Pes Anserine Knee Bursitis Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Pes Anserine Knee Bursitis Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo, and today
I’m going to show you some stretches and exercises for Pes anserine bursitis. huh?
let’s go with knee bursitis. let’s get started. so the pes anserine bursa sit on the
inner knee here, and three muscle tendons come down and so that Bursa is to
protect those tendons but when it gets inflamed and becomes an itis, it can be
really really painful. so some people might just call it a knee bositis
but it does have a specific name for it, and pes anserine in case you care means
goosefoot because that’s kind of how those tendons is, so fun fact for you. so
the first thing we’re going to start off with is a hamstring stretch.
you can stretch your hamstrings in a whole bunch of different ways, but my
favorite way is just to use a strap. so you can lie down and just kind of relax
the rest of your body. if you don’t have a strap you can use a belt, you can use a
dog leash if you have one, or you can just use a big beach towel, but if you’ve
got one with a loop, wrap it around your foot so it stays on nice and tight, and
then go ahead and lie down. you want to try and keep your leg as straight as you
can, so your knee is gonna stay pretty much locked out and then just bring it
up. but you’re not lifting your leg you’re pulling up your leg with the
strap, so you’re just gonna come up into that stretch. if you’ve got that itis, this
it might be pretty painful, just right here, but if you can bring it all the way
up a little bit more, go ahead and go as far as you comfortably can. and this is
stretching the hamstrings which are behind your knee is what people usually
think, but there is one that comes around the side there kind of where that bursa
is, so you want to make sure and stretch your hamstrings as well. so you’re going
to hold that stretch for 30 seconds and then do that a total of three times. if
you want to do a combination hamstring calf stretch, when you come back up you
can pull down and bring your foot down, and that should activate your calf
muscles as well, but if you feel like this is too much, like maybe you’re
getting more of the calf than the hamstrings, then you can just sit up,
bring that strap a little bit higher, and just stretch the calf by pulling towards
you. so again your foot’s relaxed. you’re
pulling with the strap. you’re not actively moving that foot, but now you
should feel that stretch in that calf area there, and again holding that
stretch for 30 seconds and then doing that three times. then you want to go
into stretching your quad. so I’m gonna kind of switch legs just because I’m
gonna roll over onto my tummy, but just keep doing the leg that bothers you the
most. so it’s nice to have the loop because then just go ahead and wrap it
all the way around to your ankle and then take the strap as you’re turning
around and put it over your shoulder like this. so if you need to bring it up
a little bit higher, you can and then just relax that leg and start pulling
towards you. so the goal is to get that heel as close to your bottom as you can,
and you should feel that stretch in that quad muscle in the front. so you don’t
want it to be super painful, but you want to have some tension be slightly
uncomfortable where you’re feeling a good stretch. and so again this one
holding for 30 seconds, relaxing and doing three times. now if you have some
back issues, propping up on your elbows like this might be a little
uncomfortable, so make sure the rest of your body is comfortable. so if you need
to lie all the way down and just pull like this you can, but most people are
pretty comfortable this way. so again 30 seconds three times for that. then the
next stretch is going to go into a butterfly stretch which is going to get
your groin and those adductor muscles a little bit. and again that one, this
adductors come down into that pes anserine area. so for a butterfly stretch,
just bring your feet together like this and start sliding them in until you feel
a stretch. if you need more of a stretch you can place your elbows on your inner
thighs and then push down and lean forward, but try and keep your back
straight so you’re not curling down like this. if you keep your back straight and
just lean forward at your hips, you’re gonna get a much better stretch.
so again that 30 seconds holding that stretch and then coming back up and
doing that a total of three times. some people like to actually bring their
