How to Resolve Bursitis in Your Knee

4 min read

Have you ever had knee pain that doesn’t get better when you rest the knee but also feels warm and tender to the touch and appears to be swollen? If you already have arthritis of the knee, you might chalk it up to that. But bursitis is different and treatable! It can appear in several joints, but the knee and elbow are the most common. 

What is Bursitis?

Bursitis is a condition caused by inflammation of the bursae. The bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that act as cushions between bones and tissues such as muscles, tendons, and skin. In the knee, there are three major bursae. They help you walk, run, stretch and bend down. 

Due to overuse or an injury, one or more of these bursae can become inflamed and cause pain and swelling in the knee. Bursitis is most often caused by overuse or repetitive motions. If you have a job where you need to kneel a lot, this could become a concern over time, even if you wear protective knee coverings. 

Symptoms of Knee Bursitis

If the bursitis in the knee is caused by overuse, the pain will typically develop gradually. If you recently experienced a knee injury, these symptoms could appear suddenly.

The first symptom of bursitis is usually pain. This pain will be felt in the area around the joint and may get worse when you move the joint or press on it. You may also have swelling and redness in the area. The skin around the joint may feel warm to the touch. 

The swelling and warmth may come and go over time. The pain, however, is usually present for most of every day. You may also have a hard time bending or straightening your knee. Pins and needles/tingling, numbness, or weakness of the knee are also common symptoms. People who suffer from bursitis may have difficulty sitting down and getting up from a chair without using their hands or experiencing some form of pain.

How Can a Chiropractor Treat Knee Bursitis?

Deciding to see a chiropractor for your knee pain is a great first step in knowing the cause and what can be done to treat the condition. An exam is performed first and along with questions about when the pain started and exactly where it’s located in the knee area. You might also be asked to demonstrate how well you can move and bend your knee. This will help the chiropractor know if the pain is caused by bursitis and which bursae are affected. From there, a treatment plan can be created.

One of the first goals is to reduce the inflammation of the bursa that’s affected. This can be done with some at home processes such as icing it. But to get the swelling down sooner, cold laser therapy can help you heal much faster.

Cold Laser Therapy for Knee Pain Caused by Bursitis

One of the primary purposes of cold laser therapy is to help reduce inflammation in the targeted area. It also helps to promote healing by stimulating blood flow and increasing oxygen levels in the affected area so it can heal faster. The relief from cold laser therapy can often be felt quickly. 

The process is completely painless and quick. The chiropractor will place the cold laser over the knee area, specifically over the bursa that’s affected. Then after turning on the laser, you’ll sit for 5-15 minutes. You won’t feel anything, but the laser is doing its work to help the healing process.


Another proven way to reduce inflammation with cryotherapy. Liquid nitrogen is applied to a specific area of the body through an applicator held by the chiropractor for a few minutes. The areas that’s targeted by the freezing temperatures reduce inflammation at the cellular level. By stopping the inflammation at its root, pain is reduced and the white blood cells work at optimal levels for healing. You might feel a cold sensation, but that’s about it. Cryotherapy has been used for decades to reduce inflammation and is a trusted tool used for some patients with bursitis.

Knee Traction

If the bursitis is located just below the kneecap in the infrapatellar bursa, knee traction may be used to relieve the inflammation by taking pressure off of the area. This allows blood to flow into the area to help it heal.

Helping Your Knee Heal Faster

The process of removing unwanted toxins and restoring balance to your body has a significant effect on bursitis symptoms—and might also reduce pain. Try to drink plenty of water and eat healthy foods. Stay away from fried foods and sugar that increase inflammation in the body. This is good not only for bursitis but also for those who suffer from arthritis.

If your work requires you to kneel a lot, it may be a good idea to purchase new knee protection. It can wear out over time. You should also try to take more frequent breaks, or change the position you work in often so that your knees aren’t taking as much of your body weight throughout the work day.

Chiropractic Treatments For Knee Pain at Village Chiropractic

Chiropractic care has been found to offer relief for many different types of joint issues, including knee pain caused by bursitis. At Village Chiropractic we specialize in determining what's causing your knee discomfort so we can help treat the root cause of the pain, while also relieving your pain.

If you’re experiencing knee pain, request an appointment at our office in The Woodlands for an assessment. We’ll help you get back to feeling your best so you can get back to your regular activities! 


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