Student’s elbow/ elbow bump (Bursitis Olecrani)

CLSportBaseballBursa is a term for fluid-filled sac, which forms from the subcutaneous ligaments in the areas of the mechanical burden. Especially in area where the ligaments or muscles are going through cartilage and bone base. There are two types of bursae, subcutaneous and synovial. Its function is to lower the pressure and friction in the given area, and ease the movement in the joint.

Bursitis is a condition which leads to inflammation of the fluid-filled sac. Usually it affects the shoulder, elbow and hip joint. But it can also affect heel, knee or thumb on the foot. Simply said, areas which are repetitively burdened with movement. In extreme case the inflamed bursa can result also in inflammation of the joint capsule.


Student’s bump is typical with gradual pain, or pressure in the affected area. During movement you may feel unpleasant stiffness in the back side of the elbow joint, which doesn’t allow you to perform the movement normally. Another typical symptoms is also local edema, and in case of infection it can be followed by skin redness, increased temperature in the area of the inflammation.


Among the most common causes of bursitis are repetitive movements which irritate the area around bursa. That can be for example:

  • Batting in baseball
  • Repetitive lifting of various objects above your head
  • Post-injury conditions
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, gout, diabetes


  • Age (with increasing age, there is also increasing risk of bursitis)
  • Hobby/work (if your work or hobbies demand you to repeat a certain movement or create pressure on the bursa, the risk of bursitis increases - gardening, painting, playing on a musical instrument etc.)


CLInzulinThe treatment is including peaceful regime, cold compress and painkillers.

If the bursitis is caused by infection, doctor has to prescribe antibiotics, another form of treatment can be arthrocentesis (joint puncture) and laboratory tests of exudate in order to exclude joint causes (rheumatoid arthritis, gout). It is ideal to use a tight bandage on the affected area.

According to the option we can consequently inject corticoids, which will relieve the pain, and it has inflammatory effects, but from a long-term point of view it weakens some joint structures, which lose their firmness.


The physiotherapist will examine your condition at first. Then he will apply Focused shock wave therapy, which has anti-inflammatory effects, and it also lowers the edema of the joint. Radial shock wave relieves painful muscles on arms and forearms. If the condition is acute and the joint is very swollen, the therapist will apply at the end of the session kinesio tape as a support for lymphatic drainage. Otherwise it depends on the therapist, what form of taping he will choose for the best possible effect.


  • Student’s elbow
  • Exercises for painful elbow
  • Exercises for strengthening and stabilization of the elbow

 FYZIOklinika physiotherapy Ltd., Prague, Czech Republic

Source: Clinical experience from practice in the physiotherapeutic field, FYZIOklinika

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