I used to run cross country and track in both High School and in College.
During that time I used to average 100+ miles a week. Now, I am currently
35 years old and have been trying to get back into running. When I run, I
feel great. It is the next morning, and when I have to walk up stairs that
my knees kill me. When I walk normal there is no knee pain, or when I walk
down stairs. It is only when I am going up steps (even just 1 step). The
pain is right under my knee cap on both knees. When I step up, I can feel
what I think is a muscle between my shin and my knee cap tighten. It is
when that muscle tightens, that I feel as though there is something sharp
under my knee cap. Do you have any idea what causes this pain, and even
better, do you have any idea what I can do to stop it?
Very curious Dan. Usually patellofemoral pain is associated with descending stairs. Possibly you have a plica that is irritated. FYI, the patella increases in contact area with the femur with flexion, and if the cartilage is irritated "just so", then the act of loading as you go up stairs might be enough to cause you the pain you describe. There are other structures, the transverse ligament, for example, that live in the neighborhood, which might be culprits as well. So all in all , hard to tell. My advice, get it checked out, see if an x-ray can be taken that shows the relationship between the femur and the patella (q-angle), or if a soft tissue can be implicated. A good PT or ATC in your neck of the woods should be able to sort it out. Good Luck!