Knee Pain: Simple tip for going down stairs
Point your toes!
When descending stairs, the top knee feels the effort. By pointing your toes on the foot going down the stairs, it removes 1 to 3 inches of effort. Actively pointing your toes makes a huge difference and it’s amazing how many people don’t think of this. As you lower your foot, be aware that you’re working your Achilles tendon eccentrically* – this is a good thing!
Positive messages create muscle memory. Do it consciously and eventually it will become automatic (muscle memory). When you catch yourself NOT doing it, give yourself a mental pat on the back for forgetting vs. beating yourself up about it.
* From Wikipedia: An eccentric contraction is used as a means of decelerating a body part or object, or lowering a load gently rather than letting it drop.
In our POLES for Balance & Mobility DVD, we show many tips for going up and down stairs in ways that reduce pain and (at the same time) build upper body strength.