Causes of Bicep Tears and Your Treatment Options

Sports Medicine and Bicep Tears - New Jersey

May 19, 2016 @ 02:27 PM — by Aron D Rovner, MD 
Tagged with: Sports Medicine | Bicep Tears

Here at New York Spine and Sports Surgery, we have helped athletes and individuals of various ages achieve wellness after suffering a serious injury. Dr. Aron D. Rovner has years of experience in advanced sports medicine, and has been able to address serious harm done to muscles, tendons, joints, and other parts of the body affected by physical exertion and serious trauma.

Bicep tears are a common injury that many athletes experience. Let's go over the basics and what can be done for treatment and prevention.

About Bicep Tears

The bicep is the muscle of the upper arm located between the shoulder and the elbow. A bicep tear occurs when the tendons that connect the bicep to the shoulder and the elbow are damaged. Tears of the shoulder tendon are far more common than tears of the elbow tendon. The tears may be partial or complete.

When a bicep tear occurs, people will experience pain and stiffness of the bicep as well as pain in the area there the tendon was torn.

Common Causes of Bicep Tears

The most common cause of bicep tears include:

  • Overexertion of the bicep
  • Repetitive stress on the bicep
  • Physical trauma
  • Accidents

Risk Factors for Bicep Tears

People of advanced age run a greater risk of bicep tears than people of other age groups. Many people between the ages of 40 and 60 experience bicep tears.

If you lift weights, swim, play football, box, ski, wrestle, or play tennis, you will want to be careful about doing damage to your biceps. Athletes in these sports tend to be at greater risk of suffering bicep tears than other athletes.

Signs and Symptoms of Bicep Tears

Common signs and symptoms of bicep tears include:

  • Pain in the upper arm
  • Loss of strength in the affected arm
  • Tenderness where the tendon is torn
  • Bulging of the muscle near the tear
  • Bruising of the upper arm
  • Muscle spasms
  • Limited movement and range of motion

Treatment Options for Bicep Tears

In the immediate aftermath of a bicep tear, the use of ice packs and moist heat are important. Ice packs should be applied 3 to 4 times a day for 15-20 minutes at a time. Moist heat should also be applied at the same frequency. Pain can be alleviated by avoiding movements that put stress on the bicep, elbow, and shoulder, and by taking over-the-counter pain relievers.

Complete tears or partial tears that do not heal on their own may require surgical treatment. Following surgery, physical therapy can help restore strength and mobility to the injured bicep.

Prevention of Bicep Tears

The best way to prevent muscle tears is to stretch and warm up properly before engaging in any physical activity. Warming up right can go a long way to prevent many kinds of serious injuries. Always be careful about any heavy lifting of repetitive motions as well, and avoid unreasonable overexertion of the muscle if you are a lifter.

Contact New York Spine and Sports Surgery

For more information about treating bicep tears and helping you address various kinds of injuries, be sure to contact our team of sports medicine experts today. The team at New York Spine and Sports Surgery will help you achieve total wellness.