Olecranin Bursitis

Olecranon bursitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the bursa, a small fluid-filled sac located at the tip of the elbow. It causes swelling, tenderness, and pain around the elbow joint.

Olecranin Bursitis
Olecranin Bursitis
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Your Guide to Understanding Olecranin Bursitis

What is Olecranin Bursitis?

Olecranon bursitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the olecranon bursa, a small fluid-filled sac located at the tip of the elbow. The olecranon bursa acts as a cushion between the skin and the bony prominence of the elbow, allowing smooth movement and reducing friction. When the bursa becomes inflamed, it can lead to swelling, tenderness, and pain in the affected area.

The most common cause of olecranon bursitis is repetitive pressure or trauma to the elbow. Activities that involve frequent leaning on the elbows, such as resting the elbows on hard surfaces or performing repetitive motions, can irritate the bursa and trigger inflammation. In some cases, direct trauma, such as a fall or a blow to the elbow, can also cause bursitis.

How can Chiropractic help treat Olecranin Bursitis?

Chiropractic services can provide unique benefits for individuals suffering from olecranon bursitis. Chiropractors focus on identifying and addressing the underlying causes of the condition, such as joint dysfunctions or muscle imbalances.

Through manual adjustments and manipulations, chiropractors can help mobilize the affected joints, reducing stress and pressure on the olecranon bursa. Chiropractors may also utilize soft tissue techniques like myofascial release to reduce inflammation and promote healing in the affected area. Additionally, they can provide exercises and stretches to improve flexibility and strengthen the surrounding muscles, aiding in the recovery process for olecranon bursitis.

What causes Olecranin Bursitis?

Olecranon bursitis is typically caused by repetitive pressure or direct injury to the elbow. When we frequently put weight or pressure on our elbows, like resting them on hard surfaces or performing repetitive motions, it can irritate the bursa at the back of the elbow. The bursa is a small sac that acts as a cushion between the skin and the bony point of the elbow.

In addition to repetitive pressure, a direct blow or trauma to the elbow can also cause olecranon bursitis. If we fall or accidentally hit our elbow, it can lead to inflammation in the bursa. Sometimes, olecranon bursitis can also occur due to an infection in the bursa, which is called infectious olecranon bursitis.

What treatments might help Olecranin Bursitis?

The treatment for olecranon bursitis aims to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and promote healing. Here are some common approaches:

  • Rest and immobilization: Taking a break from activities that worsen the symptoms can help reduce inflammation. Immobilizing the elbow with a splint or brace may also be recommended.
  • Ice therapy: Applying ice packs to the affected area can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain. It's important to use a cloth or towel as a barrier between the ice pack and the skin to prevent ice burn.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or naproxen can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Antibiotics: If the bursitis is caused by an infection, your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics to treat the underlying infection.
  • Aspiration and corticosteroid injection: In some cases, your doctor may drain excess fluid from the bursa using a needle and syringe. They may also inject a corticosteroid medication into the bursa to reduce inflammation.
  • Physical therapy: Once the acute symptoms improve, a physical therapist can guide you through exercises to strengthen the muscles around the elbow and improve range of motion.

Signs of Olecranin Bursitis:

The signs of olecranon bursitis, inflammation of the bursa at the back of the elbow, can include:

  • Swelling: You may notice a visible bump or enlargement at the tip of your elbow.
  • Pain: The affected area can be tender and may cause discomfort, especially when touched or when pressure is applied.
  • Redness and warmth: The skin over the swollen area might appear reddish and feel warm to the touch.
  • Limited movement: You may experience difficulty fully extending or bending your elbow due to the swelling and inflammation.
  • Resting difficulty: It may be uncomfortable to rest on or put weight on the affected elbow.

Symptoms of Olecranin Bursitis:

The symptoms of olecranon bursitis, or inflammation of the bursa at the back of the elbow, can include:

  • Swelling: You may notice a visible swelling or a lump at the tip of your elbow.
  • Pain: The affected area may be tender and painful, especially when pressure is applied or during movements that involve the elbow.
  • Redness and warmth: The skin over the swollen area may appear red and feel warm to the touch.
  • Limited range of motion: You may experience difficulty fully straightening or bending your elbow due to the swelling and inflammation.
  • Discomfort when resting on the elbow: Leaning or placing weight on the affected elbow can be uncomfortable and may exacerbate the pain.
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When is the right time to see a Chiropractor for Olecranin Bursitis?

It is advisable to see a chiropractor for olecranon bursitis when you are experiencing persistent pain, swelling, or limited range of motion in your elbow. If home remedies and over-the-counter treatments have not provided relief, it may be the right time to seek professional help.

Additionally, if your symptoms worsen or interfere with your daily activities, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional. They can assess your condition, provide a proper diagnosis, and create an individualized treatment plan to manage the symptoms of olecranon bursitis.

Meet our Lead Chiropractor

Dr. Brett Herlehy

Dr. Brett Herlehy

Chiropractor

Doctor of Chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College

Dr. Brett enjoys working with active individuals looking to reach the next level and also anyone who is trying to incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives.

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Physiotherapist Brittany Pereira working with client at Anchor Health and Performance Clinic Mississauga
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