Elbow bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa at your elbow and the most commonly affected is the olecranon bursa, which sits over the pointy part of your elbow.
A bursa is a small fluid-filled sac which acts like a cushion between the bony parts of your elbow and the muscle tendons that run across it.
When this bursa gets irritated by something it can become swollen and very painful! It may be irritated by a traumatic fall, direct pressure, a repetitive motion or it can also be associated with infection.
What are the symptoms?
- Obvious swelling at the point of the elbow
- Pain with movement of the elbow or putting pressure on it
- If the skin over the elbow is red and hot (you may also have a fever) PLEASE SEE YOUR DOCTOR as this indicates the bursa might be infected.
Who is at risk?
- The most common cause is a hard fall on to the elbow, so athletes like footballers and basketballers are more likely to sustain this injury.
- People who play sports with a lot of throwing/pitching actions may be susceptible due to repetitive trauma to the bursa.
- It can also be common in desk workers or students who sit for long periods of time with their elbow resting on a hard desk.
- People with certain occupations such as plumbers and electricians may be more likely to get elbow bursitis because they spend a lot of time crawling under houses putting pressure on their elbows.
- People who suffer from conditions such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis may also be more likely to get elbow bursitis.
How can Osteopathy help?
- Our osteopaths will perform a complete assessment and determine a diagnosis of your pain.
- Osteopathic techniques including soft tissue massage, stretching, joint articulation and mobilisation may be used to help reduce pain and muscle tension around the elbow.
- These techniques may help improve blood flow and lymphatic drainage from the area to help reduce inflammation and swelling.
- Applying ice can help ease inflammation and swelling of the bursa.
- Our osteopaths can advise you on how to avoid aggravating your bursitis and tailor an exercise program to rehabilitate your condition.