How to Relieve Knee Bursitis Pain: Treatment Tips

Do you experience pain and swelling in your knee? You may be suffering from knee bursitis, also known as prepatellar bursitis. Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles near your joints. Knee bursitis is caused when these bursae become inflamed due to overuse, pressure, or direct injury to the knee. Fortunately, there are several ways to treat knee bursitis and relieve the pain. In this article, we will explore the various treatment tips for knee bursitis.

Diagnosis

The first step in treating knee bursitis is to get an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor may examine your knee to check for swelling, tenderness, and pain. Your doctor may also recommend imaging tests such as an X-ray or MRI to rule out any serious injuries or conditions. In some cases, your doctor may suggest draining the fluid from the bursa for testing.

Treatment options

If you are diagnosed with knee bursitis, there are several treatment options to consider. These include:

  • Resting the knee: Taking a break from activities that cause stress to the affected knee can help alleviate the symptoms.
  • Ice therapy: Applying ice to the knee for 15-20 minutes several times a day can help reduce swelling and pain.
  • Compression: Wearing a compression bandage or sleeve can help reduce swelling and provide support to the knee.
  • Elevation: Elevating the affected leg can help reduce swelling and improve circulation.
  • Pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Injections: Your doctor may suggest injecting corticosteroids into the bursa to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Physical therapy: Performing exercises to strengthen the affected knee can help improve mobility and reduce the risk of future injury.
  • Surgery: In rare cases where other treatments have failed, surgery may be required to remove the bursa.

Resting the knee

Resting the affected knee is crucial to allow the inflammation to heal. You may need to take a break from activities that involve kneeling, squatting, or putting pressure on the affected knee until the symptoms subside. Make sure to take frequent breaks if you have a job that requires you to stand for long periods of time. You can also try using crutches to take the pressure off of the affected knee if you need to get around.

Ice therapy

Ice therapy is an effective way to reduce swelling and pain in the knee. You can apply ice to the affected knee for 15-20 minutes several times a day. Make sure to wrap the ice pack in a towel or cloth to prevent skin damage. Do not use heat therapy as it can aggravate the inflammation.

Compression

Wearing a compression bandage or sleeve can help reduce swelling and provide support to the knee. Compression helps to improve blood flow and reduce the risk of further injury. Make sure to wear a properly fitting compression bandage or sleeve and avoid wearing it too tightly as it can restrict blood flow.

Elevation

Elevating the affected leg above the level of the heart can help reduce swelling and improve circulation. You can prop up your leg on pillows or a footstool while sitting or lying down. Make sure to avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time as it can worsen the swelling.

Pain relievers

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce pain and inflammation in the knee. Make sure to follow the recommended dosage and consult with your doctor before taking any medication if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

Injections

Your doctor may suggest injecting corticosteroids into the bursa to reduce inflammation and pain. Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that mimic the effect of natural hormones in the body. They can provide fast and effective relief but may have some side effects. Make sure to discuss the risks and benefits of corticosteroid injections with your doctor before proceeding.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy can help to strengthen the muscles around the affected knee and improve mobility. Your physical therapist may suggest exercises to improve flexibility, strength, and balance. Make sure to follow your therapist’s instructions carefully and avoid overloading the affected knee. You may also need to use braces, support pads, or other devices to help stabilize your knee while performing physical therapy.

Surgery

In rare cases where other treatments have failed, surgery may be required to remove the inflamed bursa. This procedure is called bursectomy and involves removing the bursa either through open surgery or arthroscopy (keyhole surgery). Make sure to discuss the risks and benefits of surgery with your doctor before proceeding.

Prevention

Preventing knee bursitis involves taking proper precautions to avoid putting stress on your knees. Some tips to remember include:

  • Wearing protective gear: If you play sports or engage in activities that put pressure on your knees, make sure to wear proper knee pads or other protective gear.
  • Using proper form: Make sure to use proper form when lifting, bending, or exercising to avoid putting unnecessary stress on your knees.
  • Stretching before exercise: Make sure to warm up and stretch your muscles before engaging in any physical activity to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Avoiding repetitive motions: Try to avoid repetitive motions that put strain on your knees, such as constant kneeling or squatting.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight can put extra strain on your knees, so make sure to maintain a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise.

Conclusion

Knee bursitis can be a painful and debilitating condition, but with proper treatment and prevention, you can reduce the risk of further injury and ease the symptoms. Make sure to rest the affected knee, apply ice, wear compression bandages, and see a doctor if the symptoms persist. With the right care and attention, you can regain mobility and alleviate the pain of knee bursitis.

FAQs

  • What causes knee bursitis? Knee bursitis is caused by inflammation of the bursae, which are fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles near your joints. The condition is usually caused by overuse, pressure, or direct injury to the knee.
  • What are the symptoms of knee bursitis? The symptoms of knee bursitis include pain, swelling, tenderness, and limited mobility in the affected knee.
  • How is knee bursitis treated? Knee bursitis can be treated with rest, ice therapy, compression, elevation, pain relievers, injections, physical therapy, and surgery in rare cases. Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms and the underlying cause of knee bursitis.
  • How long does knee bursitis take to heal? The healing time for knee bursitis depends on the severity of the symptoms and the underlying cause. With proper treatment and care, most people with knee bursitis can recover within a few weeks to several months.
  • Can knee bursitis be prevented? Knee bursitis can be prevented by wearing protective gear, using proper form, stretching before exercise, avoiding repetitive motions, and maintaining a healthy weight.

References

  • Ahmad Z, Siddiqui N, Memon A, Durrani MS. (2016). Prepatellar bursitis: literature review and case series. Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, 11(1), 61.
  • Deyle GD, Allison SC, Matekel RL, Ryder MG, Stang JM, Gohdes DD, Hutton JP, Henderson NE, Garber MB. (1999). Physical therapy treatment effectiveness for osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized comparison of supervised clinical exercise and manual therapy procedures versus a home exercise program. Physical Therapy, 79(5), 471-485.
  • Hegmann KT, Johnson CJ. (2014). Prepatellar bursitis. In Hegmann KT ed. Occupational medicine practice guidelines: evaluation and management of common health problems and functional recovery in workers, 3rd ed. Beverly Farms, MA: OEM Press. 251-253.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *