11 Jobs & Activities That Can Cause Serious Damage to Your Knees

Are you experiencing inflammation, swelling, or warmth around your kneecap? If so, you may have an injury called knee bursitis. There are many different ways to injure your knee, but repetitive kneeling or frequent pressure on the knee tends to be a fairly common cause of knee bursitis. The following are a few jobs and activities that could cause knee bursitis.

infographic with the different jobs that cause serious damage to your knees like plumbers and construction workers

  • Cleaners - Professional cleaners or those who clean at home may spend time kneeling while they are cleaning or scrubbing the floor. This is why knee bursitis can also be called “Housemaid’s Knee”
  • Construction Workers & Carpenters - Contractors, builders, or those doing DIY woodworking and construction at home may frequently bend their knees and kneel on the ground
  • Roofers - Professionals who are measuring, repairing, or installing a new roof will spend a lot of time on their knees. This is why knee bursitis can also be called “Roofer’s Knee”
  • Bricklayers - Professional builders doing masonry, stonework, or laying brick will often be on their knees all day
  • Carpet, Tile & Floor Installers - Those installing any type of flooring, carpet or tile will be kneeling on the ground most of the time. This is why knee bursitis is also called “Carpet Layer’s Knee”
  • Gardeners & Landscapers - Professional landscapers or people who enjoy gardening at home spend a lot of time on their knees doing yard work, pulling weeds, planting flowers, etc.
  • Auto Mechanics - Skilled trade workers like car repair technicians are often kneeling on a hard concrete surface while they are fixing cars
  • Plumbers & Electricians - Maintenance workers like plumbers and electricians may spend time kneeling on hard floors and crawling into small spaces
  • Miners & Railroad Workers - Hard manual labor like mining or building railroad tracks requires a lot of kneeling and squatting. This is why knee bursitis is also called “Miner’s Knee”
  • Preachers - Religious leaders and churchgoers may spend a lot of time kneeling down at the altar to pray. This is why knee bursitis is sometimes called “Preacher’s Knee”
  • Dancers & Athletes - Those who dance, exercise, or participate in activities like volleyball, running, wrestling and yoga may often falling and exert extreme pressure on their knees

knee bursa diagram showing the different spots you can get knee bursitis atKnee bursitis is when a bursa in your knee becomes inflamed or irritated because of overuse or excessive stress. Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that help act as cushions or lubricants between the bones, tendons, and other soft tissues as they glide past one another. In fact, each of your knees has 11 bursae. The most commonly affected bursae are suprapatellar bursa, prepatellar bursa, infrapatellar bursa, and pes anserine bursa (see the image to the left for a better understanding).  To avoid knee bursitis or prevent the injury from occurring again, we would recommend the following:

  1. Taking frequent breaks and stretching your legs when you are doing any of the activities listed above.
  2. Wearing a padded knee brace while you are kneeling. This knee brace for kneeling pain helps to provide support and compression to the knee while redistributing pressure away from the injured kneecap.
  3. Apply ice to your knee and elevate your knee after these activities to help reduce the swelling.

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