physiotherapy treatment for bursitis knee

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definition of knee bursitis

The medical definition of knee bursitis or prepatellar bursitis is as follows –

Prepatellar bursitis is the swelling up of the bursa, which sits in front of the knee cap (patella). The damage to the bursa is mainly caused due to repeated stress to the knees in activities like kneeling on a hard surface.

what is knee bursitis?

Knee bursitis, medically known as prepatellar bursitis, is the inflammation of the bursa—a small fluid sac near the knee joint. These sacs act as cushions, safeguarding the pressure joints between knee bones and tendons from friction. Predominantly impacting the knee cap or inner side of the knee, knee bursitis can cause discomfort. This inflammation underscores the importance of proper care and attention to maintain the health and functionality of the knee joint and surrounding structures.

types of knee bursitis:

A bursa is a fluid sac present between the skin and the tendon and the tendon and bone. Its main responsibility is to reduce the amount of friction between moving structures. The bursae around the kneecap are of several types and one of them gets inflamed it leads to bursitis. The different types of knee bursitis are;

  • Prepatellar Bursitis: This condition involves inflammation of the bursa located over the kneecap, causing pain and swelling in the front of the knee.
  • Infrapatellar Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa beneath the kneecap, leading to discomfort and swelling, often associated with repetitive stress or injury.
  • Superficial Infrapatellar Bursitis: Inflammation of the superficial bursa below the kneecap, resulting from trauma or friction, causing pain and localized swelling.
  • Deep Infrapatellar Bursitis: Inflammation of the deeper bursa beneath the kneecap, typically caused by excessive kneeling or overuse, leading to pain and swelling.
  • Suprapatellar Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa located above the kneecap, commonly associated with conditions such as arthritis, causing pain and discomfort in the upper part of the knee.

knee bursitis causes:

There are several different knee bursitis causes, few of the common knee bursitis causes are as follows;

  • Frequent kneeling and for long duration on hard surfaces
  • Overuse or strenuous activity like running, hiking, climbing, etc
  • Trauma to the knee
  • Bursa bacterial infection
  • Other health conditions like osteoarthritis, gout and rheumatoid arthritis

knee bursitis symptoms

Knee bursitis symptoms vary according to the bursa affected, also the knee bursitis symptoms are slow and gradual and get worse with time or due to an injury. The usual symptoms of knee bursitis are swelling to varied degrees, warmth, tenderness and redness of the knee overlying the inflamed bursa. People affected with knee bursitis also complain of pain with walking and stiffness when kneeling and restricted mobility of the knee.

knee bursitis diagnosis

The primary knee bursitis diagnosis consists of physical examination of the knee by comparison of both the knee if only one of them is affected, application of slight pressure to check for warmth and tenderness and the site of the pain and movement of knees to determine mobility of the knee.

Besides the physical examination doctors can also ask for imaging tests for effective knee bursitis diagnosis. The various imaging tests helping in the diagnosis of knee bursitis are X ray, ultrasound, MRI scan and aspiration in cases of gout.

knee bursitis home treatment:

The various knee bursitis remedies that can be adopted as part of the knee bursitis home treatment to get some knee bursitis relief is the RICE treatment which is basically resting the knee and keeping it elevated and , applying ice pack and finally wrapping the knee with an elastic bandage to control swelling of the knee. Other knee bursitis remedies that can bring knee bursitis relief are;

  • Practicing knee bursitis exercises as recommended by physiotherapists
  • Maintaining optimum weight and staying healthy
  • Prior warm up before playing sports or exercising
  • Avoiding extended kneeling periods and taking breaks in between

knee bursitis treatment 

Knee Bursitis treatment depends upon the septic or aseptic nature of knee bursitis. The aseptic knee bursitis can be easily treated at home through knee bursitis remedies, medications, injections and knee bursitis physical therapy. However, septic knee bursitis demand advanced medical care and might involve aspirations and surgery.

  • Medication – the medications prescribed in knee Bursitis treatment are the typical non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs and analgesics.
  • Injection – Cortisone injections can be administered in the knee in cases where medication did not provide desired knee bursitis relief.
  • Knee bursitis physical therapy – Knee bursitis physical therapy or Knee bursitis physiotherapy treatment are one and the same thing and the terms are often used interchangeably. Knee bursitis physical therapy holds an important place in knee bursitis treatment. The various bursitis physiotherapy exercises as recommended in Knee bursitis physical therapy are designed to help in the strengthening and stretching of the knee. Also regular practice of knee bursitis exercises have proven to be quite effective in increasing the mobility and flexibility of the knee and reducing pain and stiffness.
  • Aspiration – The process of aspiration is the pulling out the liquid from the infected knee bursae with the help of an injection. This extracted liquid is used for further examination and also treatment of knee bursitis.
  • Surgery – Surgery is only done in severe cases of knee bursitis or when none of the conservative treatment brought relief.  The surgical procedure will remove the affected bursa to treat knee bursitis.

how can we help?

Knee bursitis causes pain with even walking and as such knee bursitis home treatment is best recommended for such people. Portea with its highly trained healthcare professionals can bring an entire clinic to your doorstep as such. If you need knee bursitis knee physical therapy just get in touch with us and allow us to rapidly nurse you back to good health.

With Portea, you’re not just getting knee bursitis physiotherapy treatment; you’re gaining a partner in your journey to recovery and well-being. We also offer a range of superior healthcare services, including doctor consultations, medical equipment, nursing home care, and dedicated caretakers. Rely on us for top-tier healthcare solutions tailored to your requirements.


  • Dr. A Franklin Rajkumar – BPT – 10 years Experience
  • Dr.L Swarna Harini-MPT/BPT – 6 years Experience
  • Dr. Ramya Deepika.C.C -MPT -7 years Experience.


Will physiotherapy assist me with knee bursitis?

 Your doctor may recommend you to a physical therapist or sports medicine specialist who can help you increase your flexibility and muscle strength. This treatment may relieve discomfort and lower your risk of recurrent knee bursitis.

What are the best workouts for knee bursitis?

  • Lie on your back with the affected knee straight. The good knee should be bent.
  • Bend your affected knee by moving your heel across the floor and towards your buttock until you feel a mild stretch in your knee.
  • Hold for approximately 6 seconds, then slowly straighten your knee.
  • Repeat 8-12 times.

What should you not do if you have knee bursitis?

Take breaks. If you’re on your knees for an extended period of time, take frequent breaks to stretch your legs and rest your knees. Avoid excessive squatting. Excessive or repetitive bending of your knees puts more load on your knee joints.

What are the three signs of bursitis?

The most typical symptoms of bursitis are pain, swelling, and soreness around a joint. Bursitis is treatable with rest and anti-inflammatory medications.

Is knee bursitis permanent?

They keep the various knee tissues from rubbing against one another, which can result in immobility and terrible discomfort. When knee bursitis develops, the bursa becomes inflamed. Knee bursitis is usually a short-term ailment that can be entirely resolved with therapy.

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