How To Treat Knee Bursitis At Home | Top Tips From Pain Specialists
Prepatellar knee bursitis is an uncomfortable and painful condition. It occurs when fluid filled sacs (bursa) around your knee become swollen and cause irritation and inflammation at your knee joint. We can help by providing expert advice from our Harvard-trained doctors on how to treat knee bursitis at home. We will also review symptoms, risk factors and causes of knee bursitis to help you.
How To Treat Knee Bursitis At Home | The Top Four Tips
The pain and discomfort of prepatellar knee bursitis varies from person to person. In particular, prepatellar bursitis is the inflammation of bursa in front of the kneecap. Despite this discomfort, many cases of knee bursitis can be treated at home! Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms:
If you rest the affected bursa, it will help you to reduce movement which will stop added stress and pressure. A reduction in movement will provide the bursa with time to heal. Periods of rest will vary from person to person. You might still feel able to stretch and engage in gentle exercise, but be aware of when the exercise starts to hurt your knee!
2 Apply Ice
Applying ice to the affected area will reduce inflammation and swelling caused by the fluid filled sacs. Ice is especially helpful if applied to the area of pain within 24 – 48 hours of feeling the initial pain. If you do not have an ice pack available, you can also use frozen bags of vegetables. Make sure you wrap a thin towel around the ice before application to skin to prevent ice burns.
3 Gentle Stretches
You might be able to engage in gentle stretching routines to help strengthen the muscles around the bursa. Make sure you exercise slowly and ease off from stretching if you begin to feel any pain. It would be best to seek medical advice if looking for specific stretches to assist with your knee bursitis.
Elevating the affected area can reduce inflammation. This works by decreasing blood flow to the area of pain. Try to keep the knee as in line with the heart as possible when resting. You might need to put your leg on a stool to assist.
Symptoms of Knee Bursitis
Now that we have looked at ways to treat knee bursitis at home, let’s look at the symptoms. The symptoms can vary from person to person and range from discomfort to considerable pain. Some symptoms include:
- Painful knees – usually a dull, achy pain
- Swollen knees
- Red knees
- Knees that feel very warm
- Knees that become more painful when moving or doing exercise
Important risk factors to consider include:
- Age – knee bursitis is more common in older individuals
- Other medical conditions – some diseases and conditions can cause knee bursitis, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and gout
- Obesity – individuals who are overweight can have an increased risk of knee bursitis due to excessive weight gain
- Occupation/hobbies – repetitive motion/pressure can increase the risk of knee bursitis.
If your symptoms persist or get worse, consider seeking medical advice from a pain management specialist. They can provide you with a consultation and overview of the problem area as well as a treatment plan to suit you. There are many conservative treatment options available that don’t rely on long-term use of pain medications or unnecessary surgeries!
What Causes Knee Bursitis?
Knee bursitis is a common condition. There are over 150 joints in the body and each joint is cushioned by small, fluid filled sacs called bursa. Bursitis occurs when the fluid filled sacs around the affected bursa become inflamed as a result of repetitive movement or pressure. This causes the sacs to produce more liquid and causes the sacs to swell. The shoulders, elbows and knees are the most common areas affected by bursitis. In particular, prepatellar (knee) bursitis is very common and affects the bursa in front of the knee (the kneecap).
The pain of bursitis can vary, but it is important to seek medical advice if symptoms persist or worsen. There are many minimally invasive treatment options for knee bursitis that avoid surgery and over-reliance on narcotics. Before committing to this, consider visiting a specialized pain doctor.
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