climbing/descending stairs
  • Cracking sounds in the knee when the knee is bent ( crepitus )

Bursitis

Knee bursitis can cause knee pain when climbing stairs. Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa ( i.e. fluid-filled sac near the knee joint ). A bursa lies between muscles or tendons and bone and aids in reducing friction during movement. Each knee has 11 bursae. Although any of these bursae may become irritated/inflamed, the bursa that lies over the knee cap and the bursa on the inner side of the knee, but below the knee joint, are the most frequently affected.

The following are known causes of knee bursitis:

  • Kneeling for prolonged periods
  • Knee trauma
  • Bacterial infection of the bursae

Common signs and symptoms associated with knee bursitis include an area of the knee that’s warm to the touch or swollen, pain and tenderness when pressure is applied to the affected area and anterior knee pain when stair climbing.

Chondromalacia Patellae

Chondromalacia patellae can cause anterior knee pain when ascending stairs. Chondromalacia patellae is the weakening and degeneration of cartilage on the underside of the kneecap. Often times, the kneecap is not tracking properly when the knee is bent, so the knee cap wears done much like a car engine would if the gears were unaligned. In older individuals, chondromalacia patellae may be caused by osteoarthritis (OA) of the kneecap.

Common signs and symptoms associated with chondromalacia patellae include:

  • Knee pain made worse with stair climbing
  • Knee tenderness and a grinding sensation when the knee is extended or straightened

Behind the Knee Pain

Behind the Knee Pain? It might be Chondromalacia.

Chondromalacia patellae is the condition that describes the softening and fraying of the underside of the kneecap. The undersurface of the kneecap ( patella ), is covered by a smooth layer of cartilage. This cartilage normally glides easily across the knee when the joint moves. In fact, the undersurface of a healthy kneecap is generally several times more slippery than ice! In some people, the kneecap can rub against one side of the knee joint, which overtime causes wear and tear and leads to irritation. Left untreated, the cartilage will fray, which increases the friction between the undersurface of the kneecap and the knee.

Many people with chrondromalacia can describe the feeling when they bend the knee as a crunching/crackling sensation ( think snap, crackle, pop ). In some cases, you can actually hear a crackling sound when the person bends his or her knee. Often, there is little pain associated with this. The pain is actually caused by the inflammation and irritation caused by these small pieces of cartilage breaking off settling within the knee. This is often the reason why some patients don’t tend to have too much pain while undertaking a particular activity, but really feel the pain a day or two later.

If you have chrondomalacia, the recommended treatment is to rest the knee until the pain goes away. Pain is your enemy. Remember, if you are experiencing pain, that means that tiny pieces of you kneecap have broken off and you’ve done some damage. The next step is to figure out why your knee has been damaged. As said above, the cause is generally the kneecap not tracking properly. The reason for this varies, but common reasons include imbalanced leg muscles ( e.g. the outside muscle of your thigh pulls harder than it should, yanking the kneecap off track ). This is where a good physical therapist can really come in handy!

Knee Pain Causes

Even though the knee is a fairly small part of the body, it’s frequent use and central, load-bearing position means it is one of the most common sources of pain in the human body. There are many causes of pain, but we’ve listed some of the more common ones below.

 

Knee Pain Cause #1: Arthritis

Arthritis is one of the most common cause of pain in the knee. There are six different types of arthritis that tend to cause knee pain. They are:

  • knee pain causesGout
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Post-traumatic Arthritis
  • Pseudogout
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Septic Arthritis

 

Knee Pain Cause #2: Injury

A common cause of knee pain is injury due to heavy use or mis-use. Physical activities such as sports and work can often cause an injury, either through over-use or through twisting or applying weight on the knee at an unsual ankle. Being overweight also places an unnatural amount of strain on the knee and makes you far more suseptible to knee injuries as a result of physical activity.

Knee Pain Cause #3: Osgood-Schlatter Disease

This disease typically affects the severly overweight and abese teenage boys who are also active. This condition is caused by the tendons that are attached to the shin bone pulling away from the bone during certain movements.

Knee Pain Cause #3: Bursitis

Bursas are fluid-filled structures in your knee that provide cushioning in the joint. Activities such that apply pressure on these structures, such as kneeling on the floor, can sometimes cause a bursa to become irritated causing burstis

Knee Pain Cause #4: Tendinitis

Tendons are wirey tissues that hold muscles to bones. If they become inflamed or torn, it is a condition called tendinitis.

Ligament Injuries

Ligament are a type of tissue that holds the knee together. Humans have ligaments that connect the bones in the knee along the inside and outside edges and two that criss-cross within the knee. These ligaments can quite easily become over-stretched or torn during physical activites. Depending on which ligament gets injured, it can cause varying degress of knee pain and your knee could become shakey.

Knee Pain Cause #5: Dislocation

If your knee cap becomes dislocated, it can cause knee pain. Instead of your knee cap resting in its normal location at the bottom of yur thigh bone, it can slide to side, most often towards the outside of your leg. This type of dislocation most often happens when someone has all of their body weight on their knee and they twist or change irection quickly. Knee injuries are very common and can be quite painful.