Elbow joint inflammation treatment at home

The elbow joint consists of the articular surfaces of the bones that form it, the capsule, the ligamentous and muscular apparatus. Under the influence of provoking factors, an inflammatory process can develop in any of these structures. A person develops pain, swelling of soft tissues, redness and hyperemia of the skin, difficulties with movements in the elbow, and other unpleasant symptoms.

With inflammation of the elbow joint, cartilage, the synovial membrane, articular bag, ligaments, or muscle tendons can suffer. The defeat of each structure is a separate disease that requires a certain treatment.

Causes of the development of the inflammatory process

Inflammation in the elbow joint is most often caused by regular trauma to the elbow. At risk are tennis players, golfers, builders, masseurs, tractor drivers and handymen. The development of the inflammatory process can also provoke an unsuccessful fall, injury or direct blow to the elbow region.

Sometimes pathology occurs against the background of long-term arthrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, microcrystalline arthropathy, psoriasis, systemic diseases of connective tissue, intestinal and urogenital infections. For example, in many patients with deforming arthrosis in the late stages, aseptic synovitis is detected.

People who have had chlamydia can develop Reiter’s syndrome. Pathology is characterized by the development of so-called reactive arthritis. It is manifested by aseptic inflammation of one or more joints. In some cases, the elbow may also suffer.

What diseases is characterized by inflammation in the elbow

Inflammation is a complex pathological process that can develop with many diseases and injuries. Consider in what cases the structures of the elbow joint are involved in it.

Table 1. Common inflammatory diseases of the elbow

DiseaseLocalizationFeaturesCurious information
EpicondylitisThe place of attachment of muscle tendons to the epicondyle of the humerusPain in the inner or outer surface of the elbow, aggravated by brush movements1-3% of the population have to deal with the disease. Epicondylitis most often affects people aged 40-60 years
BursitisJoint bag located in the area of ​​the outer surface of the elbowThe presence of severe swelling on the outer surface of the elbow jointBursitis affects mainly young and middle-aged men
SynovitisThe synovial membrane lining the inside of the joint cavityAccumulation of fluid, which is detected by palpation. Positive symptom of fluctuationsIt occurs mainly in individuals with degenerative or chronic inflammatory joint diseases
LigamentiteElbow or radial collateral ligamentsAching pain in the elbow, aggravated by movementsIt is rare. Injuries to elbows may be caused by trauma or sprains
ArthritisArticular cartilage, subchondral bone plates, synovial membraneDiffuse pain in the elbow joint, the intensity of which depends on the severity of the inflammatory processArthritis causes pain and discomfort in the elbow joint in only 10% of cases

In the photo you can see different types of inflammation of the elbow joint.

If you experience pain in the elbow, consult a doctor. Do not try to self-diagnose and self-medicate. Most likely, you will not be able to independently recognize the disease and cure it.

What examinations can a doctor prescribe

To clarify the diagnosis, the specialist will need the results of additional research methods. You can detect inflammation in different structures of the elbow joint using x-ray and ultrasound. X-rays are taken in two projections.

To determine the cause and clarify the nature of inflammation, additional studies (blood tests, synovial fluid) may be prescribed to the patient. If there is a suspicion of the presence of systemic diseases, the patient can be sent for consultation to narrow specialists (rheumatologist, infectious disease specialist).

How to treat inflammation of the elbow joint

Even “neglected” joint problems can be cured at home! Just remember to smear it once a day.

In the inflammatory process, it is first necessary to identify and eliminate the effect of provoking factors. For example, manual workers should think about changing the type of activity, athletes should adjust the training regimen and begin to carefully monitor the correctness of the exercises.

If the inflammation was caused by psoriasis, chlamydia, or systemic autoimmune diseases, specific treatment is required. In the case of purulent arthritis, bursitis or synovitis, antibiotics are prescribed for the patient. For the relief of pain and inflammatory processes of any nature, steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used.

Treatment of inflammation of the elbow joint begins only after examination of the patient. First, the doctor finds out the cause of the disease, diagnoses the disease, then selects the optimal treatment regimen for the patient.

