Bicep Tendon Injuries

bicep illustration

Bicep Injuries Are Common But Highly Treatable

The bicep is among the most recognizable muscles of the arm – they’re your “guns.” It’s the muscle at the front of the upper arm. Most people use their biceps a lot every day, both for normal tasks and for athletic activity.

The bad news is that injuries to the bicep are common. The good news is that healing these injuries and treating pain tends to be easily accomplished with the help of some professional care and common sense.

Most Common Injuries

The majority of bicep injuries are:

• Tendonitis
• Tendonitis tears
• Shoulder tears
• Elbow injuries (called distal bicep tendon tears)

Tendonitis results from overuse, common for athletes who play baseball, tennis and other sports with a lot of repetitive motions. The bicep begins to feel painful because of repetitive motion or a sudden, wrenching action.

Tendonitis tends to occur most in the shoulder or elbow.

Tears

Tendonitis tears result from serious or persistent overuse, but a sudden twisting motion or awkward wrenching of the muscle is more likely to cause a tear. Falling with an extended arm is a common cause of this injury.

The symptom of a tear is sharp pain, bruising, weakness, trouble rotating the arm or a change in the contour of the muscle, sometimes called “Popeye Muscle.”

Bicep tears can be complete or partial.

Treatment

A conservative treatment for tendinitis is taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as acetaminophen. Ice and rest from activity may also be effective. A step further is physical therapy.

Treating a bicep tear might involve the same methods described above for tendinitis, but a more serious tear can require surgical repair. A surgeon may prescribe several surgical procedures for a distal bicep tendon tear to reattach the tendon to the forearm bone if this is indicated.

Professional Help

No injury is a minor injury if not treated properly so consulting with professionals such as Carolina Hand & Sports Medicine is important. With proper treatment you’ll be on the mend and back in action before you know it – feeling strong and pain-free.

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