What is Elbow Bursitis (Olecranon Bursitis)?
Inflammation of the olecranon bursa often causes pain and swelling at the back of the elbow joint that increases when pressure is applied.
This bursa can become inflamed when it is exposed to trauma or injury during falls on the elbow and to infection from scraps or cuts on the skin covering the joint. Repeated excessive pressure and/or friction, such as leaning on a table top at work, may cause this bursa to become inflamed producing excessive swelling and elbow pain in this area.
Subtendinous olecranon bursitis is much less common. This type of elbow bursitis results from excessive friction between the triceps tendon and olecranon. This may result, for example, from repeated flexion-extension of the forearm which occurs during certain assembly line jobs, and is one of many repetitive motion type injuries. The pain is most severe during the flexion of the forearm because of pressure exerted on the inflamed subtendinous olecranon bursa by the triceps tendon.
Elbow bursitis is also referred to as olecranon bursitis, dialysis elbow, student's elbow, water on the elbow, swellbow, dart thrower's elbow, lunger's elbow, or miner's elbow.
What are the Symptoms of Elbow Bursitis?
The bursa that protects the olecranon at your elbow joint lies between the skin and elbow bones. If you are suffering from olecranon bursitis you will usually be experiencing the following conditions:
A lump at the back of the elbow is usually the first sign of elbow bursitis. Once swelling is noticed it is advisable that you begin cold treatments to reduce swelling and inflammation and see you doctor to rule out infectious bursitis.
Redness, Warmth, and Tenderness
If there is a cut or scrap on the elbow near the bursa, bacteria may enter the bursa and cause it to become infected. Signs of septic bursitis include redness, warmth, tenderness, and usually a fever. If you have these symptoms be sure to see a doctor promptly so he/she can prescribe antibiotics.
Although you may experience bursitis without pain, elbow bursitis can cause pain at the tip of the elbow because the bursa pushes on nerve endings around the joint. Pain increase when bending and straightening the elbow or pushing directly on the bursa.
Limited Range of Motion
As the bursa swells a visible bump becomes obvious at the tip of the elbow. Inside the elbow, the enlarged bursa decreases the space for the bone joints to move freely during flexion and extension. This limits the range of motion in the elbow and can prevent you from doing daily tasks easily.
What are the Causes of Elbow Bursitis?
There are a number of things that can indirectly cause bursitis such as repetitive use or overuse from work or sporting activities, a cut or injury to the elbow, acute injuries, and aging. Over the years your muscles will start to lose their mass and strength, your tissues will lose their elasticity and degenerate, making you more susceptible to injury. Weakened muscles and/or tendons or injuries to your elbow, wrist, forearm or shoulder can instigate bursitis. You are at increased risk of suffering from this condition if your work and/or lifestyle require repetitive use of your elbow. In most bursitis cases, the cause is from one of three sources:
Trauma to the Elbow
Trauma causes inflammation of the elbow bursa, resulting in a widening of the blood vessels in the bursa. This widening allows proteins and various fluids into the bursae that are not supposed to be there, resulting in a reactive swelling from the bursae.
Until these foreign materials leave the bursa or are broken down by the bursae defense system, the swelling and pain will remain.
Chronic trauma will occur if there is mild trauma to the elbow that occurs repetitively. For instance, a hard elbow rest while driving frequently or straining the elbow frequently while throwing darts.
Acute trauma to the elbow means a direct blow to the elbow. In such cases, blood may leak into the bursa of the elbow and cause swelling and pain.
Some people with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout or scleroderma may contract bursitis from crystalline deposits in the joints. Although not much is known about how this process happens, it is common knowledge that Uric acid is a normal byproduct of daily metabolism. If your are diagnosed with gout then you are unable to break down this uric acid properly, leading to crystalization of this excess acid which deposits in joints'a painful symptom that can often lead to bursitis.
Infection (Septic Bursitis)
The closer the bursa is to the surface of the skin, the more likely the chance of infection from specific bacteria that are commonly found on the surface of the skin. This bacterial infection is known as septic bursitis and common bacteria that create this infection are known as Staphylococcus Epidermis (or Staphylococcus Aureus). Septic bursitis occurs most commonly in men (85% of all cases occur in men) and you are at higher risk of contracting this if you:
- have Diabetes
- have recently experienced Trauma
- are undergoing Steroid Treatments
- have Alcoholism
- have a certain Kidney Condition
To determine if the elbow bursa is infected, the doctor will drain the bursa and have the fluid tested. If you have septic bursitis it must be treated with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.
Treating Elbow Bursitis - What You Can Do!
The good news is that most cases of elbow bursitis will heal with simple home conservative treatments and surgery is often not needed!
Step 1 - Reduce Regular Activities & Rest Your Elbow
First you need to stop the activity that is causing your pain, swelling and inflammation - and rest your elbow. Focus on bringing down the swelling in your bursa and treating any surrounding soft tissue injury to stop your elbow bursitis from coming back.
