Elbow Bursitis: What Is It And What You Can Do About It

If you have been experiencing pain and swelling in your elbow, you may have elbow bursitis. This condition is caused by inflammation of the bursa, a small fluid-filled sac that helps to reduce friction between tissues. Bursitis can be very painful and can make everyday activities difficult. In this blog post, we will discuss what elbow bursitis is, the symptoms, and how you can treat it.


What Is Elbow Bursitis?

Elbow bursitis is a condition that results from the inflammation of the bursa, a small fluid-filled sac that helps reduce friction between tissues. The bursa is located between the skin and the tendons or bones. When the bursa becomes inflamed, it can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness.


What Are The Symptoms Of Elbow Bursitis?

There are a lot of symptoms that would give you an idea that you are experiencing elbow bursitis. Here are some:

  1. Pain and tenderness in the elbow
  2. Swelling in the elbow
  3. Redness in the elbow
  4. Warmth to touch around the elbow
  5. Difficulty moving the arm or elbow
  6. Decreased range of motion in the arm or elbow

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor so they can properly diagnose you.

What Causes Elbow Bursitis?

There are several things that can lead to the development of elbow bursitis. Some of the most common causes include:

  1. Repeated Movements: This is often seen in people who perform the same motions over and over again, such as tennis players or golfers.
  2. Direct Trauma: This can occur from a fall or direct blow to the elbow.
  3. Infection: This is usually caused by bacteria entering the bursa through a cut or other wound.
  4. Arthritis: This is often seen in people who have arthritis in other parts of their body.
  5. Autoimmune Disease: This is when the body’s immune system attacks the bursa, causing inflammation.


How Is Elbow Bursitis Treated?

There are a few different ways that elbow bursitis can be treated. The most common treatment options include:

  1. Rest: This is often the first course of treatment. If you are experiencing elbow bursitis, it is important to rest the elbow and avoid any activities that may aggravate the condition.
  2. Ice: This can help to reduce swelling and pain. Apply ice for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
  3. Heat: This can help to increase blood flow and reduce stiffness. Apply heat for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
  4. Physical Therapy: This can help to improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles around the elbow.
  5. Steroid Injections: This can be an effective treatment for elbow bursitis. The steroid helps to reduce inflammation and pain.
  6. Surgery: This is usually only considered if other treatment options have failed. Surgery involves removing the bursa.

If you think you may be experiencing elbow bursitis, it is important to see a doctor so they can properly diagnose and treat the condition. Elbow bursitis can be painful and debilitating, but with proper treatment, it can be managed.

Are You Looking for a Sports Medicine Physician You Can Trust?


Dr. Chen sees patients at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital Center for Sports Medicine in Walnut Creek, California. He is a board-certified Pediatrician and Sports Medicine Doctor that specializes in the non-operative medical treatment of a wide variety of various musculoskeletal conditions.  Dr. Chen graduated from St. George’s University School of Medicine and went on to complete Pediatric residency training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey (Rutgers), then went on to fellowship training in Sports Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, one of the perennially top ranked children’s hospitals in the nation. There he provided sideline coverage for NCAA Division I athletics at the University of Cincinnati and Miami University (OH). Since graduating, Dr. Chen has continued his love of sports coverage by volunteering for the San Francisco Marathon, the San Francisco Giant Race, and as the team physician for Northgate High School in Walnut Creek. Being a part of The Center for Sports Medicine allows Dr. Chen quick access to a multidisciplinary team of orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, physiatrists, and physical therapists to return you to your highest functional level quickly and safely. Click here to contact us for your next appointment!


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