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Torn Biceps - How To Handle Them?

Reviewed by
MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedic Doctor, Navi Mumbai  •  17years experience
Torn Biceps - How To Handle Them?

Do you know you can suffer from a torn bicep accidentally? A bicep is a muscle which begins from your upper arm and is attached to the shoulder via bones and to the elbows by tendons. If you do the heavy lifting in the gym or somehow put excessive pressure on that area, chances are you may suffer from torn biceps.

There are two kinds of bicep tears you may encounter:

a. Complete Tears where the tendons are split into two parts resulting in tremendous pain.
b. Partial Tears result when the biceps are hurt but the tendon is not completely severed.
Among the various types of torn biceps, the muscle that is attached to the shoulder experiences the maximum number of bicep ruptures. Suddenly, the bicep tendons get detached from the bone resulting in pain and numbness. You will find a number of sportspersons suffering from this kind of torn biceps.

But why do your biceps get torn?

1. One of the reasons why you suffer torn biceps is a prolonged period of ignorance. If you have been putting continuous pressure on your shoulder, the biceps muscle can weaken over time. Overuse of the muscles can give rise to conditions of tendinitis (inflammation of the bone to muscle connecting tissue) and injuries in rotator cuff which, in future, might result in torn biceps.
2. A sudden injury like falling over your arms or hurting your shoulder can result in torn biceps.
3. Aging is another reason why you can have this complication. Added to this are unusually heavy tasks and overuse of shoulder which can result in this problem.
4. Some steroids such as Corticosteroids are directly related to the weakening of muscles and tendons.

When you suffer from torn biceps, you encounter symptoms such as:

a. Weakening of the elbow and the shoulder. You will find it troublesome to move your hand.
b. Swelling of the elbow with bruises visible on the elbow and the forearm.
c. You find trouble in twisting your forearm
d. You will experience spasms in the muscles.
e. You can also hear a snapping sound of the muscles.

What should you do if you face this problem?

a. Continuous applications of ice packs are a must. Repeat the activity 4 times a day with a duration of 20 minutes. You may need to do it for 2 or 3 days.
b. Avoid activities which put pressure on your hands and shoulders.
c. Consult a doctor immediately and get some painkillers as recommended.
d. If you have complete tears, you may need to undergo surgery. Talk to your doctor regarding that.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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