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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With inflammation of the tendons of the elbow joint of the affected limb, rest must be ensured. Doctors recommend that patients stop performing physical work, limit the load on the muscles of the forearm, and temporarily abandon training. With severe pain, patients can apply a plaster cast for 7-10 days.

Ointments and gels that help relieve pain in epicondylitis:

  • Diclofenac;
  • Ortofen;
  • Dicloran Plus;
  • Quickgel;
  • Fastum;
  • Nyz;
  • Final gel;
  • Flexen;
  • Indomethacin.

In severe cases, corticosteroids are injected into the elbow joint to treat tendon inflammation. Drug blockades are performed for severe pain that lasts more than two weeks. Patients are given corticosteroid hormones (Dexamethasone, Kenalog, Diprospan) with local anesthetics (Lidocaine, Novocaine).

If the pain syndrome cannot be stopped in 3-4 months, patients undergo surgical treatment. Its essence lies in the excision of damaged sections of tendons in the place of their attachment to the bone. The operation is performed under local anesthesia. In the postoperative period, the patient wears a special splint. After its removal, he undergoes rehabilitation, including massage, physiotherapy exercises and physiotherapy.

Recent clinical studies have shown that drugs with chondroitin and glucosamine increase the effectiveness of the treatment of epicondylitis. It turned out that chondroprotectors relieve pain and reduce the thickness of inflamed tendons.

Ulnar bursitis

Bursitis, which developed after a slight bruise, usually goes away on its own. You can speed up recovery by temporarily immobilizing the elbow and applying compresses with Dimexidum. In case of severe inflammation, the patient is prescribed drugs from the NSAID group (Diclofenac, Nimesil, Ibuprofen).

If the conservative treatment is ineffective, patients undergo a bursa puncture. Accumulated effusion is removed with a thick needle. Manipulation is carried out under local infiltration anesthesia. In severe cases, patients undergo surgery – a bursectomy.

What is the risk of lack of treatment

Refusal of medical care and attempts at self-medication can lead to a progressive dysfunction of the elbow joint. Over time, many patients develop hypotrophy of the muscles of the forearm, worsening the mobility of the hand and fingers. All this causes deterioration, and in some cases even disability.

If you have annoying pain in the elbow, immediately contact an orthopedist or traumatologist. Remember: the sooner you start treatment, the better its results.

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How to treat elbow bursitis at home?

If there are aching pains in the elbow, it is difficult to bend and extend the arm, then it is possible that this is bursitis of the elbow joint. It can be treated at home using medications and folk remedies. However, such therapy should be pre-agreed with the attending physician.

With bursitis, the synovial bag is inflamed, which contains a liquid that protects the human body from joint wear and friction. Complex treatment effectively copes with such a problem.

Indications for therapy

Treatment of the elbow is carried out with the appearance of symptoms such as:

  • large swelling in the ulnar region;
  • joint pain, aggravated by movement;
  • gradual increase in edema;
  • an increase in the volume of the synovial bag;
  • fever;
  • the joint becomes hot to the touch;
  • redness in the affected area, spreading further through the body;
  • fever;
  • weakness, malaise, chills;
  • lack of appetite.

How can elbow bursitis be treated at home?

People who started treating the disease on time have a great chance not to be hospitalized. If any symptoms appear, seek medical attention immediately. The specialist will make the correct diagnosis and, if possible, prescribe a therapeutic course at home. In traditional and traditional medicine, there are many different ways to get rid of bursitis.

The doctor should tell you which folk methods work well with drug therapy. Bursitis treatment is carried out for at least 3 weeks. During this period, severe pain may occur due to the formation of a scar in the joint. It is recommended that therapeutic therapy include physical therapy and massage. In addition, an elastic bandage, a tire, a bandage or other fixators will help limit motor activity. After treatment of ulnar bursitis, the condition of tendons, muscles and joints will improve. After completing the course of therapy, proper rehabilitation is necessary.


The appointment of medicinal drugs depends on the degree of neglect of the disease. At any stage, anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals are used. Also, medications that improve blood and lymph circulation are prescribed. Diuretics are used to reduce swelling. For greater effectiveness, the doctor may prescribe physiotherapy courses. To reduce pain, swelling and relieve inflammation, ointments are used:

Traumeel will help get rid of the symptoms of the disease.