hands out and do the stretch like that so they can get a little bit further
each time. you can do that just still try and keep your back pretty straight. so I
like this one a little bit better because then you can push down on your
elbows and really open up those inner thigh muscles those groin muscles to
get that stretch in there. so now we’re going to go into some exercises. with the
first couple exercises depending on again how comfortable your back is, you
want to make sure to support your back especially if you’re having some back
issues, but if you’re pretty good sitting up that’s fine. I’m going to do them
sitting up but you can definitely do them lying down if you want to. so the
first exercise is going to be a quad set and so all a quad set is is you’re
contracting that quad muscle squeezing it to get the knee to go down to the
floor. if you want to roll up a towel and have a little target you can, but really
the goal is just to get that knee as straight as you can. so if you can see
here, my quad muscle is squeezing as I’m pushing down. if you pull up your toes
that helps activate it as well, and so with the quad sets you want to hold it
just a little bit so as you’re squeezing. hold for about three to five seconds and
then relax. so you’re just working those quad muscles to get them a little bit
stronger, but not in a big huge way yet where it’s uncomfortable, so holding
three to five seconds, starting off with about ten, and then you can kind of work
your way up from there. then you want to start working your hamstrings just a
little bit, but same thing just kind of slowly progressing into it because if
you’ve got that bursitis that irritation in that knee, a lot of movements bending
straightening out activating those muscles are pretty uncomfortable, so this
one is just going to be a heel slide, and all you do with the heel slide is just
how it sounds. I usually prop up my other leg just to
kind of give me some support and then you’re just going to slide your heel up
as far as you comfortably can. and again you might this might be it right here,
but go slide up as much as you can, get a nice stretch in there and then just
slide it back down. so this is kind of a stretch exercise combination because as
I’m pulling my heel up, as I’m sliding it up, I’m activating those hamstring
muscles, I’m making them work so I’m pulling pulling getting a good bend in
the knee so that’s where the stretch it is, and then just coming back down. so
same thing kind of what the quad sets when you come up here where it’s tight
or where you don’t want to go any further, hold it for about three to five
seconds and then slide back down just to kind of get that working. in this you
know once you get to ten of those if the next day you’re fine and there’s no
irritation, you can start bumping it from there.
so then you’re gonna lie down again and get nice and comfortable again. I like
propping up the opposite leg just because it takes pressure off of your
back, some people do this and it doesn’t bother them, but that kind of makes your
back arch a little bit, so I like having this propped up. now you’re gonna do a
straight leg raise. for the straight leg raise, it’s just how it sounds, you want
to keep that leg as straight as you can, and the best way to keep it straight and
not bend the knee is to pull your toes up and that kind of helps lock
everything out. that makes your quad contracting, make sure calves contract,
and then so you can pull it up keeping that leg nice and straight. so use your
other leg as a target so you’re not swinging it all the way up, you’re just
bringing it up till it’s about level with the other side. so if you come up
here that’s too much because that’s gonna make you use momentum, and then
you’re not using your muscles to get it up there and then nice and slowly come
back down. so the coming back down, don’t just use gravity and plop it back down.
one because it’s probably gonna hurt, and two you’re not you’re not working the
muscles. and coming back down is just as important maybe even a little more
important than coming up, so you want it to be a slow controlled smooth motion
the whole time you do it. if you can, don’t relax your leg all the way when
you go down. if you need to take a little break that’s fine, but if you’re coming
up when you go back down maybe not even quite
to the ground leave it just above and then come back up so you have to keep
those muscles tight and controlled the whole time. if you get to three sets of
ten, two sets of fifteen, up to twenty twenty-five couple sets and those are
