knee pain going up stairs – casues, treatment options


knee pain going up stairs – casues, treatment options

The knee is the main joint on which our whole body movement depends. When we walk, sit, and stand even moving an inch, there is a great involvement of knee joints. The problem occurs when you are in front of strains and find it difficult on going upstairs and downstairs.

Today’s knee pain is a common problem for everyone.  Most people are facing its worse form. When they are unable to climb stairs freely. 

There are different reasons behind knee pain, knee pain while upstairs and down strains, it may be due to a combination of reasons such as the lack of strength, mobility, knee flexibility, balance and control, and any swelling, irritation, damage, or inflammation.

Causes of Knee Pain When Walking Up the Stairs

To better understand the reasons behind knee pain we need to understand the whole mechanics of knee movement.

As there are Your knee joins have three major bones,  your thigh bone (femur), your shin bone (tibia), and your kneecap (patella). All three bones along with their associated ligaments and muscles must work in unison to support your weight and allow fluid leg movement.

With each bend, the patella, a free-floating bone, slides over the femur in the trochlear groove. The articular cartilage keeps your kneecap in position as it cushions and lubricates the joint, so the bones glide against one another and it clicking in the knee when going upstairs.

When a person with Damaged cartilage may not suffer pain in normal movements but it hurts when putting force on it as knee pain when climbing stairs but not walking. when running, knee bending, or upstairs and downstairs, we can categorize the main reasons for knee hurt going upstairs through the following:

1- Chondromalacia patellar

What is patella?

The patella is the kneecap bone. It lies within the quadriceps tendon. This large tendon from the powerful thigh muscles (quadriceps) wraps around the patella and inserts into the top of the lower leg bone (tibia). The quadriceps muscles straighten the leg.

The back of the patella is covered with smooth cartilage. This helps the patella to glide over the lower part of the thighbone (femur) when you straighten your leg.

Reasons for Chondromalacia patellar

Due to Injury :

Injuries, such as a direct blow to the knee or a fall, can cause chondromalacia patellae. Overuse injuries, such as from repetitive knee motions, can also lead to this condition.

Overuse of the knee: wear and tear

repetitive stress on the knee joint, which can lead to damage or softening of the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap (patella). this is because of the overuse of knees as repeated knee motion,   as the result of running, jumping, and cycling. Repeated stress becomes the reason for wear and tear on the cartilage which becomes the reason for pain while climbing stairs. It  

High activity involvement :

 a person having involvement in sports also has the chance of patella damage because of stress on the knee joint.  such as in certain sports Athletes who participate in sports that require a lot of knee movement, such as soccer, basketball, and tennis, may be more likely to develop chondromalacia patellae.

 The problem of knee alignment : 

 Some people may have a slight problem with the alignment of the knee. This may cause the patella to rub on, rather than glide over, the lower femur. It may be due to the way the knee has developed. Or, it may be due to an imbalance in the muscles around the knee.

2- Osteoarthritis ( OA)

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting thousands of people worldwide. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones wears down over time.

With OA, the cartilage within a joint begins to break down and the underlying bone begins to change. These changes usually develop slowly and get worse over time. It results in these symptoms

Stiffness: the patient feels his joints are stiff and unable to move while waking up in the morning.

Swelling: there may be swelling on the knee that appears also. And the patient is feeling pain while moving his knee.

Cracking: sometimes a person feels cracking voices from the knee while bending his knee.

Pain: due to the movement of the knee, the patient feels severe pain

Loss of flexibility: mostly patients do not feel comfortable moving their joints in any direction freely. he feels pain while trying to move his knee it’s a full range of motion.

Tenderness: Your joint might feel tender when you apply light pressure to or near it.

Certain metabolic diseases :

different diseases become the reason as the main disease is diabetes and a condition in which your body has too much iron (hemochromatosis).Genetics issue. Some people have this issue in general. as they inherit a tendency to develop osteoarthritis.

Ligament Injuries :

A ligament is a fibrous connective tissue that attaches bone to bone and usually serves to hold structures together and keep them stable. the human body has up to  1000 ligament that connects the bone tightly and helps the joints to connect with each other.

The knee has 4 major ligaments.

An anterior cruciate ligament  (ACL): This ligament is in the center of the knee. It controls rotation and forward movement of the shin bone.

A posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). This ligament is in the back of the knee. It controls the backward movement of the shin bone.

Medial collateral ligament (MCL). This ligament gives stability to the inner knee.

