Biceps Muscle Strain
The biceps brachii muscle (comprised of the biceps long and short head muscle) are located at the front of your arm. The biceps muscle helps you bend your elbow, rotate your arm and bring your arm straight up in front of you. The biceps tendons and muscles help keep your shoulder stable and also help keep your arm centered in your shoulder socket.
The long head biceps tendon attaches to the top of the shoulder socket (glenoid) while the short head of the biceps tendon attaches to a bump on the shoulder blade called the coracoid process. On the other end of the biceps muscle, the tendon attaches to the radius bone at the elbow.
Causes of Biceps Muscle Strain
Bicep muscle strain is caused by over-stretching or over-loading the muscle tissue in the arm. When the muscle tissue is put under too much stress the muscle fibres become damaged and tear. if there is significant bicep muscle (ie. partial tear), the conversation will usually include bicep tendons, as they are usually damaged as well.
Aside from this, the biceps muscle can also be caused by:
- a direct hit to the arm
- Repetitive actions that are common in some sports.
Sports with high risk of biceps damage involve activities such as throwing a ball, swinging a racket, swimming and/or weightlifting.
- Repetitive actions found in some types of work or daily activity. Examples of this would be picking up an overloaded shopping bag or swinging a hammer/sledgehammer.
- natural degenerative changes to muscle fibers due to aging.
- weekend warrior types - those who lead a fairly inactive lifestyle but undergo stressful activities on some ocassions.
Statistically speaking, men are at higher risk for strains of the biceps muscle and tendon than are women.
Symptoms of Biceps Muscle Strain
If you are suffering biceps muscle strain your pain levels may vary depending on how mild to how severe the damage is to the muscle itself. Location of pain may be at the front of the shoulder, the middle, or at the insertion point (down below the elbow). You will probably experience an increase in pain when bringing your arm up in front of you - at shoulder level. Activities such as throwing or working overhead make your pain worse. Small blood vessels may also be damaged which can cause bruising and swelling at the point of the injury site. You may have heard a slight pop and or felt a sensation in the arm or shoulder. Left untreated, a simple biceps muscle strain can worsen and lead to tearing and/or biceps tendon straining, tearing and even detachment.
Biceps Muscle Strain Diagnosis
Biceps Tendonitis is caused by overuse of the shoulder, arm and or elbow. The biceps tendons are a strong, cord-like structures that connect the biceps muscle to the bones in the shoulder and elbow.
Proximal Biceps Tendon Damage
This means you are suffering from biceps tendon damage at the shoulder location. Most cases of biceps tendon damage are proximal in nature and nearly always occur at the long head of the biceps tendon.
If you are suffering from a proximal biceps tendon injury, you will have tenderness and weakness in the arm. Pain will probably manifest itself if you raise your arm in a throwing motion, pull on something or turn your arm from palm down to palm up. You may have pain and a deep achiness in the shoulder that moves down the front of the arm and (in some causes) radiates to the hand. Sometimes a snapping sound or sensation can be felt or heard in the shoulder.
Distal Biceps Tendon Damage
This means you are suffering from biceps tendon damage at the elbow location. If you are suffering from a distal biceps tendon injury, you will probably have pain and some swelling in the front of the elbow, weakness in bending the elbow and weakness in twisting the forearm.
Biceps Tendon Rupture
This occurs when one or more of the biceps tendons tear away from the bone and this can happen at the elbow (distal) or at the shoulder (proximal). In cases of tendon rupture, surgery will be required to attached the tendon as a tendon will not reattach on its own.
Biceps Muscle Strain - What To Expect for Diagnosis
The only way to really know you are suffering from a biceps strain is to visit your doctor for a physical examination of your arm / shoulder. During a physical examination of your injured arm, your doctor will be looking for weakness, pain in the arm area and swelling.
He/she will look and feel the bones and soft tissue in both your shoulder and arm to evaluate symmetry to recognize any differences. This will identify any abnormalities, such as mild or severe inflammation, bone deformities, atrophied muscles, redness and/or warmth on the skin. If there is suspected tendon detachment at the elbow, the physician will look for gaps - indicating the tendon is not where it is expected.
Sometimes, one set of symptoms can result in multiple diagnoses. An X-ray, CT scan, MRI or visual ultrasound is often needed in order to diagnose if the area is out of alignment or the extent of the soft tissue damage.
It's important to have a proper diagnosis from a doctor or some other medical professional to determine the cause of your symptoms. This way the right treatment can be used to treat the condition and relieve your pain.
Strains and Sprains: What's the Difference?
Sprains and strains are among the most common injuries in sports, professional, amateur athletes and the general public. You are more at risk for the injury if you have a history of sprains and strains, are overweight, and are in poor physical condition.
What is a strain? A strain is an injury that only happens to tendons and muscles.
What is a sprain? A sprain is a stretch and/or tear that only happens to ligaments.
Sprains and strains are categorized according to severity:
- MILD (Grade 1) -
A muscle is stretched in a mild strain, microscopic tears in the muscle fibres. No loss of muscle strength and there is no joint loosening.
- MODERATE (Grade 2) -
A moderate strain partially tears the muscle, producing joint instability, noticeable loss of strength, and some swelling.
- SEVERE (Grade 3) -
A severe strain produces excruciating pain at the moment of injury, as ligaments or muscle tear completely, or separate from the bone. The complete rupture makes the joint nonfunctional.
You should seek medical attention if you suspect that you've ruptured a tendon, ligament or muscle, can't move the affected joint and have numbness in any part of the injured area.
Biceps Muscle Strain Treatment -
What You Can Do!
The good news is that most cases of biceps muscle strains will heal with simple home conservative treatments and surgery is often not needed!
Use a Cold Compress or Ice Pack on the Injury:
- for 24 to 72 hours after your initial injury or when you first notice pain and swelling in your shoulder/arm/elbow to stop cellular damage, relieve pain, and decrease swelling.
- After exercise, workouts or activity of any kind to reduce risk of worsening your injury.
- Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to control pre and post-surgery pain and swelling.
- Anytime you feel your shoulder/arm has been over-extended, over-worked, twisted, strained or sprained causing pain and swelling.
- Anytime you have swelling, sharp throbbing pain or inflammation in the tendons or muscles in your arm, elbow or shoulder.
- Any other situation where you need to draw the pain and inflammation out of the area.
Use a T•Shellz Wrap®®:
- After swelling and inflammation have been reduced with cold compression.
- Before exercise or workouts to warm up the tendons in your biceps to prevent re-injury.
- Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to warm up your tissues before physical therapy exercising or stretching.
- Anytime you feel the tendons in your arm/shoulder have stiffened up, are tight and your mobility is reduced causing you more pain.
- Anytime you have sore or aching tissue in your arm, elbow and/or shoulder.
- Any other situation where you need to increase blood flow to your biceps tendonitis injury to relax your tendon, relieve pain, prevent re-injury and enhance flexibility of your tissue.
We strongly believe that we can help you, and we have thousands of happy clients to back this claim. You are welcome to try our products for a 60 day period.. If you are committed to following the treatments outlined in the product instructions we are very confident that our TShellz Wraps will aid you immensely. If you do not receive the benefits that countless of our other customers have experienced from our products, call us, mail the product back to us and we will provide you with a full product refund.
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