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
- Pain in the muscle at the back of the upper arm, or the attachment points at the elbow or shoulder.
- Pain is usually sudden in onset and a small popping or ripping sensation may be felt.
- Pain on extending (straightening) the elbow against resistance.
- Pain and / or tension on stretching the triceps muscle (bending the elbow, especially with the arm overhead).
- Tenderness when feeling this muscle.
- There may be mild swelling or bruising.
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.