knee bursitis treatmentsKnee bursitis treatment depends on whether or not your knee is infected. In this article, we look at the various ways you can treat this condition.  

Simple bursitis (that is, bursitis that is not infected) can be treated at home. If you suspect your bursitis is infected (septic bursitis) then you need to seek medical treatment from a healthcare professional. If you have a fever, or feel generally unwell, then home treatment is not appropriate. If you have aseptic (non-infected) knee bursitis, there are several things you can do to treat it yourself.


Knee Bursitis (Prepatellar Bursitis) Self Care Techniques

Rest the Affected Knee

  • Rest your knee as much as possible until the pain and inflammation reduces.
  • When sitting, elevate your leg by resting it on a stool.
  • Avoid strenuous activities so that you do not cause additional pain. Kneeling, crouching, repetitive bending and squatting can aggravate the problem.
  • Try not to stand for long periods as this puts pressure on the affected joint.

Control the Pain

  • Use over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin or paracetamol to help relieve the pain.
  • Ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Naproxen or Diclofenac, can be used to help reduce swelling.
  • Topical anti-inflammatory medications can also be effective.
  • Always consult your doctor before taking any kind of medication.

Reduce the Swelling

  • Use Ice packs. Applying cold to your inflamed knee helps reduce the swelling and redness around it. Cold therapy also numbs.
  • Wrap an ice pack (or a bag of frozen vegetables) in a towel to prevent ‘cold burns’.
  • Apply it to the affected area for 10-20 minutes. Repeat this every 2-3 hours.

Wear a Knee Sleeve

A knee sleeve gives support and so helps protect the knee joint from further injury.

More readingTop 10 Knee Sleeves and Braces

Don’t sleep on the affected side

  • When you’re in bed, avoid lying on the affected side. Place a pillow between your knees when lying on your other side.
  • When on your back, place pillows under your knee to raise it above the level of your heart. This helps reduce the inflammation.

Prevent it Happening Again

You can help prevent a recurrence by doing the following:

  • Keeping your thigh muscles flexible by exercising.
  • Watch the amount of time you spend in a kneeling position. If your job means you have to be on your knees for long periods – get up at regular intervals to stretch your legs and relieve the pressure on your knees.
  • Pace yourself during activities that involve repeated bending or squatting.
  • Being over-weight puts pressure on your knees and hips. Try to manage your weight by taking regular exercise and eating a balanced diet.

Sometimes, self-treating non-infectious knee bursitis doesn’t relieve the problem. In this case, you should see your doctor who can inject cortisone medication into the swollen bursa. Corticosteroids work quickly to decrease inflammation and pain.

If your knee bursitis becomes infected, you will need antibiotic treatment that may include, flucloxacillin, erythromycin, or clarithromycin.

Occasionally, it is necessary to have the bursa fluid aspirated. This is a procedure where the fluid is removed by your doctor using a needle and syringe under sterile conditions. The fluid may sent to be analysed in a laboratory to identify the microbes causing the infection.

Non-infected knee bursitis can be treated at home.  Why not try some of these knee bursitis treatment strategies to free yourself of the pain, inflammation, and restricted movement caused by this condition? You’ll soon feel the difference!