Fitness is something that motivates each and everyone of us. We want to exceed the limits of what we can do. But sometimes because of our carelessness we may damage our body.
Bicep Tendon Tear is one of some injuries that may happen if you don’t do your workout properly and will take time to recover.
- Check these 7 Ultimate Exercises to help you recover FAST.
But not to worry too much as this blog is about helping you go through it. And help you understand what it is? how does someone get a torn bicep? and any other question that comes in your mind.
THE BEST PART ABOUT THIS POST?
Further in the post, you will see opinions from real life victims of bicep tendon tear.
Moreover, 7 FITNESS EXPERTS have shared some great tips for you to avoid bicep tendon tear.
Okay let’s Start:
To know about it first we need to know what a tendon is. A tendon is a band of fibrous tissues. Having both the property of being tough and flexible. Being flexible so that it can withstand tension. The tendon connects our bone to the muscle.
Skeletal muscles are responsible to move our bones thus enabling us to perform different actions. These actions being walking, running, jumping etc. So when our muscle contracts the tendon pulls the bone causing it to perform a movement. In scientific term you can say that the Tendon is a tissue that transmit the force of muscle contraction to the bone.
So a Bicep tendon tear is something that happens when you damage the tendon of your bicep.
Scary stuff isn't it.
What is Bicep Anatomy?
We have two bicep muscle. One for each arm. A bicep muscle has two heads. For the same reason it is called bicep as “Bi” means two.
Our bicep muscle begins at the shoulder. This one head begin as two separate pieces that later merges into a single one midway between our upper arm. And then attaches itself to the forearm just below the elbow.
So now you can guess that Tendons connects the bicep to both shoulder and forearm.
Let’s now take a look at its types:
1: Bicep Tendon Connected to the Shoulder
As the part of Bicep connected to the shoulder has two separate heads of its own.
- Long Head: This head of both the biceps is connected to the top of your shoulder socket with the help of you guessed right the tendon.
- Short Head: There is a finger like protrusion on your shoulder blade called coracoid process. The short head of the bicep is connected to this protrusion via tendon.
2: Bicep Tendon Connected to the Elbow
This end is connected to the forearm(just below the elbow). The larger forearm bone is with what the tendon attach itself with.
Location of Bicep Tendon Tear
For each bicep there are three tendons. Two of these tendons are at the shoulder while one is at the just below the elbow at the forearm.
Here's the deal:
A tear can happen at two places:
1. At the Shoulder:
Bicep tendon tear at shoulder is very common. The shoulder and bicep are connected by two tendons. So any damage, inflammation or irritation to the tendon may cause a tear.
2. At the Elbow:
At the elbow there is only one tendon. This tendon is also called Distal Bicep Tendon. The injury to this tendon is not so common. But may happen if any improper workout is done.
Types of Bicep Tendon Tear
So damage to your tendon are not all of the same types. By severity of the injury it can be divided into the following three types.
Partial Bicep Tear
In this type the tendon gets torn but not completely separates from the bone. This happens at both the elbow and shoulder. There are many reasons for a Partial Tear but Mainly it happens because of
- Just like a worn out rope if the bicep muscles are overused throughout the years without proper care may result in a partial tear of the tendon.
- Trying to lift an heavyweight suddenly is also a cause for this type of tear.
- Accidents are also a cause for this type of tear e.g., if you fall on an outstretched arm.
Complete Bicep Tear
This is the last stage of Bicep Rupture as the tendon completely torned. Sometimes if you overuse this it disconnects itself from the bone. A surgery is required to repair a completely torn bicep muscle. This happens when the tendon becomes weaker throughout the years. And no proper care is given. Or may happen because of a sudden trauma or fall.
Bicep Tendinitis or Bicep Tendonitis
It is more of an inflammation than a tear. It may cause a pain at shoulder or elbow and can be healed by using ice packs or anti-inflammatory agents and resting the muscles for a week or two.
Main Causes of Bicep Tendon Tear
How does a person suffers from bicep tendon tear? This question may be in your mind right now. So many things or actions may cause this injury. In the following list is the common causes for tearing of bicep tendon.
Here they are:
Age: As person gets older his tendons become weaker than before. So any elderly person over stressing his muscles may end up causing his tendon to tear.
Overhead Lifting: Suddenly trying to lift a heavy weight that you are not accustomed to may cause the tendon to tear.
Sports: Some sports like swimming, skipping rope and tennis where there is a repetitive overhead motion of arm.
Corticosteroid Medicine: These medicines cause the muscles and tendons weakness.
Smoking tobacco: The occasional puff is also cause of the tear. The nicotine has a bad effect on the nutritions in bicep tendon.
Accidents: Sudden trauma to the forearm or bicep may cause the tendon to tear. For example falling on an outstretched arm.
See this torn bicep infographic for more detail.
