Be aware of your alignment.
Engaging particular muscles by focusing on alignment when on the stairs can help to offload symptomatic areas. To engage the lumbopelvic musculature when climbing stairs, focus on maintaining a neutral pelvis. The Standing Pelvic Tilt e and Drawing In exercises available in this prescription can help you practice adjusting and maintain pelvic position. Make sure the feet and knees are pointing directly ahead, rather than the knee pointing inwards or the foot pointing outwards.
If you normally experience knee symptoms when going up and downstairs, try modifying this by placing the entire foot on the step when going upwards. Make sure the knee is in line with the foot, and then drive your heel into the step to bring your body upwards, rather than pushing the ball of your foot with the foot half on the step. When going downstairs, imagine lowering yourself onto the next step using the foot that is on the higher step, rather than absorbing all of the impacts with the foot that is making contact with the lower step. Again, try to keep knee and foot facing the same direction.
When using a walking aid.
If you are using a crutch or walking stick, follow these steps to reduce the risk of injury. When going upstairs, place the uninjured leg on first, followed by the affected leg, followed by the stick. You can remember this order by using the acronym GAS, which stands for good leg, affected leg, stick. Remember, GAS rises.
Use the SAG acronym when descending stairs. Place your stick down first, followed by the affected leg, and then the uninjured leg. The GAS and SAG methods ensure that the walking aid is always between you and the bottom of the stairs in case you need it to support you. It also ensures that the affected leg is always accompanied by either the stick or your good leg on the step.