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Old 10-10-2011, 06:46 PM
 
574 posts, read 934,615 times
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Not an unusual problem as we age and put on weight but the last month or so has been so difficult getting down the stairs especially first thing in the morning. Standing up after sitting in the car, restaurant, movies...just sitting and then trying to walk normally after standing has been increasing difficult. Actually felt so down about it today it made me cry. So afraid that I will have really bad problems as I get into my later years which isn't too far off. The pain is in the front of my knees.
I had a torn meniscus repaired in my left leg last year and have one in my right knee too as well as arthritis. MY QUESTION IS has anyone out there found a natural remedy that improved this condition besides losing weight, which I will be doing too? Any exercises that helped reverse the pain? I don't want to live on pills for the pain and I want to fix this before it just gets worse. Never thought I would be like this at this age, 55. Have arthritis in my fingers, neck, shoulders and knees. Help!
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,874 posts, read 14,067,823 times
Reputation: 29072
Knee pain that is most prevalent when walking DOWN stairs is most commonly caused by chondromalacia patella.

Chondromalacia patella - PubMed Health

Anyone can get it (it's a common football injury for example), but it's much more likely to occur as a chronic problem in women than in men because women's wider hips cause their body weight to put more stress on the knees. It's exacerbated if one of your legs is slightly shorter than the other so your weight is not evenly distributed (the case in people who have it in one knee and not the other). It can also be caused if you walk with your feet not out straight in front of you. (If the pain is more on the inside of the knee, chances are you walk with your feel out slightly, the opposite of "pigeon-toed," or at least you tend to sit with your foot or both feet angled away from your body.)

If you DO have this condition, you're lucky that your symptoms took this long to show up. I had my first symptoms in graduate school when I went to the doctor with a knee so badly swollen I could barely unhinge it. I was diagnosed almost immediately by an orthopedic doctor who measured my legs (sure enough the right one was shorter, so I was leaning in that direction and putting more weight on my right knee. Also, I naturally walk with my feet angled out slightly.) That doctor gave me great practical advice that has served me well in the ensuing decades.

First, he told me to vary the height of heels on my shoes. He said any knee condition is exacerbated by keeping the knee in the same condition constantly. This happens if you wear the same or similar shoes all the time. I was a destitute grad student who only had a couple of pairs of shoes and wore the same ones every day. He told me to get some more shoes and change them at least twice a day. He didn't even care if they were high heels -- just switch to flats later.

Second piece of advice. Be aware of how I was walking or sitting. I should try to point my foot inward and definitely to sit with my foot pointed in. If you do it even for a minute, you can tell that pressure is moved to the outside of the thigh and away from the knee.

Lastly he said the goal was to keep the ligaments from swelling, which was happening due to the pressure my kneecap was putting on the surrounding tissue (which is what causes the grinding some people can feel). He said at the first sign of pain to ice my knee, take anti-inflammatory medicine, and rest as much as possible until the swelling subsides.

I've done these things religiously and kept my condition under control for thirty years. I still have other orthopedic problems (we've conversed about feet before), but I was lucky to get that doctor's advice when I was young. It's certainly likely with my family history my knees will be arthritic, but I've managed to get by so far with minimal pain by following that advice.

There are also exercises one can do to strengthen the knee. Many runners swear by these since chondromalacia so often a result of their repetitive motion.
chondromalacia knee strength exercise | Living in the net

Perhaps your condition is solely arthritis and you don't have CP, but your comment about walking DOWN stairs is a clue to an additional issue. I've also had good luck improving joint pain in general taking an OTC chondroitin/MSM supplement. I had to take it daily for more than a month before I had improvement, but one day I just woke up feeling like a different person. It didn't help my chronically swollen ankle, but that's an Achilles tendon, not a joint problem.

Best of luck.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:13 PM
 
574 posts, read 934,615 times
Reputation: 443
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
Knee pain that is most prevalent when walking DOWN stairs is most commonly caused by chondromalacia patella.

Chondromalacia patella - PubMed Health

Anyone can get it (it's a common football injury for example), but it's much more likely to occur as a chronic problem in women than in men because women's wider hips cause their body weight to put more stress on the knees. It's exacerbated if one of your legs is slightly shorter than the other so your weight is not evenly distributed (the case in people who have it in one knee and not the other). It can also be caused if you walk with your feet not out straight in front of you. (If the pain is more on the inside of the knee, chances are you walk with your feel out slightly, the opposite of "pigeon-toed," or at least you tend to sit with your foot or both feet angled away from your body.)

