Self Help

Olecranon Bursitis

Olecranon Bursitis

Elbow Pain
Self Help Guides | Elbow Conditions | Olecranon Bursitis


A bursa is a small, thin fluid filled sac which prevents friction between structures. Normally the bursa remains flat, but if irritated more fluid will accumulate and cause bursitis. It can be caused by direct trauma, or prolonged pressure e.g. leaning on the elbow. Other medical conditions which are associated with olecranon bursitis are rheumatoid arthritis and gout


  • Swelling of the bursa on the point of the elbow
  • Pain with direct pressure e.g. leaning on the elbow
  • If swelling is severe this may lead to restriction in elbow movement


  • Activity modification
  • Ice or heat
  • Pain relief
  • Physiotherapy to include range of movement exercises and strengthening exercises
  • Elbow pads may be useful in occupations where it is difficult to avoid pressure on the elbow


Generally not appropriate unless infection suspected

Exercises to try

Olecranon Bursitis

Elbow Pain
Allied Health Professionals Physiotherapist working with a patient

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