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Knee Bursitis Physiotherapy



Knee bursitis, commonly known as

  • "housemaid's knee" and
  • "clergyman's knee"

typically has swelling of one (1) or more of the bursae at the front of the knee.

Knee bursitis is one of the most common bursitis conditions; it can be painful when moving the knee, when kneeling, or even when at rest. That being said, sometimes, this condition can also be painless, with only visible swelling present.

Knee bursitis can have many causes.

The most common is

  • trauma, whether from a direct hit in falls, motor vehicle accidents, or sports injuries or
  • the result of activities that require crawling or kneeling on hard surfaces for long periods of time, such as laying carpet or tile, or scrubbing floors

Knee bursitis is most commonly seen in athletes; up to 10% of runners develop knee bursitis.

However, its occurrence is not related to any particular age or ethnic group, and can also be caused by infection or autoimmune conditions.

Our senior physiotherapists treat individuals with knee bursitis to

What is Knee Bursitis?

Knee bursitis (also called prepatellar or infrapatellar bursitis) happens when one or more of the many bursae (fluid-filled sacs) becomes

Normally, a bursa acts as a cushion or friction-reducer between 2 body parts, such as between bone and skin, or bone and ligament or tendon.

The bursae that is located on the front of the knee serve as cushions between the knee cap and skin, and between the patellar tendon and tibia bone.

Prolonged pressure or traumatic blows can (and will) definitely injure a bursa, and repetitive motions can cause irritating friction on it, leading to the development of bursitis. In fact, "itis" means "inflammation." When the bursa is injured, it can swell and become painful.

Knee bursitis can be caused by:

  • Repetitive motions, including certain sports, such as running
  • Prolonged kneeling, as when cleaning floors, installing flooring, or praying in a kneeling position (hence the clergyman knees)
  • Prolonged crawling, such as when laying carpet or flooring, or scrubbing floors
  • Direct trauma, such as being hit or falling on the knee
  • Knee surgery or knee joint replacement
  • Infection
  • Autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis

How Does it Feel?

With knee bursitis, you may experience:

  • Swelling on the front of the knee
  • Redness on the front of the knee
  • Pain when you push with your fingers on the front of the knee
  • Pain when kneeling
  • Knee joint stiffness, or difficulty straightening or bending the knee

How Is knee bursitis Diagnosed?

If you see our senior physical therapist first, we will conduct a thorough evaluation that includes taking your health history.

We also will ask you detailed questions about your injury, such as:

  • How and when did you notice the swelling and / or pain?
  • Have you been performing any repetitive activity?
  • Did you receive a direct hit to the knee, fall on it, or kneel for a long period of time?

We also will perform special tests to help determine the likelihood that you have knee bursitis.

Our senior physiotherapists will gently press on the front of the knee to see if it is painful to the touch, and may use additional tests to determine if other parts of your knee are injured. We also will observe how you can move your knee, and test your strength and flexibility.

We will test and screen for other, more serious conditions that could cause knee pain or swelling.

To provide a more definitive diagnosis, we may collaborate with an orthopedic physician or other health care provider, who may order further tests to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out other damage to the knee, such as a fracture or infection.

how our senior physiotherapists can help you

We will work with you to design a specific treatment program that will speed your recovery, including exercises and treatments that you can do at home.

The goal of physical therapy is to accelerate and safely help you return to your normal lifestyle and activities. The time it takes to heal the condition varies, but results can be achieved between 4 to 8 weeks, more or less, when a proper physiotherapy swelling management, stretching, and strengthening program is implemented.

During the first 24 to 48 hours following your diagnosis, we may advise you to:

  • Apply light compression to the area by wrapping the knee a specific way using a compressive wrap.
  • Rest the area by avoiding any activity that causes pressure or pain in the knee.
  • Apply cold therapy to the area for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 hours.
  • Consult with a physician for further services, such as medication or diagnostic tests.

We will work with you to:

Reduce Pain and Swelling

If repetitive activities have caused the knee bursitis, we will help you understand how to avoid or modify the activities to allow healing to begin.

We may use different types of treatments and electrothermal modalities (heat therapy, light therapy, or sound therapy to reduce swelling and pain) to control and reduce your pain and swelling.

Improve Motion

We will choose specific activities and treatments to help restore normal movement in the knee and leg. These might begin with "passive" motions that the therapist performs for you to gently move your knee joint, and progress to active exercises and stretches that you do yourself.

Improve Flexibility

We will determine if any of your leg muscles are tight, start helping you to stretch them, and teaching you how to stretch them on your own.

Improve Strength

If we finds any weak or injured leg muscles, we will choose and teach you the correct exercises and equipment to steadily restore your strength and agility.

Improve Endurance

Restoring your leg's muscular endurance is important after an injury. We will develop a program of activities to help you regain the endurance that you had before the injury, so you can return to doing the things you like to do.

Improve Balance

Regaining your sense of balance is important after an injury. We will teach you exercises to improve your balance skills.

Restore Agility

Speed and accuracy of leg movement is important in athletics. We will help you regain these skills in preparation for a return to sports activities.

Learn a Home Program

We will teach you strengthening and stretching exercises to perform at home. These exercises will be specific for your needs; if you do them as prescribed by our senior physical therapists, you can speed your recovery.

Return to Activities

We will discuss your activity goals with you and use them to set your work, sport, and home-life recovery goals. Your treatment program will help you reach your goals in the safest, fastest, and most effective way possible.

We will teach you exercises, work retraining activities, and sport-specific techniques and drills to help you achieve your goals.

Speed Recovery Time

We're trained and experienced in choosing the best treatments and exercises to help you safely heal, return to your normal lifestyle, and reach your goals faster than you are likely to do on your own.

If Surgery Is Necessary

Surgery is typically not required for knee bursitis.

But if corrective knee surgery is needed, you will follow a physiotherapy recovery program over several weeks, guided by our senior physiotherapist.

We will help you minimize swelling and pain, regain motion and strength, and return to normal activities in the safest and speediest manner possible.



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book your physio appointment or enquire now

Enquire and email your preferred physiotherapy appointment slot to louise@phoenixrehabgroup.com or

WhatsApp / SMS your name, preferred date, time and enquiries to +6588001830

Clinic Locations: See how to get to us here

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Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.



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ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).

See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.

At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.

Follow up sessions are inline to provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

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We do not rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients. When you have the chance, please tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our physio clinics.

book your physio appointment or enquire now

Enquire and email your preferred physiotherapy appointment slot to louise@phoenixrehabgroup.com or

WhatsApp / SMS your name, preferred date, time and enquiries to +6588001830

Clinic Locations: See how to get to us here