Self-management

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.

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.