Allowing your elbow to rest is always recommended following injury. Avoid all activities that may have caused the injury or irritation and begin cold compression treatments as soon as possible. Immediate and continuous treatment with cold compression will reduce the how swollen your elbow bursitis will get.
With bursitis injuries, you might feel the swollen and tender feeling for a long time and it will be hard to treat your condition because your bursa will be sensative to all other therapies outside of cold compression. When introducing other therapies make sure to first treat with cold compression to reduce any lingering affects of the inflammation and then an hour or so later give your bursa a soothing BFST® treatment to heal your bursa and the surrounding tissue.
When you have your pain, swelling and inflammation under control you can actually start to apply treatments with tools that will encourage healing in your elbow. Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ will treat scar tissue and promote blood flow to heal your damaged soft tissue faster and more completely than other methods available. Using these conservative treatment tools can get you back to a life without pain and eliminate any further risk of re-injury.
Step 2 - Reduce Pain & Swelling with Cold Compression
The 2nd step for conservative treatment of your elbow injury is to reduce the swelling to "open up" the area for more blood flow. Anyone in the health-care business knows that your blood supplies the oxygen and much needed nutrients required to heal wrist injuries. This is why for years, doctors, trainers, and other medical professionals have recommended RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to treat the pain and swelling, chronic pain from injury and after any re-injury.
Although RICE can help to treat these symptoms, ice and freezer gel packs reach temperatures so low they can cause cryoburn, an ice burn on your skin. The problem is, up until now there hasn't been any other option to treat painful conditions and injuries, so ice and blue gel packs (full of anti-freeze and chemicals) have been the only choice available.
Fortunately you no longer have to settle for these ice cold methods that are uncomfortably cold against your skin, provide short term relief, cause ice burns, numb your skin and underlying tissue beyond feeling so you don't even notice the ice burn until it's too late and pool around your injury putting the cold everywhere except for where you need it most.
An Elbow Freezie Wrap® allows you to treat your elbow in an effective and convenient way. Our Freezie Wraps® will wrap around your elbow keeping the cold right over your elbow injury for the entire length of your treatment. Our food-grade, non-toxic gel packs can be chilled in the fridge or freezer to tailor the amount of cold that you need for your injury. It doesn't matter how you cool it down, because our gel packs are chock full of gel that's designed to cool down into millions of tiny snowflakes. This method of cooling means our gel packs stay icy-cold for your entire treatment! The cushioned gel will wrap around your elbow and it won't budge for the entire treatment period. You'll no longer have to deal with annoying pooling around your elbow or have to hold a hard block of ice on your injury!
Cold Compression Therapy slows nerve and cell function - reducing the swelling that blocks blood vessels from doing their job.
This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through the tissue and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression therapy cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells don't get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to the soft tissue in your elbow, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal elbow injuries faster and with less pain! This is why you need to treat your elbow injury right when you notice pain / swelling / inflammation, or directly after a re-injury. Applying an Elbow Freezie Wrap® right away will stop the damage immediately and unblock your blood vessels to let your body's natural blood flow in to start healing the tissue.
Cold Compression Therapy = the Freezie Wrap®
It'll seem weird for you to read this, but there are a LOT of people out there that don't understand how fast cold compression with a Freezie Wrap® can get the swelling / inflammation in your elbow under control! After you get rid of the swelling for good you can start dealing with your elbow injury and pain head on.
Use a Cold Compression Elbow Freezie Wrap®:
- 24 to 72 hours after your initial injury or when you first notice pain and swelling to stop cellular damage, relieve pain, and decrease swelling.
- After exercise, workouts or activity of any kind to prevent re-injury.
- Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to control pre and post-surgery pain and swelling.
- Anytime you feel your elbow starting to get tender, painful or swollen again.
- Anytime you have swelling, sharp throbbing pain or inflammation.
- Any other situation where you need to draw the pain and inflammation out of your elbow.
Step 3 - Improve Circulation, Soften Scar Tissue & Prevent Re-Injury with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
After the inflammation in your elbow has been reduced, providing extra blood flow and strengthening the tissue in your elbow is recommended.
Promoting blood flow to your elbow to help your body heal itself is a concept that has been utilized for centuries. Oxygen and nutrients, carried within the blood, are critical for the body to heal itself. Without proper blood flow, your recovery from any soft tissue injury will be delayed... sometimes for a very long period of time.
Even though the concept is simple, improving blood flow to your elbow while it's injured can be difficult. Traditional methods require you to move in order to promote blood flow - but that same motion that promotes blood flow can also make your pain and injury much worse. Relying on movement alone to increase blood flow puts you in danger of re-injuring your elbow.
So what do you do when you need to increase blood flow, but you can't move without re-injuring your elbow
This is where Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®) comes in! Using BFST® will help with your recovery and heal your elbow more completely. BFST® increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your soft tissue to nourish your soft tissue, improve elasticity and speed up the healing process. This increased Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ to your injured elbow is greatly needed.
