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  • Biceps Tendon Tear 09 August 2019 | View comments

  • The biceps muscle sits at the front of the arm, connecting your shoulder to your elbow, and predominantly flexes the arm when used. At the elbow it has just the one tendon; but at the shoulder it has 2, a short head which attaches to the upper humerus; and a long head that reaches up to the top of the shoulder blade.

    Injury can occur is the biceps is asked to work too hard too quickly – such as catching a heavy weight; with the long head being the most vulnerable part; alternatively, they can rupture after a long-standing degenerative process. A rupture of this tendon is rare in young athletes but more common in older ones. It is also possible to damage the tendon close to the elbow; or the belly of the muscle itself, though these are much less common. Tears are graded as I (mild) II (partial tear) or III (rupture).


    Symptoms include a sudden sharp pain at the front of the upper arm. There may be pain and swelling over the front of the shoulder joint. Contracting the biceps muscle against resistance is likely to be painful, certainly in the first couple of days and in particular for the long head of the biceps, lifting straight up forwards up above the head against resistance is likely to be painful.


    If anyone suspects this injury they should apply the POLICE protocol for acute injury care and see a sports injury specialist, physiotherapist or doctor as soon as possible. A professional therapist will advise on treatment and rehabilitation typically based around ice, massage and gradual return to strengthening. For complete ruptures, or competitive athletes, surgery may be required to repair the tendon.


    You can find out more here:



    Biceps Anatomy

    Rupture of Biceps Long Head

    Exercises to Rehab Biceps Tendon Injury

    At Back In Action we also offer free chats. This will take about 10-15 minutes where we can talk in general terms about your condition, and see if we can point you in the right direction for treatment. Whether that is with ourselves, someone else, or on your own at home. Call today to schedule your no obligation free chat.

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