easy, you can add a little ankle weight onto that and then start back over from
there. the next one is going to be a side leg raise or we call it side hip
abduction. so again now we’re saying that the top leg is my injured side even
though I haven’t been working that side. so the injure side is on top what you
want to do is still keep that leg nice and locked out and straight but you want
your whole body when you’re on the side in a straight line, so when I come up
with my leg I don’t want it to come forward enough I really want it to go
slightly back because that’s going to keep myself in a straight line. you also
want to lead with your heel so it’s not this because then that’s not quite
working the muscles. it’s going with your heel up and back just a little bit, and
so that’s starting to work those hip muscles a little bit. they have a lot to
do with the knee, so just going up this way and then nice and slowly coming back
down. so again just starting off with about ten to fifteen of these, really
kind of pushing back with that heel up and then if you get a couple sets of
those and you get up to 20-25 with a couple sets, then you can add that ankle
weight. then you’re going to go into a hip adduction, ad, which is on the inside
which again is kind of where that those tendons go over that Bursa and is really
painful. so this one might be tough to do just do a couple at first and see how it
feels, but we’re going back to now the injured leg is on the floor. and so with
your top leg, you can either prop it up behind you or
you can prop it in front of you whichever is more comfortable. I’m just
going to prop it up behind me so you can see what my leg is doing. you still want
to keep it nice and straight locked out pull up your toes to help lock it out,
but this time it’s not going to be a really big movement. you’re just lifting
it a little bit off of floor, but trying to keep your toes
pointed forward this time. so again if you already have some pain in that area
there, this might be a little bit too much to start off with, and you can just
build your way up to it, but if you feel like you can do something maybe just
start off with three or four and then five or six and then work your way up
from there. but don’t feel like you need to do a whole lot in the beginning
because it might not hurt a lot while you’re doing it at the time, but you
might be sore afterwards. so I think it’s much easier to do a little bit and then
progress your way up and instead of starting with a whole lot and then
having to back off of it because you’re so sore. so the last one is going to be a
clamshell. so we’re going back to the top leg the top leg is the one that you that
you’re you have the injury, and you want to work. with clamshells, it’s really
important to keep your hips perpendicular to the floor straight up
and down. when you do this motion, a lot of times people want to roll back, but
you really want to try and keep it here so you can work all these hip muscles
which have a lot to do with that knee in general. so the glute med, that IT band
over there, all these kind of muscles the glutes in general have a lot to do with
the knee as well. so bending your knees forward kind of sitting on top of each
other and your feet sitting on top of each other the feet are gonna stay
together and you’re just gonna take that top knee and lift it up. again it doesn’t
have to go very high cuz once you start going too high your hips are gonna want to
roll back, and if you roll back then you’re not really getting that exercise.
so try and keep this straight up and down and then just lift that leg a
little bit that way. so knee coming off the other knee, but the feet are staying
together and so this looks pretty easy and sometimes three or four are pretty
easy, but once you start getting more than that it’s pretty tough. so again
just start with a little bit of these and see how you feel. again if you get up
to 20-25 and you’re doing two, three sets and it’s easy, you can either take an
ankle weight and put it around the top thigh or you can take a resistive band
and wrap it around your thighs and then work it that way, and that will give you
some extra resistance. so those were your stretches and exercises for pes
anserine bursitis or knee bursitis in general. I’d like to take a moment for
wall of thanks Thank You Ignacio P., Jim L., and FRD.
if you’d like to be on the wall of thanks, make sure and click on the link
up here to find out how, and don’t forget to subscribe by clicking down here. and
remember be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