The only way to get BFST® is through use of an Elbow Inferno Wrap®. The Elbow Inferno Wrap® is the only treatment method that improves blood flow and circulation on a deep tissue level. Other methods of warming up tissue (hot water bottles, hot baths, etc) will only ever increase blood flow on a surface / skin level. These methods need a LOT of time to even reach the tissue in your elbow on a deep tissue level. And even if you were to use them this long your skin would heat up to an uncomfortable level and you might even get burned!
The best source of heat treatment is from a product where you don't even feel that much heat. When you don't feel the heat, it means the therapy is working in your deep soft tissue which is really where you need it. It's kind of like how your heart works in your body. You can't "feel" your heart pumping blood all around your body to your arms and legs. You can't even hear your own heartbeat without listening very closely. This is exactly how deep tissue BFST® works too! You're not supposed to "feel" a lot of heat because the heat isn't treating your skin, it's treating the damaged tissue in your elbow by increasing the blood flow right in your soft tissue.
- When treating any soft tissue injury, an effective therapy will increase blood flow to the injury while the joint is immobile.
- This increase in blood flow will accelerate the body's own ability to heal itself.
- The Inferno Wrap® is the most highly effective blood flow stimulation device that you will find on the market that is approved by the FDA for use in the home or hospital.
Our Elbow Inferno Wrap® is made from medical-grade material - this should be as important to you as it's to us! Other products that are sold in stores are considered "consumer goods" meaning the material only needs to be as good as a sweater that you wear. Clothing articles like this don't need to meet high standards of production or materials and may include materials that irritate your skin.
Since our wraps are medical-grade products registered with the FDA, they are of a higher quality and need to meet way more standards for manufacturing (ISO 10993 - biocompatibility testing). This makes our wraps the safest product for heating treatment. Our manufacturer has spent years perfecting the wrap design to make sure you get the treatment you deserve!
Use the BFST® Elbow Inferno Wrap®:
- After swelling and inflammation have been reduced with cold compression.
- Before exercise, workouts or any repetitive tasks to warm up the soft tissue in your elbow to prevent re-injury.
- Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to warm up your tissues before physical therapy exercising or stretching.
- Anytime you feel your elbow has stiffened up, is tight and your mobility is reduced causing you more pain.
- Anytime you have sore or aching tissue.
- Any other situation where you need to increase blood flow to your elbow to relax your soft tissue, relieve pain, prevent re-injury and enhance flexibility.
Our Elbow Bursitis Therapy Formula
is Proven to Work!
It may seem hard to believe, but our Elbow Freezie Wrap® and Elbow Inferno Wrap® home therapy products will assist you in recovering from your elbow injury by maximizing blood flow where it's needed most and reducing your swelling and inflammation induced pain.
Here at AidMyCTS we pride ourselves in helping you with your healing and recovery process. Everyone at AidMyCTS has tested and used the products, finding solutions to conditions that do not fit into the norm. This dedication to our customers and our products goes hand-in-hand with our guarantees to you as a customer:
- Guarantee #1 - Use your products diligently for up to 60 days and you will experience a significant reduction in pain. If not, we encourage you to send back the items for a 100% refund.
- Guarantee #2 - You will not be left in the dark after purchasing any product form us. AidMyCTS Advisers and Product Specialists are available 7 days a week by toll free phone 1.866.237.9608 or email to answer your questions or concerns.
- Guarantee #3 - Your order is guaranteed to be shipped within 24 hours on every business day.
- Guarantee #4 - All purchases receive a one year, full replacement warranty with guaranteed, prompt service.
- Guarantee #5 - You could save hundreds of dollars and possibly more, by utilizing our products, and getting back to work sooner.
Continue the healing process by resting your elbow. Limit the activities that may aggravate your elbow. Without proper rest and limitation on activities, being active as if your elbow is healthy can lead to re-injury. To get back to doing the things you love you need to give your body proper care and attention. Why risk having to limit or give up your favorite weekend activity, your exercise routine, or even your job due to an elbow injury?
Prevention and Promotion of Lifelong Health
If you want to avoid re-injury, or manage pain and increase circulation for lifelong health benefits, an Elbow Freezie Wrap® and Elbow Inferno Wrap®, will provide exceptional results. Why spend time in pain, off from work, and missing out on your active lifestyle when you can be proactive about your injury and the health of your body? Talk to your doctor about incorporating a regular routine of using an Elbow Freezie Wrap® and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ into your everyday health regimen.
Call one of our AidMyCTS Advisers at no cost or obligation to address any lingering questions you have about using heat or cold for your elbow injury - toll free 1-866-237-9608
Learn More About SUPERIOR Elbow Bursitis Treatments
Learn more about how the Elbow Freezie Wrap® is designed to be the most effective cold compression wrap on the market today.
Learn more about how the Elbow Inferno Wrap® helps with the healing process.