  • “Traumeel C”;
  • Voltaren;
  • Vishnevsky ointment;
  • Diclofenac;
  • “Indomethacin” and others.

Folk remedies

Inflammation of the synovial bag occurs due to injuries and injuries, internal pathologies. A severe swelling forms on the elbow. It is possible to treat ulnar bursitis with the help of medicines that are prepared from natural ingredients. But if the first symptoms of the disease appear, you should immediately consult a doctor. Treatment with folk remedies is used only as an auxiliary method.

Baths with natural ingredients

  1. Soak 1,5-2 kg of pine needles in water and boil for 30 minutes.
  2. The mass should be infused for 12-15 hours in a tightly closed container.
  3. To collect a bath of warm water, and add the product obtained, previously filtered.
  4. The procedure should last 20 minutes. Before going to bed at night, you need to wrap a towel around your aching hand to ensure a warming effect.
  1. In 4 liters of water, 1 kg of hay dust is boiled.
  2. The resulting broth is filtered and poured into the bath.

Vegetable Compresses

Beets, cabbage and potatoes are required. Components should not be mixed. Every evening, it is recommended to apply a compress with one vegetable. For these purposes, thin circles should be cut from potatoes, beets or cabbage and put on top of a dry, clean cloth. Then the affected joint is wrapped. To warm, wrap the elbow with a towel or scarf.

“Sweet” compress

  1. Heat 150 g of sugar in a frying pan. It needs to be hot, but not melted.
  2. Pour it into a bag of natural tissue, attach to the affected area and wrap it with a warm cloth or towel. Recommended to leave overnight.
  3. This procedure must be repeated every day until the pain is completely extinguished.

Infusion of aloe, medical bile and chestnut

For a compress, you need to take chopped aloe leaves.

  • chopped aloe leaves – 3 pcs.;
  • medical bile – 1 bottle;
  • horse chestnut – 2 glasses;
  • vodka or alcohol – 2 glasses.

The procedure for preparing and conducting the procedure:

  1. Mix the ingredients, put them in a clean container and close tightly.
  2. Store vodka infusion for 11 days in a cool, dark place.
  3. Moisten a flap of cotton tissue in tincture and apply as a lotion to the affected area. Insulate on top with a scarf or scarf.
  4. The course of therapy is 10 days. Then a 10-day pause is made, and the infusion for lotions is reused.

Decoctions with bursitis

  • Herbal harvest. Take St. John’s wort, chamomile, yarrow and burdock (all herbs in equal proportions). Plants are brewed in a small teapot and are taken in 100 ml per day.
  • Celery broth. Helps reduce inflammation and pain. A spoonful of seeds is brewed with a glass of boiling water, infused for 2 hours. It is filtered, bottled in 2 servings. One is drunk in the morning, the second – during lunch. The duration of treatment is 2-4 weeks.

For the treatment of bursitis, you can use grapefruit juice. It is recommended to drink such a medicine 3 times a day, 100 g after a meal. The intake of freshly squeezed juices should be limited. A drink made from apple cider vinegar and honey will also be beneficial. In a glass of warm water add 1 tsp. honey and a few drops of vinegar. Such a solution should be taken up to 2 glasses a day after meals for one week.

All about joints

What it is?

Doctors call bursitis inflammation of the synovial sac (bursa). It is a thin-walled “pouch” that promotes the movement of muscles and their tendons over bony protrusions.

There are three such bursa in the elbow joint: two in the front and one in the back. The ulnar subcutaneous synovial bag is inflamed more often, it is located directly under the skin of the elbow. Normally, you can’t feel it, but with bursitis, fluid accumulates in the bag, and with a chronic shape the walls of the bursa become dense. An inflamed synovial bag is easy not only to feel, but also to see: a rounded “bump” grows on the elbow. It can reach 10-15 cm in diameter, but even with such dimensions it does not significantly affect the mobility of the joint.

Elbow bursitis, as a rule, develops after an injury, joint overload, or due to infection. Often found in athletes, engravers, chasers, polishers and other people who constantly overload the elbow joint.

