Knee Bursitis

Knee Bursitis - Understanding the Pain and Solutions

Knee bursitis is a condition that can cause discomfort and swelling in the knee area. In this blog, we will delve into the causes, symptoms, and available treatment options for knee bursitis. Discover how physiotherapy can provide effective solutions for pain relief and promote recovery. If you are seeking expert care and personalized solutions, this blog is your guide to regaining mobility and overall well-being. Don't let knee bursitis hold you back; learn how to overcome it and get back to an active lifestyle. Read on to find more about knee bursitis and its management.

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Knee bursitis refers to the inflammation of the bursa or a small sac filled with fluid and present close to the knee joint.

What is Knee Bursitis

Knee bursitis is a medical condition characterized by the inflammatory condition of a small fluid-filled sac called the prepatellar bursa, which is located near the knee joint. 

The primary function of the bursa is to cushion the pressure points and minimize friction between the tendons, bones, skin, and muscles. A lump-like structure on the front portion of the knee indicates bursitis.

The prepatellar bursa at the front of the knee is more prone to bursitis and produces fluid in excess when inflamed. This fluid deposits in the bursa sac, making it swollen. The swollen and inflamed prepatellar bursa causes the front part of the knee to swell and appear like a lump. Various factors, including injury, irritation, or an underlying medical condition like arthritis, can cause this.

Symptoms of Knee Bursitis 

The most typical symptom of knee bursitis is swelling of the kneecap. When the cause of bursitis is trauma or infection, the symptoms and the inflammation often appear quickly. However, when repeated kneeling causes bursitis, the symptoms may occur over many days or weeks. 

The other common signs and symptoms of knee bursitis are:

  • Swelling of the front part of the knee: The inflamed prepatellar bursa fills with excess fluid making the swelled portion visible through the skin. With time, the swollen area may feel soft or squashy.
  • Movement: Even in mild or moderate bursitis cases, it is common to experience movement restriction in the knee joint, with limitations in the range of motion and discomfort during activities requiring bending or straightening the knee.
  • Pain and tenderness:  The severity of knee bursitis pain varies in people with bursitis, and the area may feel painful or tender when resting. A person with bursitis may not feel pain when resting, but tenderness is felt during kneeling, pressing over the knee, or bending and become more prominent when it becomes squeezed during straightening or bending of the leg.
  • Changes in the skin: The skin on the affected area around the knee appears red or pink and feels warm to the touch, and the skin temperature increases for those with septic bursitis. ‍
  • Fever and chills in septic knee bursitis:  Fever, fatigue, and chills are also commonly observed indicating a more widespread inflammatory response within the body.

Causes of Knee Bursitis

Knee bursitis can develop due to various factors, and understanding the different factors that lead to it is crucial in identifying a suitable treatment.

  • Repeated trauma or irritation caused due to kneeling on hard surfaces may cause knee bursitis as it puts pressure on the prepatellar bursa on the front portion of the knee.
  • Injuries to the knee can lead to blood-filled bursae, resulting in inflammation and swelling. The blood absorbs into the body, but the bursa stays inflamed and produces more fluid, resulting in swelling and knee-bursitis symptoms.
  • Although uncommon, bursa inflammation can also occur due to other conditions, such as arthritis, gout, or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Other additional causes of knee bursitis include infections, diabetes, and alcoholism. 

Physical Therapy for Knee Bursitis 

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in treating knee bursitis. It effectively reduces pain and inflammation, improves knee joint mobility, and strengthens muscles around the knee. An expert physiotherapist provides guidance, advice, and tips to promote healing and restore optimal function. Some common physiotherapy treatments include manual therapy like soft tissue mobilization, electrotherapy, ultrasound therapy, laser therapy, ice or heat therapy, acupuncture or dry needling, and other adjunctive treatments that help alleviate pain and swelling. 

These provide stability and support to the knee as it recovers from the condition. A physiotherapist is well-trained to help patients follow the best practices that will facilitate recovery in knee bursitis and prevent future injuries. 