70 Replies to “Pes Anserine Knee Bursitis Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

  1. Hello doctor Jo, may i ask you if that crackle in my shoulders when i doing warm up might be becuase off my rotator cuffs are too weak compare to global muscles?

  2. Thank you very much. Should I do this everyday? I went to the therapist and he gave me similar exercises but he asked me to hold the stretches for 90’sec and repeat 3 times but I feel that is way too much of a hold 😳.
    Also he said that I have to do it morning and night. I’m trying ti do it but I’m a little scared because I don’t want my bursitis to get worse specially with the invisible chair exercise I feel pain no in the inner part of the knee where is my problem but on top of the knee.
    Any suggestions?

  3. I'm confused. Gracilis is one of the muscles that joins at the Pes Anserinus. It crosses the knee (and the hip). So, it seems to me that a straight knee groin stretch would be important, not a bent knee groin stretch. Thanks for your reply.

  4. Been having this for one week now …damn it hurts so bad in the beginning… but the pain is finally starting to go away..Im going to try some of these stretches..thanks

  5. do you have any advice for those with L4 disc herniation also? I have the knee issue, but I can't lift my legs up straight because of the herniated disc

  6. Hello Dr Jo i have had the pes anserine bursitis for almost 3 years now. I completely stopped exercising but now i decided to start exercising again would these be helpful for me? Im in constant pain whenever i do anything .. Thank yoh

  7. Dr Jo, I have been suffering from a knee injury for almost 1 year. I went to see several doctors. One doctor suspected pes anserine bursitis but only subscribed anti inflammatory medicine, which did not work on me. There is still an uncomfortable feeling, so I just wanted to ask you if Pes Anserine Bursitis can be chronic because I am starting to suspect that this pain is coming from another source. I would really appreciate any insights. Thank you!

  8. Thanks so much, this is exactly the pain I’ve been having after running more than usual for the past few months.
    Time to strengthen + stretch smarter 👍🏼

  9. Hi Doctor Jo, I’m pretty sure I have this bursitis and was wondering what the average duration is to fully recover?
    Thank you for this helpful video btw! (:

  10. Thanks a million Doctor Jo. Have been carrying this medical knee pain for 1/2 a year and go tru distressing pain after tennis matches. Thought you should know these exercises have are fast removing the pain and discomfort. You are an angel Doctor Jo.

  11. Hey Doctor Jo, just wanted to check in after a week of doing all your stretches and strengthening exercises for a week and say THANK YOU! It’s the most improvement I have felt in the past 7 weeks 😩
    Thanks for making a difference.

  12. Hi Doctor Jo, I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with my legs and knee, and this is the closest I got – my right knee seems to be slightly turned in (and my right foot a bit outside when in a resting standing position). Supposedly, this causes me pain in this Pes Anserine area after a few hours of walking. Can this be just sore muscles? It goes away in a few days. I like walking and hiking so it's quite annoying I can't just walk all day without ending up with this pain. I don't remember having it until a few years ago (I'm 41 now). And I don't have it after biking.

  13. Should a warm up be done before stretches? And if so what kind of warm up can be done while experiencing pain from bursitis? Thank you!

  14. Hi Dr. Jo. Thank you for taking the time to put this very helpful video together. I was wondering if you had these of exercises as list, so that I can refer to them

  15. Another question. What kind of cardio can I do when I have Pes Anserine Knee Bursitis? I've stopped biking, Squats and can only really do upper body exercises

  16. Thanks Doctor Jo. I´m starting today this routine, this look great (I haven´t seen this stretches in another site). I´ll tell you how it goes.

  17. Hello, In the video you discussed how to exercise the affected knee but should I do the exercises on both sides for balance? Thanks you for your help!

  18. Hi, this video is very useful.. thankyou
    Also I wanted to ask that I can not fold injured leg in butterfly position.. what's the alternative for that excersise

  19. hi dr. Jo…thanks 4 ur vids…question: how long does it usually take for pes anserine bursitis to recover? cuz i've had this for 3 months now & improvement is very slow & mild…r there complications from this type of bursitis? thanks!

  20. Thanks for this video. I have a bunch of questions, but I'll show some restraint and only ask one. LOL Do you advise doing both legs, even if it's only one you're experiencing pain with?

  21. Thanks for sharing these exercises but one question… Some other people recommend resting for a couple of weeks so I'm not sure whether to rest or do these exercises. What do you recommend?

  22. Dr Jo I have got osteoarthritis in both knees and recently bursitis and had to have a steroid injection last Wednesday as I wasn't getting any sleep the pain was so bad, now I hate medication but I am type 2 diabetic and need sleep so was really forced to , I've started these exercises today so I am hoping they are the correct exercises for osteoarthritis and bursitis , Are they okay for the two conditions I have ? thank you .

  23. Dear Dr. Jo, if I can't whole the stretch for 30 seconds, but only 5-10 seconds? Will it be effective? What should I do?

  24. Hey, Dr. Jo. So I've been doing your regimen faithfully (at least once a day, sometimes 3) for about a month now. And I have to say that things haven't improved…in fact, I seem to be dealing with the discomfort more recently. For the record, I feel it most often during push-off when walking, running. The rest of the time what I experience is more a sense of 'vulnerability'. That is, knee integrity. I feel nothing while doing thrusters (squat with press) or stairs. So here's my question: What are the odds that I've misdiagnosed myself, and that I actually have another ailment. And if so, any guesses? (I know you can't diagnose within this medium.)

