Swollen Elbow Causes
A swollen elbow, also known as elbow bursitis, olecranon bursitis or Popeye’s elbow has many causes. The most common is trauma or a fall. If you get a hard blow to the tip of your elbow it can lead the bursa to produce extra fluid; the trauma irritates and inflames the synovial membrane of the bursa. Your body eventually reabsorbs the blood. However, the membrane is still inflamed, which leads to swelling and other symptoms that you normally see in case of a swollen elbow.
This is also a major reason why you can get a swollen elbow. If you lean on your elbow on hard surfaces like tabletops for a long time it can lead to the swelling of your bursa. Such bursitis normally takes a few months to develop. People who work in certain professions tend to be highly vulnerable to this ailment. This includes the likes of plumbers and other professionals who work in the air conditioning and heating industry. This is mainly because they have to lean on their elbows and crawl on their knees in tight spaces.
This is also applicable for people who are in professions such as scrubbing floors and laying carpets. Some athletic activities like holding the plank position for a long time can also lead to the growth of olecranon bursitis. Such pressure is also known in medical circles as mini traumas.
If you suffer an injury at the tip of your elbow and if it succeeds in breaking your skin, bacteria can enter your bursa and cause an infection. This is especially common with insect bites, puncture wounds, and scrapes.
When your bursa gets infected it produces fluid, swelling, redness, and pain in the affected area. If you do not treat the infection it could become pus. At times, your bursa sac may also get infected even if your skin does not suffer any evident injury.
If you are suffering from certain health-related conditions such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis, there is a possibility that you could suffer a swollen elbow as well. Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition where your joints are attacked by your immune system itself. Gout is a kind of arthritis.
If you suffer from kidney failure to the extent that you need dialysis, which is an operation where a machine is used to filter your blood, there is a high chance that you develop this particular condition.
Repetitive Positions & Motions of Your Arm:
This is also a major reason why you may get this condition. These are especially motions and positions that put pressure on the bursa that is located around your joints. This includes movements like lifting things over your head or throwing baseballs. A lot of health experts feel that this is the most common reason for a swollen elbow.