Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

To ease pain and discomfort of knee bursitis:

  • Rest your knee. Discontinue the activity that caused knee bursitis and avoid movements that worsen your pain.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers. Short-term use of an anti-inflammatory drug, such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others), can help relieve pain.
  • Apply ice. Apply an ice pack to your knee for 20 minutes at a time several times a day until the pain goes away and your knee no longer feels warm to the touch.
  • Apply compression. Use of a compressive wrap or knee sleeve can help reduce swelling.
  • Elevate your knee. Prop your affected leg on pillows to help reduce swelling in your knee.

Prevention

To avoid knee bursitis or prevent its recurrence:

  • Wear kneepads. If you're working on your knees or participating in sports that put your knees at risk, use padding to cushion and protect your knees.
  • Take breaks. If you're on your knees for a period of time, take regular breaks to stretch your legs and rest your knees.
  • Avoid excessive squatting. Excessive or repetitious bending of your knees increases the force on your knee joints.
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. This can help take pressure off your knee joint.
April 22, 2017
References
  1. Canoso JJ. Knee bursitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 19, 2016.
  2. Bursitis. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/bursitis/. Accessed Dec. 19, 2016.
  3. Bursitis and tendinitis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/bursitis/. Accessed Dec. 19, 2016.
  4. Todd DJ. Bursitis: An overview of clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 19, 2016.
  5. Prepatellar (kneecap) bursitis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00338. Accessed Dec. 19, 2016.
  6. Pes anserine (knee tendon) bursitis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00335. Accessed Dec. 19, 2016.