Although going up the stairs may feel challenging, some people experience more pain going down. This is because your muscles have to work hard to control your weight as you descend. If you have suffered from knee problems in the past or continue to have problems, it is probably time to look at increasing strength to make navigating stairs less difficult. Knee problems that can make stairs difficult to manage include injury or overuse from sports, tendinitis in the knee and weakened cartilage beneath the kneecap.
Exercises focused on strengthening the quadriceps (muscles in front of the knee) and hamstrings (the muscles in the back of your thigh) that support and stabilize the knee will help by specifically building up these parts of the body and reducing knee pain when going down stairs. The Jackson Clinics will focus on exercises in which you lower weights. Also, low impact exercises such as swimming and water aerobics can help relieve chronic pain associated with climbing stairs. And because tight muscles also can lead to injury, stretching is important. An exercise regimen we can design will help:
- improve mobility
- increase flexibility
- enhance strength
- improve your balance
Some people find that losing weight helps reduce pain associated with stair use. Every extra pound puts additional strain on your joints, increasing the risk of ligament and tendon injuries and even osteoarthritis. Participation in a program for weight loss will help make stairs significantly easier for you, especially if you are someone who needs to use them daily at home, at work or just for running errands. Knee problems that harm a person’s ability to comfortably navigate stairs can afflict people of all ages. It is good practice to work with your physical therapist before pain becomes severe. You will prevent the frustration of limited mobility and gain the joy and freedom of movement – up or down stairs.