Why do I have knee pain when walking up stairs?

Why Do I Have Knee Pain When Walking Up Stairs?

There are many reasons why you may be experiencing knee pain. When surgery is not required to repair the damage, physical therapy can help relieve the pain. It is also an important part of the healing process following surgery to help rebuild muscle flexibility and strength.

If you experience knee pain when walking up stairs, on an incline, squatting or straightening the knee right after bending, you may have what is known as chondromalacia. This condition is caused by the kneecap softening or wearing away. The bones of the knee are rubbing on rough cartilage or the kneecap isn’t sliding into the right position. As parts of the knee move, cartilage is supposed to act as a cushion, protecting the bones and joints against friction. When that cartilage is worn down or damaged, the friction causes pain during certain activities. This pain can worsen when climbing stairs or participating in activities that move you from a bent to a straight knee.

How to prevent and reduce knee pain when walking up stairs

Other than avoiding the stairs, there are steps you can take to reduce or prevent knee pain. The best medicine is always prevention. Exercise, a healthy diet and listening to your body when it alerts you to pain are important in preventing injury. Avoid activities that require you to kneel unless using kneepads, and always wear shoes with supportive inserts.

Make sure your footwear is providing the support that you need. Orthotics or shoe inserts will help those with flat feet avoid knee injury. Also, pay attention to your nutrition and avoid excess weight gain, which can add additional stress to your joints. Losing weight can help relieve some of the pain, as can proper sleep habits. A healthy lifestyle goes a long way in preventing joint issues.

Various exercises and stretches will help repair the injury but should be chosen under the advice of a physical therapist to target the specific areas. Choosing activities that are low impact, such as swimming, and knowing when to rest the knee is vital for healing.

How physical therapy can help alleviate knee pain

The physical therapists at SSOR can help guide you through low-impact exercises that will increase flexibility and strengthen the muscles in the leg without adding stress on the knee. Our specialists can determine if the kneecap is out of alignment and provide specific exercises that target the weaker muscles.

Don’t put off addressing knee pain of any kind. Contact us today to learn how our experienced and certified physical therapists can help reduce your knee pain when walking up stairs and prevent further injury.