Exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles of the thigh and lower leg are effective at reducing the symptoms of knee bursitis, states the Summit Medical Group. These include quadricep stretches, hamstring stretches and calf stretches until the pain is reduced, at which point strengthening can begin.
Hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, instructs the Summit Medical Group. For hamstring stretches, keep the knee straight and raise the leg up in the air or against a wall. To do a calf stretch, lean forward against the wall with the injured leg's foot flat on the ground. Stretch the quadriceps muscle by standing near a wall for stability, grabbing the foot from behind the body and pulling up and toward the buttocks.