she redeemed herself when she told me to start riding a bike, and to temporary stash away my running shoes. the cycling movements saved my knees..i am virtually painfree. no meds, no ice.. now i ride everyday, and jog very occasionally. i also make trekking poles on long downhills a rule. i will pull them out to take just that little bit of load away from my knees. everytime (no exceptions) i go down stairs, i think about my knees. it is always on my mind. sucks.
Sounds like tendonitis of the patella tendon. Try a chopat strap. They sell them in sporting goods store a lot of times. Its basically a velcro strap with some kind of rubber thickened section and is worn below the knee that applies pressure to the tendon and will alleviate the pain over time. I get it playing raquetball a lot. It takes me about two weeks of consistently wearing the strap to clear up the pain.