Treating Elbow (Olecranon) Bursitis
Relieving the symptoms of bursitis initially focuses on keeping the pressure off the bursa. Surgery may be required if your bursa irritation is a result of a bone formation problem, such as a bone spur. If your bursitis is caused by an infection (septic bursitis), the doctor will drain the bursa sac with a needle and prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. For non-infectious bursitis, the preliminary treatment starts with non-operative options such as cold compression therapy.
The most important factor in healing bursitis is resting your elbow and reducing the amount of pressure you put on your olecranon bursa throughout the day. During your recovery you will probably have to modify or avoid the activities that stress your bursa until your pain and inflammation settle.
Treatments should focus on reducing swelling, relieving stress on your elbow, correcting any biomechanical dysfunction such as a bone spur, treating scar tissue, and then restoring strength and movement in your elbow joint. Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®) is recommended once inflammation has been calmed to heal the bursa and surrounding tissue faster and reduce the chance of bursitis returning.
ColdCure Wrap® Cold Therapy
To decrease inflammation and relieve the pain of olecranon bursitis doctor's recommend cold therapy.
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® uses a supercharged cooling gel pack, that chills in the fridge, not in the freezer like ice or other freezer packs, giving you deep cold therapy without the risk of 'cold burns' or cryoburn.
Cooling your inflamed olecranon bursa can be done as needed throughout the day. The Elbow ColdCure Wrap® can be used to apply cold in a safe, convenient and effective way - and the gel pack is reusable. The gel pack sits gently over the inflamed bursa to reduce swelling and redness.
The 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.
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BFST Wrap® Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
Once most of the inflammation of your bursitis has been reduced with cold therapy treatment it is time to improve blood flow and improve the elasticity of your surrounding soft tissue. Your body needs a fresh supply of blood to improve the health of your tissue and get your olecranon bursa back to normal.
Unfortunately, when you are suffering from bursitis it can be painful to bend your arm or reach for something. When you limit movement in your elbow because of the pain the blood flow is reduced, starving your tissue of the necessary oxygen and nutrients.
The trick is to find a way to increase blood flow without causing pain and/or further inflaming the bursae. This is where Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™, or BFST®, becomes a powerful tool.
BFST® compliments your body's natural healing process by promoting blood flow while you give your elbow the rest it needs.
The Elbow BFST Wrap® uses a patented process to generate the same energy that is part of the sun's spectrum of light, the same energy that is necessary to all living things for optimum health. The energy emitted from the Energy Pad stimulates blood flow to your elbow, more than your body would ever be able to generate on it's own. This gives your body the boost it needs to continue the reconditioning process. The healing energy reaches deep into your olecranon bursa to speed tissue repair, whisk away the toxins and dead cells, and rejuvenate the tissue in your elbow for improved elasticity.
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With these 3 easy therapies, you will notice significantly reduced pain and an incredible improvement in your elbow pain and range of motion.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's), can be used if required to help manage your pain. However, these aren't recommended for long term use, as they can cause gastrointestinal difficulties and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Many of our customers find they no longer require NSAIDS once they begin using Elbow ColdCure Wrap® cold compression therapy and Elbow BFST Wraps® to treat their pain and heal their bursa.
Your doctor may aspirate your inflamed bursa. This involves removing the extra fluid that has built up with a needle. Sometimes, the fluid will be tested at a laboratory to rule out infection.
Very rarely, the olecranon bursa does not get better with conservative treatments and surgical removal may be necessary. Usually this is done by arthroscopy, which is a surgical procedure where tiny incisions are made and a pencil-sized camera is inserted into the elbow. A small shaver is inserted into another incision, and is used to remove the swollen bursa (referred to as a bursectomy). The surgeon will then look for any damage to the elbow and make repairs if necessary. This is also done to remove any bone spurs.
Recovery time for the surgery will depend on a number of different factors including your healing ability, diet, rest and how many procedures were done during surgery.
Post-op recovery time can be reduced with the use of ColdCure Wrap® cold compression and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (via use of the BFST Wrap®) following surgery. Cold compression is recommend by doctors following surgery to treat your pain in a natural, non-addictive way and to reduce swelling. Once the incision has healed, speak with your doctor about the use of BFST®. BFST® encourages more oxygen and nutrients to flow to the area to speed healing and improve the strength of the soft tissue in your elbow. Using Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ as soon as you can following your surgery will minimize the formation of scar tissue and increase the elasticity of soft tissue around the injury site. Minimizing scar tissue is the most important step following surgery, especially in a joint, to improve the range of motion in your elbow. Leaving the scar tissue untreated can lead to stiffness, chronic elbow pain, osteoarthritis or other chronic conditions.
Physical therapy is a beneficial way to restore atrophied muscles and improve strength and mobility after recovering from bursitis. The type of physical therapy and the duration will be dependent on the tissue damage and your symptoms. When you are treating or recovering from bursitis, it is important to ensure you do not perform any exercises that will further irritate the bursa.
Once your pain starts to diminish, a physiotherapist will set up an individualized strengthening and stretching exercise program for you to perform at home or in the gym. This will be based on your needs and abilities, and will help you return to performing your normal routines.
Individuals will often lift weights on their own, to try and build up their strength. However, in doing so, they can do more damage to their joint. It is extremely important to strengthen your muscles properly, as they may have weakened during the period of non-use. A trained therapist will help to ensure your rehabilitation process is appropriate and effective. For best, long term results use the Elbow BFST Wrap® in conjunction with physical therapy and an exercise program.
Please be aware that this information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before using any of our outstanding products to make sure they're right for you and your condition or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. It is recommended that you see your doctor for a proper diagnosis as there are many injuries and conditions that could be the cause of your pain.