CSA Physio Blog

Knee pain with running, walking and stairs – what can be done?

Posted on: February 21st, 2018 by Jamie Werenka
Jamie Werenka

PT (Physiotherapist)
Jaime provides rehabilitation all forms of orthopedic conditions and works with patients of any age. Her interests extend to working with individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents, those with work injuries, post-surgical patients (joint replacements, shoulder, knee and ankle reconstructions and more) and working with older adults for fall prevention. She will work with you to individualize your treatment so that it is functional and relevant to your condition and goals. See Jamie and the rest of the staff at our South Edmonton location

Do you get knee pain in front of your knee or around your kneecap? Do you mostly notice it with activities such as running, downhill walking/hiking or stairs?

My experience with knee pain

This summer I found myself with intense and debilitating knee pain in very specific situations. In my day to day life, I had no problems. I could do stairs, extended walking, can could be on my feet for hours.

I also hadn’t fallen or twisted my knee. However, I went to the mountains twice in the summer to go hiking. On both occasions, I didn’t have any problem hiking uphill but going down I was experiencing sharp knee pain with every step. It would feel awful but then the pain would fade over a few days.

What’s the cause of knee pain?

This kind of “injury” for lack of a better word is called Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS). The researchers tell us that exact cause of PFPS is not entirely clear but we do know that it is related to weak and tight muscles around the hip and knee.

These weak and tight muscles lead to an imbalance that allows the kneecap to sit over the joint incorrectly. As you do aggravating activities, the kneecap can then move in a non-optimal pattern over the knee joint. The result is knee pain around or in front of the kneecap. 

What can be done about knee pain?

The first thing we need to do is assess your knee and determine the cause of cause of your knee pain. If it is PFPS, I can design a personalized exercise program that will help with the tight and weak muscles.

We often need combine the exercises with treatments such as ice, heat, electrical stimulation, and taping techniques to help with pain. Your recovery may take as much as six or more weeks. It takes time for the muscles to adapt, but improvements in pain and symptoms can occur within the first two weeks.

Let’s get our knees healthy!


Knee image retrieved from:


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