If you DO have this condition, you're lucky that your symptoms took this long to show up. I had my first symptoms in graduate school when I went to the doctor with a knee so badly swollen I could barely unhinge it. I was diagnosed almost immediately by an orthopedic doctor who measured my legs (sure enough the right one was shorter, so I was leaning in that direction and putting more weight on my right knee. Also, I naturally walk with my feet angled out slightly.) That doctor gave me great practical advice that has served me well in the ensuing decades.

First, he told me to vary the height of heels on my shoes. He said any knee condition is exacerbated by keeping the knee in the same condition constantly. This happens if you wear the same or similar shoes all the time. I was a destitute grad student who only had a couple of pairs of shoes and wore the same ones every day. He told me to get some more shoes and change them at least twice a day. He didn't even care if they were high heels -- just switch to flats later.

Second piece of advice. Be aware of how I was walking or sitting. I should try to point my foot inward and definitely to sit with my foot pointed in. If you do it even for a minute, you can tell that pressure is moved to the outside of the thigh and away from the knee.

Lastly he said the goal was to keep the ligaments from swelling, which was happening due to the pressure my kneecap was putting on the surrounding tissue (which is what causes the grinding some people can feel). He said at the first sign of pain to ice my knee, take anti-inflammatory medicine, and rest as much as possible until the swelling subsides.

I've done these things religiously and kept my condition under control for thirty years. I still have other orthopedic problems (we've conversed about feet before), but I was lucky to get that doctor's advice when I was young. It's certainly likely with my family history my knees will be arthritic, but I've managed to get by so far with minimal pain by following that advice.

There are also exercises one can do to strengthen the knee. Many runners swear by these since chondromalacia so often a result of their repetitive motion.
chondromalacia knee strength exercise | Living in the net

Perhaps your condition is solely arthritis and you don't have CP, but your comment about walking DOWN stairs is a clue to an additional issue. I've also had good luck improving joint pain in general taking an OTC chondroitin/MSM supplement. I had to take it daily for more than a month before I had improvement, but one day I just woke up feeling like a different person. It didn't help my chronically swollen ankle, but that's an Achilles tendon, not a joint problem.

Best of luck.
Thank you once again for your post. My Dr. already warned me that he see's knee replacements in my future. My mom had one. There is little lubrication in my knees which causes that lovely grinding sound going up and down stairs meaning bone one bone, almost.
I was reading something on Webmd about knee issues and it sounded like Patelloremoral Pain Syndrome which is closely related to the one you mentioned. Don't even know if it's worth going back to the Dr. for this. I don't want more med's or surgery so the logical thing to do is lose weight, watch how I stand, sit and walk and strengthen my quads and hamstrings. I use to be in such great shape. This is what I get for letting myself go by not exercising at all for four years and gaining weight.
P.S. Has anything helped your achilles tendon problem? Is it worth my getting orthodics? I don't have flat feet. Actually have high arches.
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:14 AM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,874 posts, read 14,067,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbekity View Post
Thank you once again for your post. My Dr. already warned me that he see's knee replacements in my future. My mom had one. There is little lubrication in my knees which causes that lovely grinding sound going up and down stairs meaning bone one bone, almost.
I was reading something on Webmd about knee issues and it sounded like Patelloremoral Pain Syndrome which is closely related to the one you mentioned. Don't even know if it's worth going back to the Dr. for this. I don't want more med's or surgery so the logical thing to do is lose weight, watch how I stand, sit and walk and strengthen my quads and hamstrings. I use to be in such great shape. This is what I get for letting myself go by not exercising at all for four years and gaining weight.
P.S. Has anything helped your achilles tendon problem? Is it worth my getting orthodics? I don't have flat feet. Actually have high arches.
You're welcome. I have high arches, too. For the past five years I haven't bought a pair of shoes that don't have arch supports built in. They definitely help me with some pain relief, my lower back even more than my ankles, as well as general fatigue. I do much better standing and walking distances with arch supports; maybe because they help me to stand straighter.

I get most of my shoes at ShoeBuy.com. They have hundreds of thousands of styles and prices are better than stores in my area. Once you buy from them you get discounts via E-mail every time you. $10 off a $35 purchase, $20 off $80, etc., and you can even use the discounts on sale items. If you read customer reviews of shoes you're considering, the reviewers are pretty religious about mentioning whether or not the shoes have arch supports, so even if the official description doesn't mention it, you can usually find out. Some good quality shoes that are well-made and supportive still don't have arch supports. Example: Clark's.

