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What is a tricep muscle tear?

A tricep muscle tear is inflammation of the tricep muscle caused by tearing of the muscle belly or tendons. A tricep muscle tear is likely to occur when the tricep muscle is placed under pressure but can also be caused by repetitive movements, such as throwing. Tricep muscle tears are common is athletes that lift heavy weights without warming up correctly.

Soft tissue massage of triceps and upper armAbove: Soft tissue massage of triceps and upper arm

What causes a tricep muscle tear?

A tricep muscle tear is caused by stress placed on the tricep muscle and commonly affects weightlifters and other athletes that forcefully use the arm, such as lifting too much weight or straightening the elbow against resistance.

A tricep muscle tear may also be caused by repetitive strain on the muscle from prolonged activities which place gradual pressure on the tricep muscle, like throwing, hammering or playing tennis.

Soft tissue massage of the muscle and connective tissue around the tricepsAbove: Soft tissue massage of the muscle and connective tissue around the triceps

Diagnosis of a tricep tear

A doctor or a physiotherapist will confirm a diagnosis of a tricep tear following a subjective and objective examination. Further investigations such as an X-ray or MRI may also be required to rule out other injuries.

What are the symptoms/effects of a tricep muscle tear?

Symptoms of a bicep muscle tear include:
  • Sudden onset of pain
  • Swelling
  • Weakness � it may be difficult to straighten your elbow
  • Bruising

Physiotherapy for a tricep tear

Physiotherapy treatment is strongly recommended following a tricep injury to rebuild the strength and flexibility in the tricep muscle safely and effectively during your recovery.

At Manchester Physio our specialised musculoskeletal physiotherapists are experienced at treating tricep muscle tears and will hasten your healing and recovery and prevent re-injury. Physiotherapy treatment at Manchester Physio may include:
  • Ice and heat therapy to relieve pain
  • Ultrasound to promote healing
  • Soft tissue massage to reduce pain and stiffness
  • Progressive exercise program including stretches and strengthening exercises
  • Joint mobilisation
  • Advice on how to modify your activity during your recovery
Your physiotherapist at Manchester Physio will advise and support you throughout your rehabilitation for the best possible outcome both in the short and long term.

If you would like more information about physiotherapy for a tricep muscle tear, or to book an appointment please call 0161 883 0077.

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