3 tips that can make going down stairs with knee pain easier

Going down stairs is far more taxing when doing so leads to knee pain. Yet this is a situation in which many people find themselves. 

A lot of things may come to mind when you hear the statistic “40 million people,” but odds are knee pain isn’t one of them. However, that statistic comes straight from a medical report on how many people have chronic joint pain in their knees. Many of these people with chronic knee pain may experience it when going down stairs. Fortunately, physical therapists can suggest some helpful tips that can help ease your pain. 

Physical therapists suggest trying these 3 tips for knee pain when going down stairs

Their practical treatment experience and musculoskeletal system training mean that physical therapists are uniquely placed to help address stiffness and pain in your knees. A few of the tips your physical therapist may suggest you try to help ease knee pain from going down stairs are: 

  1. Taking some of the weight off your knee — The knee has a lot of pressure placed on it when you go down stairs. This can often be what triggers your knee pain. There are several ways that physical therapists can help you ease the pressure on your knee, which can cut your pain. They can show you how to use the handrails to take some of the weight off your aching knee. These specialists can also instruct you in how to use a walking stick to achieve the same result. 
  1. Keeping your feet together — Normally, people tend to only put one foot on a step at a time. Yet that position places a lot more strain on one knee. This can be something to avoid if one of your knees hurts. Luckily, your physical therapist can offer a suggestion for this, too. They may suggest that you bring the unaffected leg down onto the step. Then, bring your affected leg down onto the same step. You can then repeat this process until you’re off the stairs. 
  1. Take care of your butt, thighs and calves — Your glutes, thigh muscles and calf muscles all help your knee bend. They also do a lot of the work of moving your legs when you’re going down stairs. When you have weakness or tightness in one of these muscle groups, more stress falls on your knees. This can lead to more knee pain when going down stairs. Your physical therapist can build you a therapeutic exercise plan that can help you take care of these vital muscle groups. This plan may include stretches and strengthening exercises designed to target specific deficits that you have. 

SOL PT has a team that’s ready to help you address knee pain when going down stairs

Ready to feel less knee pain when you’re going down stairs? Our physical therapists at SOL Physical Therapy understand completely, and that’s why they’re ready and willing to take steps to address your pain. Our PT specialists can thoroughly examine you and test your movement to pinpoint the source of your pain. They’ll then use this information to construct a customized treatment plan intended to meet your needs. 

Contact our team today for more information about our knee pain treatment services or to schedule an initial appointment to begin addressing your pain. 

About the author

Sports + Orthopedic Leaders Physical Therapy & Performance Training serves the communities of Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Orinda, San Francisco and beyond. SOLPT’s award winning team of Physical Therapists, Performance Coaches and movement experts has helped thousands reach their rehabilitation and performance goals to move beyond pain. We're committed to helping anyone of any fitness level move effectively and more powerfully for a lifetime. We offer rehabilitation and performance services to all populations, with specialties in Sports Rehabilitation, Active Release Techniques, and Manual Therapy Techniques plus Personal and Small Group Training, Sport Clinics and Wellness Services.

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