I've never known anyone who was helped by expensive custom orthotics, so I've never tried them. I got a pair of those WalkFit things they advertise on TV at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I put them in athletic shoes that I can never seem to buy with arch supports. They certainly didn't change my life as the infomercial claims, but they're a decent support for shoes that don't have any. They are a bit adjustable, to accommodate the height of your arch.
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,525 posts, read 10,233,193 times
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I'm so thankful for this thread and posts...I've been wondering why one knee hurts climbing up and down the stairs and thought maybe I should see a doctor, but now I know what's likely causing it and also the best things to do to alleviate the problem...wow, that's great. And yes, one leg is shorter than the other, so that makes sense why only one knee is involved.
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:38 AM
 
574 posts, read 934,615 times
Reputation: 443
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
You're welcome. I have high arches, too. For the past five years I haven't bought a pair of shoes that don't have arch supports built in. They definitely help me with some pain relief, my lower back even more than my ankles, as well as general fatigue. I do much better standing and walking distances with arch supports; maybe because they help me to stand straighter.

I get most of my shoes at ShoeBuy.com. They have hundreds of thousands of styles and prices are better than stores in my area. Once you buy from them you get discounts via E-mail every time you. $10 off a $35 purchase, $20 off $80, etc., and you can even use the discounts on sale items. If you read customer reviews of shoes you're considering, the reviewers are pretty religious about mentioning whether or not the shoes have arch supports, so even if the official description doesn't mention it, you can usually find out. Some good quality shoes that are well-made and supportive still don't have arch supports. Example: Clark's.

I've never known anyone who was helped by expensive custom orthotics, so I've never tried them. I got a pair of those WalkFit things they advertise on TV at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I put them in athletic shoes that I can never seem to buy with arch supports. They certainly didn't change my life as the infomercial claims, but they're a decent support for shoes that don't have any. They are a bit adjustable, to accommodate the height of your arch.
If my insurance will cover orthodics and I get them, I will let you know if it helps. My brother had constant knee pain until he had custom orthodics made, but he has flat feet. I read that higher arches contributes to more foot pain and knee problems. Who knew?
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,308 posts, read 35,249,271 times
Reputation: 7116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
Knee pain that is most prevalent when walking DOWN stairs is most commonly caused by chondromalacia patella.

Chondromalacia patella - PubMed Health
I know exactly what that's like.

I've had to train myself to have better walking posture. I find that walking with my back held straight and my backside "poked out" a bit helps keep my feet pointed straight, which takes a lot of stress off of my knees. If I over excercise and get my knees to start swelling and popping then a few days of NSAIDs (Alleve seems to be particularly adept at controlling symptoms) and rest gets me through the worst of it. After that I just have to baby my legs for a period of time and I'm back to "almost normal".

It's hell gettin' old, particularly if you did a lot of powercleans and heavy squats in your teens and twenties.
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:21 AM
 
1,610 posts, read 4,134,427 times
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I am 73 and had knee pain for a long time especially going down and up stairs. I blame it on 28 years of kneeling on floors stocking shelves in retail stores.I started taking fish oil pills a few years ago and its made a world of difference I have arthritis in other joints and a bad back but the knee pain is no longer a problem go figure, Two 1200 mg Omega3 fish oil pills a day??
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:59 AM
 
3,175 posts, read 3,180,193 times
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When I was in my 20's, I went through knee pain for about 3 years. Had to hold onto the railing and kind of hop when going down the stairs and while sitting my knees would ache. I heard at a bible study that arthritis could be caused by resentment and started working to uncover things that I felt resentful about. Actually, I didn't even realize that I had these feelings but I did! I just went about forgiving people and one day I noticed that my knees didn't hurt anymore. When I had knee pain after that I would I would check myself, uncover the resentment, forgive, suffer for a few more days and then go about my merry way spotting it quicker each time.
I haven't had this for 40 years now.
This is what cured me, not saying that this is your problem, just that it was mine at that time.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:21 PM
 
1 posts, read 12,721 times
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This information has been very helpful.. I am 43 years old, and suffering from my right knee hurting, Stiff, and cannot do steps very well, going up or down. It saddens me because I feel disabled, because I can't move very fast, everything is hard to do. Moving, getting up, even standing up sometimes. I went to a bone and Joint clinic, and due to my insurance denying the MRI, the appt was canceled, and everything stopped. now this is back again. It stopped for a little while, and I thought it was because I'd eaten a bag of cherries which seems to help by working as an anti-anflammatory. Now its back and now my ankle has been very swollen for the last two days. I am worried now. The weird part was that my lower back has been hurting for a while, and suddenly the pain seemed to shoot down my right leg to my knee. I went for a massage and the massage therapist said I had a 'mess" in my lower back, "knots". she tried to work them out some. I thought the pain was from my sciatic nerve. Could this all be caused by that nerve? (Knee pain , and now my ankle swelling)
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