What is Elbow Bursitis
How to Use Superior Home Treatments to
Heal & Relieve Pain from Elbow Bursitis Injuries!
You might be suffering from elbow bursitis if:
- You have sharp pain at the tip of your elbow.
- You have lump on the back of your elbow.
- You have loss of range of motion bending and straightening the elbow causes more pain.
- You have warmth, redness and swelling on the elbow.
If any of those statements are true for you or you're suffering from on-going pain in your elbow then you might have an injury called "elbow bursitis".
Many people don't know that elbow bursitis is a very real injury affecting the bursa sac in your elbow. It can happen to anyone who regularly puts stress with repetitive arm movements as part of your job, sports related activities, acute trauma to the elbow and/or aging weakness the tissue around the elbow and the bursa.
Elbow bursitis is one of those injuries that can really bring down the quality of your life. Anyone - young or old - can suffer from this injury, and if you're active this condition will keep you from doing the things you love to do. It will even start interrupting any of your normal daily tasks and make living life harder than it really needs to be.
Fortunately for you, professional athletes have had access to state of the art treatment therapies for years that allow them to heal more quickly and completely than you or I. This is why athletes that have a serious elbow bursitis injury can often get back in the game in a matter of weeks while you could suffer for months or even years (in chronic cases).
With some breakthrough products we have engineered, professional treatment is now available to anyone who needs it.
What You Need to Treat Your Bursitis Injury:
- A Professional Cold Compression ColdCure Wrap® to reduce inflammation of the muscle tissue (as soon as possible).
- A Deep Tissue Therapeutic BFST Wrap® to increase Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™to the injured soft tissue (BFST®).
What is Elbow Bursitis?
The olecranon bursa (just below the skin) 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.
What causes Elbow (Olecranon) 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.
Trauma to the elbow and olecranon bursa causes inflammation of the elbow bursa, resulting in a widening of the blood vessels. This widening allows proteins and various fluids into the bursae that are not supposed to be there, resulting in swelling. Until these foreign materials leave the bursa or are broken down by the bursa's defense system, the swelling and pain will remain.
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.
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.
What are the Symptoms of Elbow Bursitis (Olecranon)?
If you are suffering from olecranon bursitis you will usually be experiencing the following conditions:
Swelling: 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.
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.
Elbow bursitis causes pain at the back of the elbow joint that increases when pressure is placed on the elbow (i.e. leaning on a table). 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.
How Do I Diagnose Elbow Bursitis?
The best way to diagnose this condition is with a quick visit to the your doctor for a physical examination of your elbow.
Are you having trouble using or moving your arm and elbow?
You will generally be asked to complete a series of movements to measure your active (performed by you) and passive (performed by your examiner) range of motion. These movements will test any possible, as well as your arm/elbow strength, joint stability, and location of tenderness. If you feel sharp pain with both of these motions you may have elbow bursitis and/or other related conditions and should see a doctor.
Sometimes, one set of symptoms can result in multiple diagnoses. An x-ray or MRI is often needed in order to diagnose if the elbow is out of alignment or the extent of the soft tissue damage.
Do You Really have Elbow Bursitis?
Visiting your doctor when you have elbow pain is always recommended, as there are many possible issues that can happen within the arm and elbow. Sometimes, one set of symptoms can result in multiple diagnoses.
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 it is caused by the Staphylococcus Epidermis (or Staphylococcus Aureus) bacteria. 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 a certain kidney condition
Crystal Deposits. 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.
Elbow / Forearm Tendonitis. There are 2 common tendonitis injuries that usually result in elbow and forearm pain: Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis) and Golfer's Elbow (medial epicondylitis). In both cases pain, swelling and inflammation will be felt around the bony part of the elbow. With tennis elbow, pain will be felt on the outside of the elbow, while pain is felt on the inside of the elbow with golfer's elbow. The tendons attached to the bone at your elbow are connected to muscles in your forearm, which is why these injuries will sometimes cause pain in your forearm. These injuries are usually caused by racket sports, golf and overuse from gardening and repetitive movements of your hand or wrist (ie. using a screwdriver).
How Do You Treat Elbow Bursitis?
What You Can Do!
We Have Advanced Treatment Tools to Help You
Speed Up Healing of Your Elbow Bursitis!
The good news is that most cases of elbow bursitis will heal with simple home conservative treatments and surgery is often not needed!
It's generally understood by doctors and surgeons, that surgery will introduce more scar tissue into the tendons and ligaments in your elbow. This added scar tissue will be problematic, requiring physical therapy and conservative treatment options post-surgery. When it comes to elbow bursitis there's only a few surgical options for treatment - removal of the bursa sac, scraping of the bone(s) to allow more room for the new bursa to grow back. This is why surgery is only performed as a last resort for chronic elbow bursitis that won't heal with conservative treatment methods.
