Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care pain and inflammation warning signs Prevention Outlook Underlying Cause Anatomy

Elbow Bursitis Home Care

Home care for elbow bursitis includes:

  • Apply a cold compress:
    • Wrap ice in a moist hand towel. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
    • Apply for 20-30 minutes, every 4 hours, for the first few days.
  • Apply warm compresses:
    • After a few days of cold compresses.
  • Elevate your arm to control swelling:
    • Above your heart if possible
  • Rest the arm:
    • Avoid activities that cause pain.
    • Apply an elastic wrap to the elbow.
    • Re-wrap the joint every 6 hours.
  • Perform elbow stretching exercises.
    • After the pain has resolved
  • Acetaminophen for pain and inflammation
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
  • Take prescribed medications as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.

Elbow Bursitis Pain and Inflammation

Medications commonly used to control pain and fever in adults with elbow bursitis include:


Acetaminophen
  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.

Aspirin

Ibuprofen

Naproxen

Ketoprofen

NSAID Precautions

Elbow Bursitis Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have elbow bursitis and any of the following:

Continue to Elbow Bursitis Prevention

Last Updated: Feb 15, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Elbow Bursitis References
  1. Choudhery V. The role of diagnostic needle aspiration in olecranon bursitis. J Accid Emerg Med. 1999 Jul;16(4):282-3. [10417940]
  2. Floemer F, Morrison WB, Bongartz G, Ledermann HP. MRI characteristics of olecranon bursitis. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2004 Jul;183(1):29-34. [15208103]
  3. Stell IM. Septic and non-septic olecranon bursitis in the accident and emergency department--an approach to management. J Accid Emerg Med. 1996 Sep;13(5):351-3. [889486]
  4. Stewart NJ, Manzanares JB, Morrey BF. Surgical treatment of aseptic olecranon bursitis. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 1997 Jan-Feb;6(1):49-54. [9071682]
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