Knee pain is also noticeable when climbing stairs or when running downhill. One possible cause is an overload and subsequent wear of the patellar tendon (patellar tendon syndrome). Overloading the patellar tendon, which runs from the thigh to the kneecap to the lower leg, can cause pain in the front of the knee, below the kneecap.
Most jump athletes are affected by such an injury, which is why it is also referred to as a jumping knee. Through physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory drugs, the irritation usually disappears by itself over time.
Other causes of knee pain when climbing stairs
In addition, knee pain when climbing stairs but may have other causes:
- Housemaid's knee
- Cartilage damage of the kneecap
- Osteoarthritis in the knee
Knee pain after a fall or an accident
If the knee pain occurs after a fall in everyday life or after a fall during sports, a doctor should always be consulted to rule out a serious injury. Especially if the fall is accompanied by a twisting of the knee, meniscus damage or a cruciate ligament tear can quickly occur.
A cruciate ligament rupture is noticeable in addition to swelling and pain due to instability of the knee joint. In contrast, if there is a meniscal damage, the knee feels blocked and hurts strong. In old age, injuries to the meniscus can already occur through everyday movements such as squatting, as the tissue loses its elasticity.
A sports injury or a traffic accident can also damage the articular cartilage. By a strong push, pieces of cartilage can be squeezed or even knocked out. Minor injuries can already result from a permanent faulty load. In the long term, a bad load leads to greater wear, which can eventually lead to osteoarthritis.
Knee pain in old age
Knee pain in old age can be caused just as in younger people by an injury or a bad load. Frequently, however, are also signs of wear and tear such as osteoarthritis behind the complaints.
In the case of osteoarthritis, the wear of the cartilage in the knee joint causes pain in moving and straining the knee. Even nocturnal knee pain is typical for osteoarthritis. The pain arises because the bones of the thigh and lower leg rub against each other directly due to the missing cartilage.
In addition to age-related joint wear and tear, osteoarthritis can also be caused by permanent overwork, previous injuries and arthritis such as rheumatism.