Are you suffering from knee pain when you walk up or down the stairs? If yes, you might be looking for the reasons behind the knee pain and how you can prevent knee pain while climbing the stairs. If this is the case with you, then you are landed on the right page ! In this article, we will discuss the reasons behind knee pain when climbing stairs and the correct way to climb stairs if you are indeed having knee pain.
When you walk up or downstairs, your knee moves repeatedly. These repeated movements can lead to knee problems over time. In some cases, people may start to feel pain in their knees when climbing up the stairs. There could be several reasons behind this pain but two of the most commonest reasons are mentioned below.
Muscle imbalances are one of the commonest reasons behind knee pain when you climb up stairs. There could be numerous reasons behind knee pain during this activity and one of them is the effect of muscle imbalances on your kneecap. Your kneecap slides along with the V-shaped groove at the end of the thigh bone. If there is muscle weakness in your thigh or calves, it can pull your kneecap out of its position. As a result, it will rub against the bones when you bend the knee while climbing up the stairs. As a result of rubbing, pain signals are sent to your brain and you feel pain in your knee.
If your knee muscles are imbalanced, then it can lead to several other symptoms aside from pain. Some people might face difficulty in bending the knee even in normal conditions whilst some other people may face difficulty in walking or climbing stairs.
Another issue that causes knee pain when climbing up the stairs is known as knee osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis usually occurs as a result of regular wear and tear. When you perform the same movements repeatedly, your cartilage and joints begin to wear out. If you do repetitive knee movements, then you may develop this type of arthritis in your knees. As a result, it can cause difficulty and pain when doing activities like climbing up the stairs.
The problems associated with stair-climbing and other knee related activities are often linked to worn-out or damaged cartilage beneath the knee cap. This situation is known as chondromalacia or chondromalacia patellae. There is a pad of cartilage on the underside of the kneecap. The function of this cartilage is to help reduce the friction when you bend your knee. As this cartilage is worn-out by frequent use over the years, you can suffer from osteoarthritis that leads to knee pain. People who have osteoarthritis are also at greater risk of developing muscle imbalances. It is because osteoarthritis can prevent some people from doing physical activities and their muscles become weaker, more assymetrical and therefore vulnerable.
Knee cartilage can be damaged due to several reasons. Most people are surprised to know that their cartilage is damaged because they have never faced any ‘significant’ knee injury. They need to understand that cartilage damage can also occur due to many other reasons. Some of the main reasons behind cartilage damage are discussed below.
When you run, jump, or partake in other activities that require heavy usage of knees, there is a chance of cartilage damage due to the knee’s excessive use. It can occur in people of all ages but is more common in young athletes.
If your knee cap is not in its place, the cartilage won’t be able to protect it from rubbing with bones. This can result in the sensation of pain. It happens to many people due to overuse of the knee but some people are born with a mal-aligned knee cap. They are then more prone to developing knee cap chondromalacia.
If your thighs’ muscles are not too strong, they won’t be able to support the knee and it can slip out of the alignment. If you have even a slight mal-alignment, it will gradually wear down your cartilage and will cause pain over time.
If you’re involved in a sudden accident, fall, or blow to your knee, your knee cap can fall out of alignment and this can damage the cartilage.
All these things can result in knee pain and can cause difficulties for you in climbing stairs or doing simple movements.
Just like other activities, maintaining a proper form when climbing up the stairs is necessary. More so if you are having knee problems, if you feel pain when climbing stairs, you can follow three simple tips to avoid this pain.
These steps should be repeated for each stair that you climb up. If you still feel knee pain and this lasts for more than 2 weeks, it is advisable to consult an orthopedic surgeon. If you continue the movements with your sore-knee, this can lead to progressive damage to the tendons and ligaments.