Elbow (Olecranon) Bursitis Treatment

Elbow (Olecranon) Bursitis occurs due to irritation or inflammation to the fluid-filled bursa sacs which act as a cushion between bones and sift tissue, causing swelling and pain.

At Vitalis Physiotherapy, our treatment of elbow bursitis aims to:

What is Elbow (Olecranon) Bursitis?

The olecranon is the pointy bone on the outside of the elbow.  The Bursa is a fluid-filled sac between bone and tissue which cushion and facilitate smooth movement. The olecranon bursa reduces friction on the elbow joint and usually lies flat against the bone.

Bursitis refers to inflammation and irritation of the bursae – elbow bursitis develops as a result of this, causing swelling, pain and discomfort.

Question mark

What are the causes?

Elbow bursitis triggered and worsened by increased pressure force and loading of the elbow. Some common factors which influence injury include:

  • Trauma – significant fall, vehicular accident, etc.
  • Forceful or sudden pressure to the arm/elbow
  • Repetitive pressure from excessive/sustained movement or leaning on the elbow
  • Infection
  • Other conditions – rheumatoid arthritis, etc.

If the inflammation is trigger by an infection a fever may be present.

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain in the elbow
    • Gradual or sudden onset (depends on severity)
  • Swelling at the injury site
  • Limited range of movement
  • Bruising/tenderness/blotchy skin
  • Tingling/numbness in the fingers
  • Muscle spasms
  • Reduced elbow strength
  • Redness or warmness at the elbow (infection)
  • Pain with direct pressure on the elbow
Elbow Pain

Treatment for Elbow Bursitis

If you suspect you have elbow bursitis, it is important to see a physiotherapist or medical professional. You may also be referred for imaging tests to determine the location and extent of the condition, or to rule out a differential diagnosis.


Physical therapy is highly beneficial in restoring movement and reducing inflammation. At Vitalis Physiotherapy, we tailor a unique treatment plan to aid in your recovery through:

  • Stretching, strengthening and/or conditioning exercises
  • Restoring range of movement
  • Soft tissue mobilisations (massage)
  • Shockwave Therapy
  • Dry needling
  • Taping
  • Ice
  • A unique home exercise program
  • Graded Exposure to load program

If the pain and reduced movement is severe, strenuous activity should be avoided. Your physiotherapist may also advise heat or ice application, rest and if necessary, pain medication. Additionally, they might recommend for you to use supportive braces or straps.

How to book an appointment?

If you think that you may be suffering from elbow bursitis, or you’re looking for a ‘physiotherapist near me’, our team at Vitalis Physiotherapy can assess and diagnose the condition. They will then tailor your treatment plan to aid in your pain relief and recovery.

All you need to do is just give us a call on 0410 559 856 and request an initial appointment. Please let our friendly reception staff know the background and severity of your condition.

You can visit our FAQs for more information about appointments at Vitalis Physiotherapy.


Need Help?

Are you in pain caused by elbow bursitis? Contact Vitalis Physiotherapy now to book in your treatment.

Call our friendly team on 0410 559 856. We’d love to help.

Contact us for more information on treatment

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Sinnamon Park Village

3/58 Oldfield Road, Sinnamon Park Qld 4073


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