Pain in My Leg When Climbing Steps or Crossing My Legs

healthy lifestyle sports woman running up on stone stairs seaside

When you are climbing stairs or crossing your legs, you may feel pain due to an underlying medical disorder or injury. Contact your doctor about the pain and let him know about any other symptoms you are having. Imaging tests, such as MRI, CT scan or x-ray can be used to examine the bones and joints to determine what is causing the pain.

Patellar Tendonitis

If you are experiencing pain in the area between the knee cap and shin bone when climbing or descending stairs, you may be suffering from a condition called patellar tendonitis. This condition occurs when the patellar tendon is overused during activities such as jumping, climbing and running. To treat patellar tendonitis, you need to stretch the quads before and after exercise and limit activities that aggravate symptoms. Use ice for 15 minute intervals throughout the day to reduce inflammation.


Arthritis can cause you to feel joint pain in the legs when you are crossing the legs or climbing stairs. Arthritis occurs when the cartilage in your joints deteriorates and cause symptoms such as pain, stiffness and swelling. Steroid injections and anti-inflammatory pain relievers may be recommended by your doctor to reduce symptoms of arthritis.

Chondromalacia Patella

When you suffer from chondromalacia patella, the cartilage surrounding your knee softens. When you flex the knee when climbing stairs or crossing your legs, you may feel a grating or grinding sensation. Knee pain may feel worse when sitting for prolonged periods of time. To treat this condition, your doctor may recommend you limit certain activities. Depending on the extent of the damage, surgery may be advised to remove the kneecap cartilage.

Knee Injury

Sustaining an injury to your knee can cause pain when doing certain activities that flex the leg joints. Possible injuries include a torn meniscus, knee bursitis or a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Twisting the knee out of alignment or putting too much weight on the knees can cause these injuries to occur. Physical therapy, medications and surgery may be used to correct these problems.