Some conservative treatment methods recommended include:
- Rest - This is important for initial healing because without proper rest you're at risk for increased pain, inflammation. If you are not pro-active with your resting of your elbow you may even worse and turn an acute injury into a chronic one.
- Avoid Activities that Caused Your Injury - While resting your elbow it's also important to avoid all actvities that may have caused your elbow bursitis.
- Apply Effective Cold Compression
Effective Cold Compression = Treatment with a ColdCure Wrap® - Immediate cold (using a ColdCure Wrap®) will help you to manage pain while getting rid of the pain and inflammation. Immediate pain relief and reduced inflammation can also relieve some of the pressure that's being placed on your elbow tissue(s) and stop your injury from getting worse.
- Use Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ - After any inflammation and/or swelling has been reduced, you can use your own blood flow to maximize healing of damaged tissue and maintain healthy blood flow to your all your elbow bursa. This also boost overall long-term healing of this injury.
Effective Conservative Treatment Options
If your doctor's decided that your elbow bursitis can be treated with conservative treatment, you can join our many customers who have had great success in treating themselves with the powerful, conservative treatment products we offer through AidMyBursa - the ColdCure Wrap® and BFST Wrap®.
If you need to have surgery, talk to your doctor about using these same products for post-surgery recovery. You'll find them effective for reducing post-surgery inflammation, enhancing range of motion and minimizing the growth of scar tissue in your elbow.
Step 1 - Reduce Pain & Swelling with Cold Compression
The 1st step for conservative treatment of your elbow bursitis 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 bursitis injuries. This is why for years doctors, trainers and other medical professional have recommended RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to treat the pain and swelling of fresh injuries, chronic pain, 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 up until now.
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.
A Elbow ColdCure Wrap® allows you to treat your elbow in an effective and convenient way. Our ColdCure Wraps® will wrap around your elbow and arm keeping the cold right over your bursitis 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 aren't icy-cold! 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!
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 your tendon, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal tendon injuries faster and with less pain! This is why you need to treat your elbow pain right after it's hurt, when you notice pain / swelling / inflammation, or directly after a re-injury. Applying a ColdCure 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.
Applying cold to your inflamed bursa will help decrease the swelling and redness in your elbow. Cold therapy will also help to numb the pain in your olecranon joint and help to control the inflammation. In addition, the deep cooling effect provided by the Elbow ColdCure Wrap® reduces tissue damage.
The Elbow ColdCure Wrap® is soft and adjustable so it fits your body properly, without irritating the bursa, and allows you to adjust the compression. This is important when treating an inflamed bursa because too much pressure can cause you further pain. You control how much pressure the bursa receives so you can benefit from the compression to hold the cold where you need it, without increasing your pain.
Applying cold to your tender bursa and elbow joint is the first step in treating your bursitis. Then begin using the Elbow BFST Wrap® to continue the healing process.
Step 2 - BFST Wrap® Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
After the inflammation of your bursitis has been reduced with cold therapy treatment it is time to improve blood flow and helping to heal your damaged bursa is recommended for complete healing.
Using Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®), will help with your recovery and heal your damaged tissue more completely. BFST® increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your bursa and soft tissue to nourish your injury, improving elasticity and speeding the healing process. This increased Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy to your bursa is greatly needed.
The only way to get BFST® is through use of a Elbow BFST Wrap®. The Elbow BFST Wrap® is the only treatment method that improves blood flow and circulation on a deep tissue level. Other methods of warming / heating 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 your bursae 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 may even burn you.
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 your damaged bursa by increasing the blood flow right in your soft tissue. Over time with consistent treatments you'll even notice that the warmth you feel from BFST® will decrease. This is a sign that you've successfully increased blood flow right at the source of your pain and your body is doing everything it can to speed up the healing process.
Our Elbow BFST Wrap® is made from medical-grade material - this should be as important to you as it is 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!
Continue the healing process by resting your elbow. Limit the activities that may be aggravate your elbow. Without proper rest and limitation on activities, being active as if your knee 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 a bursitis injury?
Prevention and Promotion of Lifelong Health
If you want to avoid re-injury, or manage pain and increase circulation for lifelong health benefits, a Elbow ColdCure Wrap® and Elbow BFST 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 a Elbow ColdCure Wrap® and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ into your everyday health regimen.
Call one of our AidMyBursa Advisers at no cost or obligation to address any lingering questions you have about using heat or cold for your bursa knee injury - toll free 1-866-237-9608
Learn More About SUPERIOR Elbow Bursitis Treatments
Learn more about how the Elbow ColdCure Wrap® is designed to be the most effective cold compression wrap on the market today.
Learn more about how the Elbow BFST Wrap® helps with the healing process.