The knee has 14 bursae. A bursa is a small sac that prevents friction from occurring between tendon, muscle, bone and skin. If the bursa becomes irritated it fills with fluid and becomes inflamed resulting in ‘bursitis’. The pre-patellar bursa is the most commonly affected bursa of the knee. This is referred to as ‘housemaid’s knee’.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Pain (overhead activities – throwing, swimming, weights)

  • Catching feeling

  • Impingement with combined abduction and internal rotation

  • Swelling

  • Weakness

  • Tenderness on palpation of the rotator cuff tendon

  • Painful arc on movement (between 70 and 120 degrees of abduction)

What Causes It?

  • Poor control of shoulder and scapula

  • Repetitive overhead activities

  • Overuse (increased volume of training)

  • Shoulder instability

  • Trigger points and tightness within rotator cuff muscles

  • Training technical faults

How to Self Manage

  • R.I.C.E. protocol

  • Avoid  aggravating activities such as those listed above


  • Assessment of the shoulder complex

  • Review and modification of sporting or work activities aggravating shoulder

  • Assess rotator cuff and other stabilising muscles for weakness and/or imbalance

  • Biomechanical review of shoulder and scapular function and stability

  • Prescribe an individualised program to improve stability and strength

  • Soft tissue massage and trigger point release

  • Acupuncture and dry needling

  • Liaising with coach RE sporting technique if required

How Physio Helps

  • Assess the patellar tendon to determine if it is the source of pain

  • Biomechanical review

  • Muscle imbalance correction

  • Eccentric loading program for the patellar tendon

  • Prescription of a brace to offload the patellar tendon

  • Deep transverse frictions

  • Stretching of hamstrings, calves, ITB, and calf muscles

  • Strengthening of quadriceps, glutes and gastrocs.

  • Neural mobilisation

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​Saturday: 8:00am - 12:00pm

Sunday: By Appointment​



Sammy Margo Physiotherapy

444 Finchley Road



Email: physiophysio@hotmail.com

Tel: ​020 7435 4910​​​
Fax: 020 7435 0461

Web: sammymargophysiotherapy.com


Disclaimer: Information made available by AskPhysio (Sammy Margo Physiotherapy) is provided for guidance only and should not be considered as medical recommendations or advice.  AskPhysio is not responsible for errors or omissions in the information. Please consider what the best options for your healthcare are, based on the urgency of your condition and nature of your condition. Please consult a GP or Healthcare Specialist to discuss any specific concerns that exist prior to using the information provided.