Knee pain can come from a variety of sources some of which will require surgery to repair, but a few come from very tight muscles. The knee pain that is felt deep in the knee and comes especially when going up an incline, is generally muscular in origin. The other type of knee pain occurs when you walk down an incline, or stairs, or when riding a bicycle. This you will feel more on the front of the knee and to the outside. It will also feel as if the knee is going to give way and it will not support your weight.
Causes of Knee Pain
In the first case it comes from the short head of the biceps femoris which is the lateral hamstring, the one closest to the outside of the knee. If that is the case, feel behind the knee and upwards about three inches and you should feel an area of tenderness. Generally, this comes from over working the muscle. Strengthening the muscle is the best cure. In the second case, you will feel a tender area in the muscle below the knee and to the outside of the shin bone on the tibialis anterior muscle. This too comes from over working the muscle. The normal gait on flat ground is heel-toe; going down stairs or an incline will produce a toe-heel gait, something the leg is not accustomed to doing. Going up stairs or an incline is likewise a toe-heel proposition. If you are at the top of the Washington Monument and have to walk down and your knee begins to hurt you may consider walking down sideways to get some relief.
Strengthen both muscles and practice going up and down stairs, but for short periods until those particular muscles are strong enough. However, any prolonged exertion of any muscle will lead to painful consequences. After exercising, stretch both muscles. You can sit with your back against a wall, grab your foot and pull the toes back toward you slowly and gently to stretch the calf muscles. For the front of the leg, cross your leg, grab your toes and pull the foot down. You can also rub the tender spot on the muscle involved until it seems to loosen and then apply heat to the spot for at least five minutes after which you rest. If you do the latter wait at least a day before putting them under strain again.
Long Term Remedy
Strengthen the muscles and work them regularly. Consider also that if you work at desk your chair may be too low and you may be pulling one or both legs back and putting pressure on your toes. This will have the same effect, so adjusting your feet will be to your benefit. If you wear high heels, you are basically walking on your toes, but heels can cause more than just knee pain.