Triceps Tendon Rupture in Weight Lifters
By: Marylin Salgado
June 1, 2019
Triceps tendon rupture injuries are rare, but just like Rhabdomyolysis, they happen. (If you haven’t read my Rhabdo blog, please read it. Since its initial posting, it’s caused quite a stir).
Along with football players, weight lifters are the most common individuals who may suffer a triceps tendon rupture. Bodybuilders actually have a higher chance of this kind of injury then any other professional athlete or amateur athlete.
Although a triceps tendon rupture is an uncommon injury, the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Lewis and, more recently, the Cleveland Browns’ Joe Thomas have suffered such tears. – Joshua Dines, SportsMoney
Medical professionals lean toward the belief that injecting or orally taking steroids can eventually lead to this injury, due to the fact that treating an already inflamed tissue with steroids can hurt the muscle; since strength athletes are already placing a high demand of weights on these muscles. In the majority of the cases, bench pressing was the exercise that caused the injury.
Another way this tear can occur is if the elbow is injured, since the anatomy of the triceps consists of all three of its muscular heads arising from the scapula, or shoulder blade, and connecting with the elbow.
How can this injury happen?
- Overuse of the triceps tendon from repetitive motion which may be sports related or work related, such as tossing a ball or using a hammer
- Suddenly having your arm pulled straight, which may happen if you are lifting and exceeding the weight that tendon is able to tolerate, and suddenly having your arm give into the weight by being pulled down.
What are the symptoms?
- Swelling and pain in the back part of your arm and near the elbow
- Pain when you either bend or straighten the elbow
Visual assessment by a professional medical provider is needed to diagnose this type of injury and an x-ray to determine the extent of the injury. Once a complete rupture is diagnosed, surgery is needed to correct the tear. Afterwards, the arm is splinted and immobilized for two weeks, followed by physical therapy. From surgery to therapy, the healing process takes four to six months before any type of strengthening exercise can be initiated again. It may take some weightlifters one to two years before they reach 90% to 95% of the muscle’s full potential.
How can this injury be prevented?
- Extend your arm across the chest and hold the arm in this position for 15-30 seconds. Perform 3 repetitions on each side. If you are standing, keep your knees slightly bent and shoulders squared. The extended arm can be held in high and low positions across the chest, as well as the standard mid-chest position. Adding these upward and downward angles will help you to hit all three heads and stretch all areas of the triceps that are normally ignored.
- Another effective triceps stretch is to flex or bend the elbow and then place the elbow behind your head, across from your ear on the same side. Once you are in the appropriate position, hold this stretch for 15-30 seconds for 3 repetitions.
These two basic stretches will help you avoid injury and minimize pain in your arms after an intense workout. – Dr. Levi, Coach Los Angeles, California, United States Health, Strength Training, Orthopedic Surgery
This platform is meant to educate Tokkyo Nutrition consumers with the information needed to help you stay mentally and physically healthy.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT US AND OUR GREAT PRODUCTS, PLEASE VISIT US AT TOKKYONUTRITION.COM FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM AND POST YOUR THOUGHTS AND IDEAS. WE LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU!!