Orthopaedics

Biceps Strain – A Common Sports Injury

The biceps muscle or the biceps brachia can get strained due to an hyper-extension of the muscle.

Biceps strain

is a very common sports injury which can result from the tearing or breaking of muscle fibers or blood vessels in the biceps brachia. This muscle is attached to the forearm bone from the scapula. In the event of a strain, both the tendons and the muscles or just one between the two can get damaged.

Biceps Strain:

Usually when one speaks of a straining the biceps, the first sport that comes to the mind is weight-lifting. Apart from weight-lifting, other sports which include repeated arm movements like baseball, basketball, cricket, javelin throws, racket sports, golf, shooting, archery et. also can strain the biceps.

People who are not into sports can also damage their biceps when they tend to overstretch them.

Causes of a Strain:

The following are the causes-

  • a direct blow
  • aging
  • overuse
  • overextending or hyper-extending
  • a related disease
  • reaction to a medicine

Types of Strain:

Based on the severity of the strain, they are classified into three grades-


  • Grade 1

    . A minor overstretch of the biceps muscles and tendons.


  • Grade 2

    . A moderate stretch that could result in tearing of the muscle fibers or the tendons.


  • Grade 3

    . A complete or maximum damage of the muscle.

Signs and Symptoms:

As long as the strain is a Grade 1, the symptoms are also usually mild which include mild pain when muscles contract or stretch, bruising, tightness and swelling.

Other symptoms include-

  • muscle spasms
  • tendon inflammation
  • loss of strength (only in the case of Grade 2 and Grade 3 strains)

  • Popeye deformity

    (formation of a ball underneath the skin in Grade 3 strains only)

Prevention and Cure:

The treatment for a biceps strain involves the

RICE

 

technique. Rest, ice packs, compression and elevation are the best possible solutions to enable quick healing. Painkillers are usually suggested by the doctors depending on the severity of the strain.

What one should not do is to overuse the strained biceps as it would only worsen the problem.

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