Pes Anserinus Bursitis – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Exercises

Pes Anserinus Bursitis

When it comes to understanding pes anserinus bursitis, it is important to deeply understand the nuances of this condition, which can cause discomfort and pain in the knee area.

In this blog post, we will provide you with all the information you need to understand pes anserinus bursitis, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

What is Pes Anserinus Bursitis?

Pes anserinus bursitis is a condition that affects the tendons and bursa in the knee area. The pes anserinus is a collection of tendons from three separate muscles, the sartorius, gracilis, and semitendinosus, that attach to the shinbone (tibia) just below the knee joint.

Between these tendons and the shinbone is a bursa, a small fluid-filled sac that reduces friction and facilitates smooth movement.

Causes of Pes Anserinus Bursitis

Pes anserinus bursitis occurs when the bursa becomes inflamed due to various factors. Common causes include:

  • Overuse: Repeated stress on the knee joint, from activities such as running or cycling, can cause inflammation of the bursa.
  • Obesity: Excess weight can increase pressure on the knee joint, causing irritation and inflammation of the bursa.
  • Muscle imbalance: Weakness or imbalance in the muscles around the knee can change the way the joint moves, contributing to bursitis.
  • Poor biomechanics: Lower limb misalignment, such as overpronation or leg length discrepancies, can increase the risk of pes anserinus bursitis.
  • Medical conditions: Conditions such as osteoarthritis, gout, or diabetes can contribute to inflammation of the bursa.

Symptoms of Pes Anserinus Bursitis

Pes anserinus bursitis can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  1. Pain: The most common symptom is pain on the inside of the knee, just below the joint. The pain may be sharp or mild and gets worse with movement.
  2. Inflammation: Inflammation of the bursa can cause local swelling.
  3. Tenderness: The area over the pes anserinus tendon may be tender to touch.
  4. Stiffness: The knee joint may feel stiff, making it difficult to fully extend or bend the leg.

Treatment for Pes Anserinus Bursitis

Treatment of pes anserinus bursitis aims to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and promote healing. This often includes the following approaches:

  1. Rest: Resting the knee from activities that worsen the condition is essential for healing.
  2. Ice: Ice can be used to soothe pain and reduce swelling in the affected area.
  3. Anti-Inflammatory medications: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce pain and swelling.
  4. Physical therapy: A physical therapist can design a tailored exercise program to strengthen the muscles around the knee and improve biomechanics.
  5. Corticosteroid Injection: In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend a corticosteroid injection to reduce inflammation in the bursa.
  6. Weight management: If obesity is a contributing factor, losing weight can help reduce stress on the knee joint.
  7. Correcting biomechanical issues: Custom orthotics or footwear modifications may be necessary to address underlying biomechanical issues.

Preventing Pes Anserinus Bursitis

Prevention of pes anserinus bursitis involves taking steps to reduce the risk of developing this condition. These preventive measures include:

  • Proper warm-up: Always warm up before engaging in physical activities to prepare your muscles and joints.
  • Gradual increase in activity: Avoid sudden, rapid increases in your exercise routine. Gradual progression is important to avoid overuse injuries.
  • Appropriate shoes: Choose shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning, especially for activities that involve significant impact on the knees.
  • Strength training: Incorporate strength training exercises to ensure that the muscles around the knee are well-balanced and strong.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: If you are overweight, work on achieving and maintaining a healthy weight to reduce stress on your knee joints.

Physiotherapy for Pes Anserinus Bursitis

Physiotherapy for pes anserinus bursitis is an integral part of the treatment plan. It plays an important role in reducing pain, reducing swelling, and restoring the normal functioning of the affected knee. Here’s how physiotherapy can help:

  • Assessment: A skilled physiotherapist will first assess your condition, including range of motion, muscle strength, and any joint instability. This evaluation helps design an individualized treatment plan.
  • Pain management: Physiotherapy focuses on reducing pain through techniques such as ice, heat, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation. These modalities can reduce pain and promote healing.
  • Range of motion exercises: To address stiffness in the knee joint, the physiotherapist will guide you through specific exercises that improve flexibility and promote full joint mobility.
  • Strengthening exercises: It is important to strengthen the muscles around the knee to prevent future diseases. Targeted exercises can help stabilize the knee and reduce stress on the bursa.
  • Biomechanical assessment: The physical therapist can assess your gait and biomechanics to identify any issues that may be contributing to pes anserinus bursitis. Customized solutions, such as orthotics or footwear recommendations, can be provided.
  • Manual therapy: Techniques such as soft tissue manipulation and joint mobilization can be used to enhance healing and reduce pain.
  • Education: Physiotherapists educate patients about self-management techniques, including proper posture, body mechanics, and exercises that can be continued at home.

Exercises for Pes Anserinus Bursitis

Engaging in specific exercises can be highly beneficial in the management of pes anserinus bursitis. The purpose of these exercises is to strengthen the muscles, improve knee stability, and prevent recurrence of bursitis. Here are some examples:

  1. Strengthening the quadriceps: Strengthening the quadriceps muscles can reduce stress on the knee joint. Straight leg raises and sitting leg extensions are effective exercises.
  2. Strengthening the hamstrings: Strong hamstrings provide support to the knee. Exercises like hamstring curls or bridges help strengthen the hamstrings.
  3. Calf strengthening: Calf raises target the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles, which are essential for knee stability.
  4. IT band stretching: Stretching the iliotibial (IT) band can reduce stress on the knee. IT band stretches involve crossing one leg in front of the other and bending in the opposite direction.
  5. Balance and proprioception: Exercises that enhance balance and proprioception are important in preventing future injuries. Standing on one leg with eyes open and closed or using a balance board are effective options.
  6. Wall slide: This exercise involves sliding down a wall into a sitting position, making sure the knees remain in line with the feet.
  7. Leg press: Using the leg press machine at the gym can be beneficial to strengthen the quadriceps and hamstrings.

Always consult a health care professional or physical therapist before starting any exercise, especially if you have pes anserinus bursitis. They can guide you on proper exercises, correct form, and frequency to ensure the best results while keeping the condition from worsening.

Incorporating physiotherapy and targeted exercises into your treatment plan is a proactive approach to managing pes anserinus bursitis. These treatments not only relieve pain but also strengthen the knee and improve its overall function, reducing the risk of future pain.


In conclusion, pes anserinus bursitis is a condition that can cause discomfort and pain in the knee area, but with the right knowledge, diagnosis, and treatment, it can be managed effectively. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options, individuals can take the necessary steps to reduce pain and prevent the recurrence of the condition. If you suspect that you have pes anserinus bursitis or are experiencing knee pain, consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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