Why Do Knees Hurt Going Down Stairs?

Do your knees hurt going down stairs? Many people with knee osteoarthritis complain of severe aches and pains when descending stairs, even if their020 arthritis is otherwise mild. It also usually indicates a problem with the knee cap and how it moves.

The kneecap is a small bone, shaped like an upside down triangle which sits in the patella groove on the front of the knee, and glides up and down as the knee moves.

There are huge forces that go through your knee cap during every day activities.

As a result of this, the back of the patella is lined with the thickest layer of cartilage in the whole body as it is designed to withstand enormous compressive forces.

Experiencing knee pain when going down stairs is no surprise. Dr. Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise said, The impact on knees and feet is three to four times your body weight when running upstairs. However, the pounding on the body going downstairs equals six or seven times one’s body weight. Normal walking only puts a force of 0.5 times body weight.

This discomfort is magnified if you have weak quadriceps or thigh muscles, Dr. Kevin J. Bozic, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco shared, since the force that might otherwise be absorbed by those large muscles moves through the knee instead.

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