Treatment at home is permissible only after the diagnosis established by the doctor, provided that all his recommendations and appointments are followed and in the absence of the need for surgical intervention.

Bursitis is acute and chronic. Sometimes a recurrent form is still isolated – this is the same chronic, but difficult to treat.

Acute bursitis

Treatment on the first day of illness

Immediately after the onset of the disease, the load on the joint should be sharply limited:

  • do not lift weights;
  • if possible, do not move your hand;
  • apply an elastic bandage. To do this, buy an elastic bandage and gently wrap a half-bent arm around it from the middle of the shoulder to the middle of the forearm in a circle.

To reduce inflammation and to reduce swelling, you can apply a cold. Best for this purpose is a heating pad filled with pieces of ice and water, wrapped in a thick towel.

Treatment on the second to fifth day from the onset of the disease

  1. Restriction of movement in the elbow joint. An elastic bandage should be on the arm constantly.
  2. Painkillers and anti-inflammatory ointments. Pain is a component of inflammation, so anything that reduces inflammation will also ease pain. Ointments and gels with ketoprofen, diclofenac, methyl salicylate, indomethacin and other NSAIDs or glucocorticosteroids (GCS) are used. The latter act much stronger, but are not sold without a prescription and their long-term use is dangerous by thinning and infectious skin lesions.
  3. For lack of ointments, NSAIDs can be taken in tablets (ibuprofen, ketorolac, etc.), however, the use of ointments, gels and lotions is preferable, since it rarely causes side effects.
  4. Fighting infection (with infectious bursitis). Amoxicillin, doxycycline, lincomycin or other antibiotics are used.
  • there is chronic bursitis, which, after a scratch, bruise, or other injury, has worsened;
  • the elbow hurts even at rest;
  • the skin above the elbow turned red, the tissues are swollen;
  • body temperature above 38 °.

With infectious bursitis, antibiotics significantly accelerate recovery, and in many cases are a necessary condition for it.

  • temperature 38 ° and above;
  • severe swelling, redness of the skin of the elbow;
  • pain that does not allow to lean on a sore arm;
  • on the second day of self-medication, health does not improve, or a person notes deterioration.
  • gradually the “bump” grows and can reach the size of a fist of an adult man;
  • not properly treated bursitis of the elbow joint easily flows into a chronic form, arthritis, osteomyelitis, or, much worse, sepsis. With the last two complications, amputation of part of the arm may be required;
  • inflammation can spread to surrounding tissues, spreading between the muscles and along the vessels – the phlegmon of the forearm develops;
  • the inflammatory fluid accumulated in the bursa is suppressed, destroys the adjacent tissues. Because of this, a hole (fistula) is formed through which pus leaves the bursa.

Treatment on the sixth day of illness and before recovery

The elbow joint cannot be left without movement for a long time: it can freeze in the position that was given to it and will never begin to work again. First, you need to slightly rub the joint, and then perform several slow flexions and extensions. Repeat several times a day, after warming up, wind the elastic bandage again.

Chronic ulnar bursitis

What can be done at home:

  • warm compresses;
  • massage / self-massage;
  • load reduction: do not wear heavy, limit sharp movements in the joint, do not strain your hand.

The listed measures are often not enough, and then you have to consult a surgeon. The most reliable way to treat chronic bursitis is a bursectomy (removal of the synovial bag), so do not rush to refuse the surgical intervention proposed by your doctor.

Elbow joint inflammation: home treatment

Inflammation of the elbow joint is a problem that must be addressed immediately. Such a disease affects people of different age categories. But especially aged people suffer from it.

Disease of the elbow joint is accompanied by uncomfortable sensations. The primary symptom is a painful tumor, swelling near the joint. The tumor can be easily detected, as it is well probed. Usually, cartilage tissue or periarticular areas become inflamed. This may be a consequence of previous injuries, untreated injuries, too much strain on the elbow, excessive sports, hypothermia, various respiratory viral infections, a predisposition by inheritance.

