Knees and Your Health

It’s amazing how such a relatively small part of our body can have such a big effect! If your knees aren’t working due to injury, arthritis, or overuse, you can develop pain, that restricts your ability to get on with life. One major cause of knee pain is being overweight. So, you’re overweight, then you become less active, and you gain more weight! So the best thing to consider is weight loss.

Or if you overdo it as an athlete, for example during long distance cycling or running, it’s possible to develop knee problems, such as arthritis or chondromalacia patella. Arthritis is inflammation, often caused by damage to cartilage, the semisolid coating on the bones connecting the knee joint. So don’t overlook your knee health!  If you’ve got arthritis, you may feel knee pain during the time you’re going up or down stairs.

The Difference Between Osteoarthritis and Arthritis

There’s a difference between the two, though they are often confused. Osteoarthritis is marked by the cartilage wearing out over time, and is often age related. Arthritis is inflammation caused by infection, or it may be genetic. (3) Both types can cause long term health problems but usually there is a cure, frequently with various types of medicine.

Frayed cartilage inside knee

Frayed cartilage inside the knee

 

How Arthritis Causes Knee Pain When You Climb Stairs

As noted above, your knee may be inflamed. And this is often due to wearing away of the cartilage, When the bones can’t flow smoothly, it’s like gears in a machine that have gotten rough and lack lubrication. I know, I’ve had that feeling of ‘sand in the gear’ in my own knee.

During the time you’re climbing stairs, the condition is particularly aggravated. And if you are going downstairs, with little or no cartilage and no meniscus, the spongy tissue inside the joint, the impact of weight of ‘bone on bone’ can also hurt. Often, you might not notice it until after your stair climbing. This can result in knee pain during your climb.

Sometimes, It’s Good to Climb Stairs girl climbing stairs for exercise

If you have knee pain, you can strengthen your knees by using climbing as exercise. According to Healthline:

Strengthening the muscles around the knee will decrease the stress on the joint itself. These muscles include the quadriceps at the front of the thigh and the hamstrings at the back of the thigh. Both of these large muscle groups get a workout when you climb stairs. Your own weight is enough to make stair climbing a challenge.(2)

Some Tips When Climbing Stairs

When you climb stairs, try not to put too much stress on the knee joint.

  • You can do this by leading with your body, rather than your leg and foot.
  • Also, walk with your feet in line with your knees, don’t let your foot splay out, since that puts pressure in an unnatural way on your knee joint.
  • And also, place your heel on the next up step, rather than the toe.

 

Home Remedies for Bone Health

heart shaped sugary donut

Junk food increases higher risk of arthritis, and other serious health problems

There are four things you can do to reduce stress on your bones, especially when climbing stairs. This resutls in less knee pain.

  • If you are overweight—-lose weight. Every extra pound you have beyond your optimum weight put 3-4X the stress on your knee joint.
  • Wear soft soled shoes, or inside padding in your shoes.
  • Be sure eat well, foods that support bone health.(1)
  • Perhaps take supplements such as Vitamin D or Omega 3 Fatty Acid, or Turmeric if your diet is lacking these.(1)

Reduce Knee Pain with Home Remedies

The basic rule to relieve painful knees in general also applies when climbing stairs. If pain in your knee flares up, either from walking up stairs, or from pain that occurs when you put downward pressure on your joint going downstairs, a few simple steps can often give immediate relief.

  • Rest, take the weight off you knee for a day or so, let it recover
  • Ice. Oftentimes, just wrapping some ice cubes in a plastic bag, wrapped in cloth (to protect your skin from frostbite) will help bring the inflammation down. Cold therapy works.
  • Compression. Use a knee sleeve, knee brace or other knee support to stabilize your joint
  • Elevation allows the accumulated fluids in your lower body to flow out, this helping to reduce swelling.
  • Massage your knee brings blood to the sore joint, or have someone massage for you.
  • You can also use topical pain relievers such as patches, salves, ointments, etc.
  • Yoga and stretching creates some space in the joint, and relieves pressure and pain

    yoga stretches energize you

    This and other yoga stretches are great for knees!

 

26 Home Remedies for Knee Pain Relief

This is just a basic list of things you can do immediately to treat your knee pain. But there is a book that has 26 ways, both natural remedies as well as more modern methods, such as TENS machines, supplements, and so on. To find out more, click here

 

26 Home Remedies book cover