Activity that has caused knee bursitis, should be discontinued, and also avoid movements that worsen the pain. Rest reduces the metabolic demands of the injured tissue and avoids increased blood flow.
An ice pack should be applied to the knee for 20 minutes several times a day until the pain goes away and the knee no longer feels warm to the touch. Ice causes a decrease in the temperature of the tissues and causes vasoconstriction and limitation of the bleeding. It also decreases the pain because cold causes an increase in the threshold levels in the free nerve endings and at synapses.
A compressive wrap or knee sleeve is used to reduce swelling. Compression decreases the intramuscular blood flow to the affected area and also reduces the swelling
The affected knee is elevated and kept on pillows to help reduce swelling in the knee. Elevation ensures a decrease in the hydrostatic pressure and also reduces the accumulation of interstitial fluid. It is a part of Rice-principle, r-rice, i- ice, c-compression, and e-elevation.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS):
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) or EMS (electrical muscle stimulation) is very effective for treating knee pain.
Ultrasound therapy is used to treat the painful knee. Its deep micro-massage effect and tissue thermal effectiveness are found to be effective to reduce pain and swelling.
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT):
Low-level laser therapy is the application of red light over the injured area to stimulate cellular repair. LLLT has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect and also a healing effect on inflamed bursae and surrounding soft tissues.
KT tape helps to relieve pressure off of the inflamed bursae and also increases the circulation to the area. As a result, the pain reduces and also reduces the healing time.
Manual therapy involves soft tissue massage and joint mobilization by a physiotherapist to regain mobility and range of motion of the knee.
Once the initial inflammation is reduced stretching is given, the initial focus should be on pain-free movement, and stretching exercises generally start with gentle stretching to improve flexibility. It also promotes healing of the affected area and reduces the friction between the skin and the patella tendon. When the patella tendon is more flexible less friction is produced. Stretching exercises like a seated hamstring stretch, calf stretch, posterior knee capsule stretch, etc are recommended.
Light strengthening exercises are initiated to restore full motion and improve strength to reduce stress on the tendons and knee joints. Static contraction of the quadriceps is done 1 to 3 times a day so that the patient can resume everyday activities. To check if the exercise is working, fingers are placed on the inner side of the quadriceps to feel the muscle tighten during the contraction of the muscle. The patient is asked to hold his/ her contraction for 5 seconds but should be pain-free, and can be repeated 10 times as hard as possible. Light strengthening exercises like straight-leg raises in supine and side-lying, ankle-toe movements, etc are recommended.