Torn Bicep Symptoms
By only feeling pain you cannot tell for sure if it’s a bicep tendon tear or just a stiff shoulder.
But not to worry as this section is all about the symptoms. Here is a list of symptoms of torn bicep tendon.
- A pop or snap sound is heard.
- If you have a Popeye Muscle because of the gap created by the absence of tendon.
- Full bicep muscle pain, distal bicep tendon pain or more precisely pain in front if the shoulder or elbow.
- Visible bruises, swelling of forearm or elbow and bicep tendon strain.
- Weakness in bending of elbow or while flexing the bicep.
- Pain while pulling, pushing or any overhead activity.
- Pain and weakness while trying to twist the forearm.
- A severe and Sharp pain while trying to move the arm.
So now after it's clear what a bicep tendon tear is, its time to see what experts have to say about this.
HERE YOU GO:
Six Pack Shortcuts is led by head trainers Clark Shao, Jonny Catanzano, and Henry Tran. They’re the #1 most subscribed trainers on YouTube, and once you check their videos out you’ll see why.
" To prevent a biceps tendon rupture, individuals should:
Warm Up Thoroughly….
Maintain proper strength in the shoulder, elbow, and forearm.
Keep Your Shoulders and Posture Healthy. The Long Head of your Biceps attaches in your shoulder and shoulder health plays a large role in the health of this tendon.
Warm Up Thoroughly.
Use special care when performing activities, such as lowering a heavy item to the ground.
Avoid smoking; it introduces carbon monoxide into the body and leaves less oxygen for the muscles to grow and heal.
Avoid steroid use, as it weakens muscles and tendons.
Avoid repetitive overhead lifting and general overuse of the shoulder, such as performing forceful pushing or pulling activities, or lifting objects that are simply too heavy. Lifting more than 150 pounds can be dangerous for older adults. "
Chris Ryan is a passionate entrepreneur in the health and fitness fields, a former Division I athlete and top fitness model who regularly appears in numerous magazines ranging from Men's Fitness to Men's Journal.
" Just off the top of my head for most muscle health
- mix up the grips
- proper form on all lifts
- keep the tissue healthy
- always properly warm up, stretch, mobility drills
- keep the shoulders healthy
- keep the back strong and have great posture
- eat well - manage fatigue and program smart with proper rest "
Scott has worked in the health and fitness industry for a decade. His experience includes delivering training services in three continents, and working with military service personnel, paralympic athletes, to the highest level of Hollywood actors.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, Scott Herman constantly finds himself surrounded by not only success but new opportunities. He is also an accomplished athlete and enjoys sports such as wrestling, soccer, running cross country, boxing and kickboxing.
The experts have explained it completely (we have "Fitness Expert" badge to appreciate them for their helpful expertise). Now that you know how to avoid torn biceps, here is something for you from sufferers of bicep tendon tear.
" For what its worth, I am recovering from a bicep tendon tear the other way: it tore at the elbow and the biceps retracted toward the shoulder. Injury was August 11, outpatient surgery two weeks later, and I am almost back to normal now.
Best of luck,
Rick A, Climber, Colorado
"I did mine last year. Very painful for a few days, especially the actual incident. I visited a leading area ortho doc who was totally useless,and clueless.
Usually you will hear talk of pop-eye syndrome if it's what I have.I didn't see it in the beginning,but much later it was quite evident.My left bicep is noticeable shorter than the undamaged right,the top having shuffled toward the elbow.
We went to Moab shortly afterward,and my climbing sucked.I was freaked about any hard pulling,but on later reflection,there may not have been any further damage to be done.I have led to 10d since,which was about my limit most years so it can be overcome.Some excellent climbers have it,one I know climbs 13's.
Hope this helps with your bicep tendon tear, good luck."
Tomcat, Trad Climber, Chatham N.H.
" I've seen guys come back from this just fine if they just take time to heal. If you try to push you'll just extend healing time and likely cause damage.
Probably look like you have some guns from just one side dont ya
The worst bicep tendon tear i ever saw/heard was a guy that you could tell was juicing hard and was on the bench. About mid way through an extension his distal pec anchor snapped so hard it literally sounded like a broken bone or something. He cracked a couple ribs on that side when the bar came down. He had about 300 or so on the bar and I remember looking over after i heard the snap and seeing the bar his his chest and practically crease his whole side. When they reattached it they had to DIG into his pec from the armpit to locate the end."
What's the bottom line?
Well.. the experts have pretty much explained every thing that is essential to prevent bicep tendon tear.
Furthermore, if you have suffered from bicep tendon injury or you have any tips to avoid torn biceps you can COMMENT we will include your experience in the post so that your experience might help others.
Moreover, please SHARE if you think it was useful! to spread awareness and help others learn and avoid about bicep tendon tear.