A tricep strain is a tear to the Triceps Brachii muscle at the back of the upper arm. This muscle straightens the elbow.
Symptoms of a tricep strain
Symptoms include pain in the muscle at the back of the upper arm, or the attachment points at the elbow or shoulder. There may be mild swelling or bruising over the muscle. Pain is usually sudden in onset and a small popping or ripping sensation may be felt. Extending or straightening the elbow against resistance is may be painful. Tenderness pressing into the muscle is a symptom and stretching the triceps may also be painful.
Injuries to the Triceps muscle usually occur following a sudden force or stretch on the muscle. There is instant pain and sometimes a popping sound or feeling in the muscle. This is not a common injury, although may occasionally occur in weight lifters or sports where rapid, forceful elbow extension is required.
- Rest from the aggravating activity.
- Apply ice to the muscle to ease pain and swelling.
- A compression bandage may also help with this.
- Try to keep the elbow moving gently to avoid stiffening.
- Once pain-free, stretches of the Triceps muscle can be performed.
- Strengthening exercises can begin with gentle resisted elbow extension without movement (isometric).
- This can be progressed to exercises with resistance bands and free weights when ready.