  25. Green Lantern socks, wooo!

    Also, if anyone reading this has never and doesn't have bursitis, do your stretches. I have it in my right knee and it's a living hell.

  26. My knee bursitis is getting better. I ran almost 5 miles and not sore. But when I was doing yoga, and tried to lock my knee which had the bursitis, there was a sensation, (tingle, similar to spasm). Is that normal? What do you suggest if its not?

  27. Dear Doctor Jo, just a quickie: stretches or exercises first? What is the correct order of these? And if I want to do your ice massage too, when should I do that? Thank you so much! You are brilliant 🙂

  28. Hello, i went to see a doctor but she just asked me either to wait for another 2 weeks to observe or do an mri. Im
    Noticing an unusual swell in my right knee that area the pes anserine area but when i touch that swelling looking part it not painful i was jumping without any shoes after that activity i felt pain in the knee but i just ignored it. So this was going on for about 2 weeks now. What could this be? Should i be worried?

  29. Hi Dr. Jo , I just had a steroid injection into two of bursa on the knees (the goose foot one). How long do you think I should wait before I begin back my physio? I don't feel the relief that my doctor spoke about yet. He said within hours I could see it. But not so much yet – walking, getting up from a chair and standing still hurts. Should I just rest and ice it as much as I can and then restart my physio? Also my doctor recommended swimming and paddling on a stationary bike? What do you think? Hope to hear everyone's comments and advice.

    I have been having bursitis for about 11 months. Just got the shots yesterday.

    God bless.

    From: Molly, 25, Malaysia

  30. Hey, Dr. Jo. I'm a 45yo guy who works out 5-6 times per week. I would say that I'm pretty fit. I've been dealing with knee bursitis for the last month. At first I tried to workout through it and then I took a week off. It seemed to get better and upon trying to workout again for a few days, I decided to take another week off. I just found this video a few days ago and have been doing the exercises and they seem to be helping. My question is when I can workout again? I don't have any pain, just tightness due to some inflammation (which is getting better) and very occasional, very slight soreness. Should I wait until the inflammation is 100% gone or can I workout before then and see the inflammation continue to decrease? I know that you can't give a personal consult on youtube, but any advice on when to start working out again?

  31. Thank you for helping us! Should the exercises be done before the stretches or vice versa, or doesn’t it matter?

  32. Hello Dr. Jo, I have started having knee pain 2 days back during my Yoga practice. I did Pilates class yesterday. Knee pain was ok but now I am feeling it after driving. I have been doing the stretches that you mentioned pretty regularly for last 1.5 years as a part of my Yoga practice. Can continue doing these exercises or do I need to rest for 2-3 days? Thanking you in advance.

  33. Hey quick question. I had a basketball game yesterday and later in the night i felt soreness where the pes is. It’s a bit swollen and tender to the touch. Today i played basketball and felt a knee buckle. Does pes cause instability in the knee that can cause a buckle?

  34. Thanks for the vid! I crashed my bike 25 days ago, still can’t move my knee past 90 degrees. It’s very tight around the knee cap so I think I injured the brusa there. What does the time like look like for this injury? I can tell these exercises helped but I still have trouble just walking normally because of bending. Lots of fluid still in there and swelling. My knee and whole leg was bruised down to my ankle. Thanks!

  35. Hey doctor Jo Ive had a pain in my knee for the longest I had a bone bruise between my tibia and femur and another between my fibula. When I was done taking the MRI I felt an ache on the lower side of my knee. It isn’t really my knee which I’m explaining but instead the lower inner corner right under my knee I went to a PT and he said something about a tendon I don’t quite remember but when he told me to lay flat and performed a stretch which he bent my knee ninety degree angle and bent the leg to the outside part I felt a sharp pain where it’s been aching I don’t know how to get rid of it and I don’t know exactly how I must have gotten it I was hoping you can tell me how to treat my pain (btw I don’t see my PT anymore)

