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Health Tip

Home :: Arm Strain,Triceps

Arm Strain, Triceps

Injury to the triceps muscle or tendon. The triceps muscle is the large muscle at the back of the upper arm. The muscle, tendon and attached bone comprise a unit. The unit stabilizes the elbow and shoulder joints and allows their motion. A strain occurs at the weakest part of a unit. Strains are of 3 types:

  • Mild (Grade I)-Slightly pulled muscle without tearing of muscle or tendon fibers. There is no loss of strength.
  • Moderate (Grade 11)- Tearing of fibers in a muscle, tendon or at the attachment to bone. Strength is diminished.
  • Severe, (Grade III)-Rupture of the muscle-tendon-bone attachment with separation of fibers. Severe strain requires surgical repair. Chronic strains are caused by overuse. Acute strains are caused by direct injury or overstress.

BODY PARTS INVOLVED

  • Triceps muscle.
  • Tendon of the triceps.
  • Bones in the shoulder and arm.
  • Soft tissue surrounding the strain, including nerves, periosteum (covering to bone), blood vessels and lymph vessels.

Causes

  • Prolonged overuse of muscle-tendon units in the arm and elbow.
  • Single violent injury or force applied to the upper arm and elbow.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Pain with motion or stretching, especially forceful extension of the forearm at the elbow joint.
  • Muscle spasm
  • Swelling around the injury.
  • Loss of strength (moderate or severe strain).
  • Crepitation ("crackling") feeling and sound when the Injured area Is pressed with fingers.
  • Calcification of the muscle or tendon (visible with X-rays).
  • Inflammation of the sheath covering the tendon.

Treatment

Follow your doctor's instructions. These instructions are supplemental.

  • Use ice massage 3 or 4 times a day for 15 minutes at a time. Fill a large Styrofoam cup with water and freeze. Tear a small amount of foam from the top so Ice protrudes. Massage firmly over the injured area in a circle about the size of a softball.
  • After the first 24 hours, apply heat instead of ice, if it feels better. Use heat lamps, hot soaks, hot showers, heating pads, or heat liniments and ointments.
  • Take whirlpool treatments, if available.
  • Wrap the injured arm with an elasticized bandage between treatments.
  • Massage gently and often to provide comfort and decrease swelling.

Home Diet

Eat a well-balanced diet that includes extra protein, such as meat, fish, poultry, cheese, milk and eggs. Increase fiber and fluid intake to prevent constipation that may result from decreased activity.

Prevention
  • Participate in a strengthening and conditioning program appropriate for your sport.
  • Warm up before practice, competition or stretching.
  • Use proper protective equipment such as shoulder pads.

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