What is Olecranon Bursitis (Miner’s Elbow)?

Olecranon Bursitis is also known as Miner’s Elbow. It is the result of inflammation of the bursa of the olecranon process (back of the elbow) of the elbow. Olecranon Bursitis may be confused with Triceps Tendinitis or Osteoarthritis.

There are several reasons for olecranon bursitis such as trauma, falling directly onto the back of the elbow, infection or repetitive overuse movements. All of these reasons can cause the bursa to thicken and become inflamed. Often, this condition is aggravated by pre-existing underlying trauma, conditions or infections. A hard hit to the elbow can cause the bursa to produce excess fluid and swell up. The range of motion can be reduced on flexion, bending of the elbow. 30-60 years old male patients are more prone to this condition.

The first sign of Bursitis is usually swelling of the elbow. Some symptoms may include inflammation of the olecranon bursa at the elbow which may cause swelling or a painless lump (could be soft or firm nodules) over the tip of the elbow. The elbow tip may feel warm and appear red in colour. If the elbow begins to become red, this is due to the bursa becoming infected. If the infection is not treated right away, it may spread to other areas, casing more pain. The pain felt is local to the olecranon process (back of the elbow) and will be associated with local tenderness, joint stiffness and increased pain with movement (especially straightening the arm). Swelling may not be noticed at first as the skin on the elbow is loose. As the swelling continues, the stretching of the Bursa may begin to cause pain. Direct pressure or bending of the elbow increases this pain.

Here at Precision Health we offer services such as Chiropractic care which can aid in your recovery from Olecranon Bursitis. Call (02) 9639 7337 or visit our website to book an appointment now!

Nchinda, N.N. and J.M. Wolf, Clinical Management of Olecranon Bursitis: A Review. Journal of Hand Surgery, 2021. 46(6): p. 501-506.

Athwal, G.S. and Keener, J.D. (2018) Elbow (olecranon) bursitis – orthoinfo – aaos, OrthoInfo. Available at:https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/elbow-olecranon-bursitis/ (Accessed: 15 September 2023).

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