A bursa is a fluid filled sac that is located between muscles, ligaments, and bones. It acts to allow sliding of structures within the body. A variety of problems such as muscle tightness, muscle imbalance, or trauma can lead to excessive stress or compression to the olecranon bursa, which is located on the back side of the elbow. This irritation to the bursa will lead to swelling, inflammation, and pain at the elbow. It is common for pain to be present at rest, particularly at night.
The early stages of treatment are focused on reducing the inflammation of the bursa and protecting the area from further irritation. Low intensity laser therapy can be effective in settling inflammation and pain in the early stages of the injury. As pain subsides, Myofascial Release Techniques (MRT) and home rehabilitation exercises can be undertaken to address the underlying cause of the stress / compression that is affecting the bursa.