In this case, in any case, inflammation is combined with severe pain in the elbow joint, redness and burning of the part that hurts, there is a crack in the joint, and even a significant increase in body temperature. All these manifestations reduce the patient’s activity, a painful state and weakness are felt. Of course, it is best to see a doctor so that he appoints an examination in order to detect inflammation, the cause of its occurrence.

He will also suggest passing all the necessary tests in order to establish the correct diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment, using a variety of drugs and appropriate procedures. The inflammatory process in the elbow joint usually requires the use of some non-steroidal drugs that belong to the anti-inflammatory group. In some cases, they are not enough, and therefore steroid drugs and injections are used.

Nonsteroidal drugs reduce the inflammatory process in the elbow joint, and, accordingly, reduce pain. It is necessary to treat with such means in strict accordance with the instructions, and only under the supervision of the attending physician. Since such drugs have many side effects, including those that have a negative effect on the stomach. Steroid injections are used only in such a case when the patient experiences severe pain in the elbow joint. Such remedies have an instant effect.

But many people like to be treated for any diseases with folk remedies and at home. You can use such folk recipes so that you can treat the elbow joint. These recipes are the most effective and are considered very famous. Before you go to bed, you need to cut into the thinnest slices of tubers of fresh unboiled potatoes.

Put tubers on a cloth of cotton cloth, and wrap a sore swollen joint. On top of the dressing you need to wrap a plastic bag or cling film, and wrap the compress with a woolen scarf or scarf. Compress must be left overnight. For the next night, build a similar compress, only now use not potatoes, but mashed raw beets. On the third night, you will need to make a compress of white cabbage, chopped on a grater. This recipe helps if the inflammation is not significant.

The following recipe, you need to heat one third of a cup of sugar in a dry frying pan, then pour it into a dense small bag and put it on a sore spot on the elbow, wrap it with cling film, cover it with a woolen shawl. Leave this compress overnight. Hot sugar will have a warming effect, which will significantly reduce the inflammatory process.

Also, with inflammation in the elbow joint, infusions from celery seed can be prepared, they can remove inflammation and will help strengthen immunity. You need to pour one and a half tablespoons of celery seed into a glass of boiling water, cover everything with a lid, and let it brew for a couple of hours. After which, you need to strain and consume one tablespoon twice a day. Continue to be treated for a couple of weeks.

The following folk remedy, which can be prepared at home, has good results. It is necessary to pour fresh, green needles, branches of spruce or pine, or cones into an enameled bucket. Then fill with water, and bring to a boil. Then cover well, wrap the bucket in a warm blanket and let it brew for about twelve hours. After you need to strain the resulting infusion through a colander and add its bath with water. In this case, the water in the bath should not be too hot. This bath should be taken for at least 20 minutes. During the procedure, you need to relax in order to thoroughly warm up. You need to apply these baths twice a week and the inflammatory process in the elbow joint will be completely removed.

Propolis can also be an effective remedy for inflammation in the elbow joint. It is necessary to fill in 10 grams of propolis with one third of a glass of alcohol. The bottle with infusion should be well corked and put in a dark cupboard for 5 days. After five days, lotions should be made from the resulting infusion on the inflamed joint, until the swelling and swelling disappear.

Many people know such a tool as pine buds. The kidneys are placed in a jar of sugar and allowed to infuse in a dark place for a week. Then you can lubricate the inflamed elbow joint with such a mixture, and even take a few tablespoons a day inside. Also, as a compress, a bandage with Vishnevsky ointment is applied to the inflamed joint.

Among other things, for the treatment of the elbow joint, many at home also use decoctions of herbs such as St. John’s wort, marigold flowers, lingonberry leaves and the like. You should use infusions and decoctions from the data for several months. But it should be remembered that for some they can cause allergic reactions, and have a number of contraindications. Therefore, before taking them, it is better to consult a doctor who will say whether these herbs can be used in treatment.

In conclusion, I want to say the following. Of course, you can be treated at home, using home methods. But it is best to visit a specialist who will prescribe the correct treatment so that subsequently the inflammation does not develop into arthrosis.

Morozov Georgiy

Georgy Morozov, rheumatologist. For more than 20 years, he has been involved in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of joint diseases.