The elbow is a complex structure that is decisive in the movement of the arms, thanks to the fact that it connects the final part of the humerus and the initial area of the ulna and radius bones to link the arm with the forearm. For this reason, it is constantly used to carry out the daily activities required by a person.
As a consequence, this joint is subject to pathologies for different reasons and one of the most common is elbow bursitis. Since it affects many people, it is important to know what it is, what its main symptoms are and how elbow bursitis can be treated with the help of a compression elbow brace.
What is elbow bursitis and what are its symptoms?
Bursae are small pockets that act as a cushion between the bones and the white tissues, which is why they are located in different parts of the body. They allow the skin to move easily over the underlying bone, thanks to the synovial fluid they contain (a small amount of lubricating fluid). However, it is possible for this fluid to accumulate within the bursae and, in effect, cause irritation or inflammation in the area, leading to what is known as “bursitis”.
Since the elbow joint is made up of three bony fragments (the humerus, radius and ulna), it is prone to bursitis, especially because it tends to flex and extend like a hinge, as well as turn up and down with the palm of the hand. Considering also that the ulna has the olecranon at its proximal end which is observed as a protuberance and serves as an insertion point for the triceps brachii muscle.
When the bursa of the elbow or the olecranial bursa is altered, bursitis automatically manifests in this joint of the upper extremity and thus affects its mobility. Taking into account that this condition is distinguished as the inflammation of the synovial bursa that is located in the elbow joint and therefore increases the friction between the bone and the skin, as it does not perform its cushioning function correctly.
Elbow bursitis triggers the following clinical and symptomatological picture:
- Pain in the elbow, especially when the joint is moved. This may be made worse by pressing on or bending the elbow.
- Swelling or puffiness at the back of the elbow, which basically feels like a lump there.
- Tenderness to touch, due to swelling of the area caused by the accumulation of the amount of synovial fluid.
- Redness, red streaks and a feeling of warmth in the elbow, as well as in the adjacent regions.
- Reduced range of motion of the affected elbow and functional disability.
- Fever, swollen lymph nodes in the armpit and even pus coming out of the elbow skin, if an infection occurs.
What are the benefits of using a compression elbow brace to treat elbow bursitis?
Normally, to heal elbow bursitis, patients undergo conservative treatment based on analgesic drugs to reduce pain and inflammation of the elbow, as well as antibiotics (in case the ailment is caused by an infection). In addition, on some occasions, it is useful to perform an infiltration with corticosteroids, which is a direct injection into the affected bursa, provided that the pain and inflammation are not minimised by the initial treatment.
In addition to this, it is also effective to apply compressive therapy which consists of exerting a controlled force on the joint by means of a device to improve blood flow in order to trigger an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and relaxing effect in the area. In this case, a compressive elbow brace should be used, which is a textile garment designed to help reduce the pressure on the elbow and avoid increasing the severity of the bursitis in the area or causing other more serious pathology there.
The main benefits are:
- Relieve pain in the elbow.
- Stimulate an optimal de-inflammatory process.
- To promote blood flow irrigation.
- Produce a sedative effect or a feeling of well-being.
- Prevent chronic injuries in the area.
What kind of sports elbow braces are best for elbow bursa?
Here are the two most efficient types of compression elbow braces to minimise the effects of bursitis in the elbow joint:
Compression sports elbow brace
These are usually the elbow sleeves worn by weightlifting, basketball and tennis athletes. At the same time, they are characterised as being ideal for improving and preventing injuries such as elbow bursitis, arthritis and tendonitis, for example. Whereas, they provide the appropriate level of support to subject the elbow area to efficient compression to improve blood flow and eliminate the symptoms of the pathology.
It is worth noting that it is advisable to buy a compression sports elbow brace that is resistant to wear and tear, thus ensuring that it will last for a long time. Another recommendation to take into account is the size of the textile device so that it performs the compression correctly, without showing deficient strength or strangling the blood flow. It should also ensure breathability to avoid accumulation of sweat in the region.
Tennis elbow epicondylitis strap
An epicondylitis band or elbow brace is a garment that is regularly used to soothe tennis elbow (or epicondylitis), which is an inflammation of the tendon of the extensor muscles of the hand and fingers. Thanks to its specific characteristics to attenuate this pathology, it is also indicated to treat the symptoms produced by elbow bursitis, to improve the damaged area and even to prevent this type of ailment.
In general, the epicondylitis band or strap helps the tendon to relax and heal, as well as relieves pain, provides a sedative effect and guarantees a heat supply in order to speed up the recovery process of elbow diseases. Whereas, thanks to the pressure it exerts on the tendon, it causes the fibres of the joint to loosen completely and return to their regular state.