Lateral collateral ligament (LCL). This ligament gives stability to the outer knee.

players of different sports have the chance of this type of injury as AcL. basketball and football are sports that have a higher risk of ACL injuries. these injuries happen as often stretched and/or torn during a sudden twisting motion when the feet stay planted one way, but the knees turn the other way.  The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is also a common ligament to become injured in the knee.  However, PCL injury usually occurs with sudden, direct impact, such as in a car accident or during a football tackle.

 How to climb stairs with bad knees?

1- Use The Hand Rail  and stick

Handrails can be helpful in knee pain as it decreases the stress on your knees when someone takes a handrail he will put some weight on the rail and it will reduce the stress on the knee joint.

This can help to reduce pain and discomfort associated with knee conditions such as chondromalacia patellae, osteoarthritis, or knee injuries. Additionally, using the handrail for balance can help to prevent falls, which can further aggravate knee pain or cause new injuries.

2- Warm Up Your Knee

A proper warm-up for climbing stairs should include a combination of dynamic stretching and low-impact exercises. Dynamic stretchings, such as leg swings and lunges, can help to improve flexibility and range of motion in the knee joint, which can help to reduce stiffness and discomfort when climbing stairs.

3- Ice Medication

Applying an ice pack or cold pack to the knee for 10 – 15 minutes several times a day can help to reduce pain and swelling. it will decrease inflammation in the joints. that leads to pain reduction and temporary relief pain and will consider it favorable therapy while going upstairs.

4- Use A Knee Brace

as knee braces give support to the knee and help in reducing the pressure on the knee by supporting the knee joint. it also helps improve overall knee alignment, which can help to prevent further injury or aggravation of the knee. A knee brace can help to reduce knee pain when climbing stairs by providing support and stability to the knee joint.

5- Improve Your knee Strength & mobility 

you can improve your knee strength and mobility through exercises such as squats, lunges, and leg presses, as well as stretches and foam rolling. it will increase joint stability which helps in reducing pressure and pain while climbing stairs.

6- One step at a time

Taking one step at a time will give stability to your knee joint, take little and short steps while climbing stairs, it will remove the pressure of continuous use of muscles. And will relieve pain while going upstairs or downstairs.

7- Lead With The Correct Leg

Going Upstairs: Step up first with your good leg, then follow on the same step with your bad leg. Repeat all the way up Coming Downstairs: People are looking for exercises for knee pain when going down stairs Step down first with your bad leg, then follow onto the same step with your good leg. Repeat all the way down.

knee pain going downstairs treatment

Knee pain going down stairs is also a severe and common problem in all age groups. that can make life really tricky. going down stairs can become painful or frustrating  Muscle weakness, injury or overuse can cause the condition, which is common among skiers, cyclists, and soccer players. Tendinitis, an inflammation of the tendons in the knee, can also trigger knee pain when going downstairs.

These two exercises consider knee pain going Upstairs treatment  :

 Straight Leg Raise Exercise

  • Lie on your back and place one leg straight out and the other bent with your foot flat on the floor.
  • Lift the straight leg gently and slowly to a point about a foot off.
  • Hold the position for three to five seconds and lower the leg. repeat it daily,  this will help in reducing knee pain.
  • Stand behind a chair, holding the back of the chair for balance.
  • Slowly lift one foot up toward your buttocks so that your heel, lower leg, and knee are at a 90-degree angle to your body.
  • Hold this position for two to three seconds before lowering the foot.
  • Repeat  8 to 10 times on each leg, working up to three sets in a row


There is a huge network of bones in our body that are combined with each other for performing physical activities in a better manner. knee pain is a common issue that gets severe if not treated well.

pain in the knees while walking up stairs or down stairs can be caused by a variety of conditions and should be evaluated by a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Knee pain can result from many problems, as from sports injuries to arthritis to gout. And when knee arthritis or a torn knee ligament strikes, climbing stairs, walking, and even standing can be painful. Treatment may vary slightly depending on the cause, but typically rest, ice, heat, and light exercises help both conditions.

 It is also essential to maintain good muscle strength and to avoid activities that can cause excessive stress on the knee.

Frequently asked questions ( knee pain going up stairs )

What causes pain in the knee when walking up stairs?

Pain in the knee when walking up stairs can be caused by injury or wear and tear of the knee joint, such as osteoarthritis, meniscus tear, or patellofemoral syndrome.

How can I strengthen my knees to climb stairs?

you can improve your  knee strength and mobility through exercises such as squats, lunges, and leg presses

Which joints do we use while climbing the stairs?

We use the hip, knee, and ankle joints while climbing the stairs.

knee pain going upstairs. can be treated at home?

Knee pain going up stairs can often be treated at home with rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Physical therapy exercises.
Consultation with a doctor is recommended for proper diagnosis and treatment.