When to See a Physiotherapist for Knee Bursitis 

If you experience pain, swelling, or inflammation on the knee and observe a lump-like structure on the knee, it is best advised to visit a physiotherapist. An expert physiotherapist can help you with the following:

  • Advice on how to avoid pressure or pain in the affected area.
  • Advice on the application of ice packs
  • Treatments and electrothermal modalities that control and reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Restoration of normal movement of the knee and leg
  • Stretching of tight leg muscles
  • Learning the correct exercises to strengthen the knee
  • Improving the muscular endurance of the leg
  • Regaining balance and restoration of speed
  • Learning strengthening and stretching exercises at home
  • Setting goals to resume normal activities 

Potential Risks of Knee Bursitis

 While knee bursitis can affect anyone, certain factors increase the risk of developing knee bursitis. Some of the risks of bursitis include:

  • Engaging in prolonged and strenuous activities
  • Blow or injury to the knee
  • Complications occurring due to rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis
  • Sustained or frequent pressure, such as kneeling on hard surfaces
  • Infection of the bursa 

Essential Physical Therapy Tips for Knee Bursitis Recovery 

Embarking on a journey towards knee bursitis recovery requires professional guidance, but incorporating practical physical therapy tips can significantly promote healing and improve joint function.

Some essential tips are as follows-

  • Consult an Expert Physiotherapist: Partner with a seasoned professional to assess the severity of your knee bursitis and design a personalized recovery plan that suits your specific needs.
  • Optimize Pain Management: Employ a combination of effective techniques, including ice/heat therapy, taping, and cutting-edge modalities like ultrasound, electrical stimulation, or laser therapy, to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Embrace Targeted Exercises: Engage in a carefully curated range of motion and strengthening exercises, recommended by your expert physiotherapist, to enhance knee joint function and alleviate discomfort.
  • Correct Posture and Ergonomics: Receive valuable advice on posture correction and ergonomic adjustments, creating a supportive environment for your knee's healing process.
  • Modify Activities Wisely: Make mindful changes to your daily activities to prevent aggravating the condition and foster a conducive atmosphere for recovery.
  • Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle: Prioritize maintaining a healthy weight and embracing habits that contribute to knee health, positively impacting your overall healing journey.
  • Stay Consistent with Home Exercise Programs: Adhere diligently to the home exercise program prescribed by your physiotherapist, ensuring steady progress throughout your recovery.
  • Practice Self-Care Strategies: Cultivate self-awareness and employ self-care techniques to manage symptoms and facilitate long-term healing from knee bursitis.

Preventing Recurrence of Knee Bursitis

Recovery from knee bursitis does not remove the threat of a potential recurrence. The prevention process starts by identifying risk factors such as repetitive activities, poor biomechanics, and improper equipment and working on appropriately fixing them. Further, physiotherapists educate their patients on proper warm-up and stretching techniques to prevent strain on the knee. They also guide appropriate footwear, protective gear, and activity equipment. Since this is a continuous long-term effort, following up and maintaining a proper exercise routine is essential for optimal knee health.

Get Back to Your Best Self with Knee Bursitis Physiotherapy 

Knee bursitis is relatively common but can negatively affect your physiological health when left untreated. If you are coping with the pain and inflammation of knee bursitis, don’t hesitate to consult our expert physiotherapists for world- class physical therapy treatment at Physiotattva and get on a personalized recovery program! Call us today: ++++1800 208 8354

Frequently Asked Questions

How can physiotherapy help with knee bursitis?
Physiotherapy plays a vital role in reducing pain and inflammation, improving knee joint mobility, and strengthening the muscles around the knee, aiding in faster recovery.
Can knee bursitis be treated without surgery?
In many cases, knee bursitis can be effectively treated with non-surgical approaches like physiotherapy, pain management, rest, and anti-inflammatory medications.
What can I do to prevent knee bursitis from recurring?
Preventive measures include avoiding repetitive activities that stress the knee, using proper protective gear, and maintaining a regular exercise routine to strengthen the muscles supporting the knee.
How do I get rid of knee bursitis?
Rest & Ice: Avoid aggravating activities and apply ice packs to reduce swelling and pain. Compression: Use a bandage or knee brace for support. Physiotherapy: Seek professional treatment to improve mobility and strength. NSAIDs: Over-the-counter medication may provide temporary relief. Consult a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.

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