  36. This is just what I needed, and you have a great way of explaining the exercises. Thank you so much, doc.

  37. Thanks a lot doctor, these are great and complete strengthening and stretching exercises. My question is the following: I have been suffering from pes anserine bursitis for a week or so after having overused my leg in a running interval training. I have stopped running since then and been applying ice and some antiinflammatory drugs prescribed by a sports md who diagnosed PAB. There is not much pain right now but still a bit tenderness. Do you think it is the right time to begin with these strengthening exercises and stretching or should wait until my knee is completely pain free? Also, do you recommend any exercises with foam roller in order to make the relevant tendons more relax? Last but not least, when do you think it would be convenient to begin with physical exercises which actually provoked the pes anserine bursitis (in my case, running)? How long the resting time should be? I would really appreciate your valuable advices and one again thanks a lot for your video(s). All the best from Turkey

  38. Thank you for your video! I have had this problem arise after doing stair climbing (both single and two at a time) with my weighted hiking pack on every second day as training for a 1 month hike I have coming up, which will cross multiple mountain passes. I had worked up to 18 kgs before I started getting pain. I know stretching and warm up are important. I am foam rolling the quads and hamstring as well.
    Should I just do these exercises more/with resistance or are there other exercises you would recommend if you are only getting these symptoms from quite heavy or extreme (?) use?

  39. Hiya Jo! This pain only happens when I'm training middle splits or high round house kicks for martial arts. Anything with the legs extended apart far enough. Fine with training front splits. Frog and butterfly doesn't hurt, only legs extended…and every now and then if I sit cross legged for long enough. Been like this for years. Could this just be tight adductors or hips? Possibly a muscle imbalance? Or does it sound like an injury? (I used to skateboard several hours a day…something related to runners knee?)

  40. I am experiencing major bursitis pain. I can't put weight on my right leg. Dr put my on prednisone 2 days ago. No difference in pain. If i do some of these stretches will I irritate it more? This pain is more then any pain I've had before i had a left knee replacement. Is it best to keep moving it or rest it till pain goes away? Help me. Pain is unbearable.

  41. this is what I needed. starting hot yoga and trying to keep up with younger folks despite tight hamstrings and quads has resulted in what I believe is knee bursitis. Look forward to some self care and recovery

  42. Hi, Dr. Thanks for your Video.
    I got this in Pen Anserine Knee Bursitis last week because of excessive running….from last 2 days I am doing video exercise & feeling better. I am working in retail so my most of the time almost 7 to 8 hrs is on floor standing and walking to serve customers…so my question is 1) I want to know working in pain will help me to recover fast, or it will be a problem for future. 2) how much time it will take to be normal/painless.
    Thanks in advance.

  43. Dear Doctor Jo. I have had Pes Anserine Bursitis for 4 months. I am so grateful to you for your kind video of exercises to help relieve the pain. For the first time I am pain free thanks to you.. I also ice the bursitis twice a day for 15 minutes. Thank you for helping everyone. Kindest regards. Ian Tomlinson U.K.

  44. I over-ran myself into knee pain that was difficult to localize for a couple weeks. Tried stretching and found some information that pointed me in the direction of my quads, hams, IT muscle, and especially my glutes being weak and needing stretching with strengthening. After a running hiatus, the pain was able to be localized to precisely where the pes anserinus bursa is located. This made sense since this area involved the neglected muscles that involved this point.
    Thank you so much for this information as It definitely has helped me focus on recovery and general strengthening as I needed!

  45. Buy a printable worksheet with the Pes Anserine Stretches & Exercises in this video here:
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    If you want me to reply, make sure you hit the 🔴 SUBSCRIBE 🔴 button above first (if you haven’t already) because I always respond to my subscribers!

  46. Hey so I just discovered that this is the condition that my knee has. I'm wondering if I can do squats with this condition. Most of the time it doesn't hurt at all when I do squats, so that's why I'm wondering. It seems like it will hurt when I am at the point that I need to stop squatting because Ive done enough. Should I not do them at all? Stop when it starts to hurt? Thanks.

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