The bursa sac is a small, fluid-filled pouch located in front of your knee cap, or patellar, that helps the bones in your knee joint to move smoothly. Bursitis occurs when the bursa becomes inflamed and the sac fills with excess fluid. The most common causes are an injury or blow to the knee, or spending a lot of time kneeling. It can also be caused by an infection after a cut or wound on the knee. Exercises are usually prescribed to treat bursitis.
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The most common signs of bursitis are pain in the knee joint and difficulty bending or kneeling on your knee. You might also notice swelling and redness around your knee cap. The most common treatments are initial rest and anti-inflammatory medication, followed by exercises to improve range of motion in the joint. If your bursitis is caused by an infection, rather than an injury, your doctor may recommend drawing some of the excess fluid out of the sac.
Before starting strengthening exercises, stretch the injured knee joint to improve its range of movement, says the Sports Medicine Patient Advisor. Lie on your back in a doorway, with your buttocks in line with the door jamb and the injured leg closest to the frame. Raise your injured leg and rest it along the frame, keeping your other leg straight out along the floor. Straighten your raised leg as much as you can without causing pain and hold for 30 to seconds. Rest and repeat three times.
Stand in front of a wall, with your toes a couple of inches away from it, then take a step back with your injured leg. Bend your front knee and lean into the wall, keeping your back leg straight. You should feel a stretch down the back of your knee and in your calf muscle. Turn the toes of your back foot in slightly and keep the heel on the floor throughout the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat as often as you can throughout the day.
Thigh Strengthening Exercises
To work your quadriceps muscles in the front of your thigh, sit on the floor with your injured leg straight out in front of you and your other leg bent out to the side or up to the ceiling. Tighten the quadriceps in your injured leg and gently press the back of the knee into the floor. Hold for five seconds, relax and repeat 20 times. For your hamstring muscles in the back of your thigh, bend your injured leg slightly, with just the heel touching the floor, and straighten your other leg out along the floor. Contract you hamstrings to dig the heel of your injured leg into the floor, hold for five seconds and repeat 20 times.