Treatment of bursitis on the elbow

Basic therapy

Usually one is Bursitis treat well and heal without consequences.

In the therapy of bursitis there are different approaches that can lead to freedom from symptoms depending on the cause of the inflammation.

The general rule is that the inflamed region on the elbow first spared should be so that the damage is not increased by additional movement.

The elbow can at least temporarily through one Association or one special rail be immobilized.
This Immobilization but should not be done for too long, as this can lead to problems resuming movements because the joint has not been sufficiently moved for too long.

In addition to immobilization, it is advisable to keep your elbows too coolso that the bursa can swell. Special cooling ointments and gels used, but also Cold and ice packswhich should never be placed directly on the skin because of the risk of frostbite.

Under no circumstances should the affected area be warmed on the elbow!

Another basic therapy often includes the physical therapy.
This is prescribed so that the joint can be moved quickly again and those affected learn how bursitis is avoided in the future if they are favored by poor posture, for example.

Additionally can Muscle exercises are made to strengthen the structures of the joint.


In addition to providing immobilization and cooling, the doctor may prescribe medications to help reduce inflammation. These include, for example, diclofenac or ibuprofen.
They not only fight the inflammation in the bursa, but also work against any pain that may arise.

Local anesthetics (Local anesthetics) can be given directly into or on the bursa with a syringe.

To further reduce the inflammatory reaction, the use of glucocorticoids can also be useful, as this weakens the body's own inflammatory reaction and the bursa can recover better.

Appointment with an elbow expert?

I would be happy to advise you!

Who am I?
My name is dr. Nicolas Gumpert. I am a specialist in orthopedics and the founder of .
Various television programs and print media report regularly about my work. On HR television you can see me every 6 weeks live on "Hallo Hessen".

As a former performance-oriented tennis player, I specialized early on in the conservative treatment of the elbow.

You can find me in:

  • Lumedis - your orthopedic surgeon
    Kaiserstrasse 14
    60311 Frankfurt am Main

Directly to the online appointment arrangement
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Further information about myself can be found at Dr. Nicolas Gumpert

Shock wave therapy

An alternative therapy approach is the extracorporeal shock wave therapy represent.

Here will be Pressure waves blasted from the outside onto the affected bursa on the elbow in order to eliminate the pain, but also to remove any pain that may be present Calcifications to loosen in and on the bursa.


Sometimes pain can still occur in the elbow after the inflammation has subsided, which is often due to the fact that the bursa is with too much liquid is filled, which cannot drain, and thereby restricts movement or presses on nerves.

If this is the case, the doctor must dispose of the excess water with a Puncture removed.

Because through such a puncture too bacteria can get into the bursa must be done during the procedure perfect hygienic conditions be respected.
In addition, a Printing compound to prevent the bursa from filling up again with too much fluid.


For example, if the bursitis is caused by an open injury such as a fall or knife stab, the inflammation is often septic, which means that it is caused by bacteria.

In the case of septic bursitis, the bursa in the elbow must be surgically opened for therapy so that the fluid and pus can drain out of the bursa.

In addition, drug therapy with a suitable antibiotic is recommended.

It is usually not necessary to completely remove the bursa.
However, it usually occurs after a long time two to three months, no improvement, a bursa removal (Bursectomy) should be considered.

Read more about this under Surgery for bursitis on the elbow.


For completeness, the bursitis in the elbow can also be treated homeopathically or with home remedies.

As is so often the case, the effectiveness of these agents often depends on the user's conviction.

Taking Traumeel® in combination with arnica drops can make sense in homeopathic terms.

Ointments such as Zeel or Lymphdiaral drainage ointment have also proven themselves in homeopathic circles.

In the case of prolonged inflammation, the use of leeches can also be discussed.

An old home remedy that relies on cooling and immobilizing the affected bursa on the elbow is to put on a night bandage with quark.

In order to avoid the bursitis becoming chronic, exercise should only be started slowly again after it has healed and the symptoms are free.
How long exactly you have to pause can only be clarified individually with your doctor and physiotherapist.