• Leah Buckbee, CMA, LMT

Muscle System of the arm: Biceps








The biceps is a muscle located on the front part of the upper arm. The biceps include a “short head” and a “long head” that work as a single muscle. There are 2 tendons that connect the biceps muscle to the shoulder joint in 2 places. They are called the “proximal “biceps tendons. The tendon that attaches the biceps to the forearm bones is called the “distal” biceps tendon. One of the main purposes of the biceps muscle is to lift things up toward the body or pull things toward the body.


There are many things that can cause pain in this area of the arm. The following are a few:

· Fractures; involve bone as well as muscle.

· Joint dislocations

· Muscle strains and/or sprains

· Disease: IE; peripheral vascular disease.


In this article we will concentrate more on strains and sprains, as well as the problem that can affect the tendons of this area, tendonitis; which is caused by repeated overhead motion.


A bicep tear or strain can take varying lengths of time to heal. A lot depends on age, health and the severity of the injury. Mild injuries can take 10 weeks or more, while more severe injuries, requiring surgery can take several months to recover.


Some symptoms of a torn bicep tendon include:

· A “pop” or tearing sensation at the time of the injury.

· Warmth around the injury.

· Swelling.

· Bruising.

· Pain or ache at the injury site, and throughout your arm (usually severe at first, then the pain may lessen after a while).

· Arm weakness.

· Difficulty turning your palm.


How to Treat muscle pain: Measures to take soon after injury.


· Rest. Take a break from your normal activities.

· Ice. Place an ice pack or bag of frozen peas on the sore area for 15-20 minutes 3 times a day.

· Compression. Use a compression wrap to reduce swelling.

· Elevation. If possible, elevate your arm to help reduce swelling; IE: as on as pillow.

· Following up with a massage will help alleviate pain and inflammation as well as keep scar tissue to a minimum. Essential oils that can be used during recovery are Ginger, Clove, Cinnamon leaf, Valerian Root and Nutmeg.

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Leah  Buckbee

CMA, LMT, MMA

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