We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Bicep Tear?

By D. Jeffress
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A bicep tear is a painful upper arm injury that usually results from putting too much stress on the muscle, as can occur when trying to lift heavy weights. Tears do not typically occur in the bicep muscle itself; rather, they affect the tendons that connect the muscle to the elbow or shoulder joint. When a bicep tear occurs, a person is likely to experience immediate, sharp pains that gradually become dull aches over a few hours. Some small tears can be treated with rest, ice, painkillers, and physical therapy. Major tears, however, generally require surgery to repair and reconnect tissues in the arm.

Most bicep tears affect the tendon at the top of the muscle, which connects it to the rotator cuff in the shoulder. A tear can occur if a person tries to pick up a heavy object with a straight arm, putting excess pressure on the tendon and stretching it beyond the normal range of motion. Occasionally, tears are the result of chronic overuse of the shoulder joint and arm muscles. A construction worker, for example, might suffer a bicep tear after using a shovel several hours a day over the course of many weeks. Bicep tears on the lower tendons near the elbow are common in weightlifters and people who have to frequently raise and hold heavy objects in their work.

A person who suffers a bicep tear may feel and hear a snapping sensation as the injury occurs, followed by immediate pain and weakness. He or she may be unable to grasp an object or even raise the arm to shoulder level. Swelling and skin redness are common, followed by purplish bruising within one to three days. The shoulder or elbow is usually very tender to the touch, and the bicep muscle may feel cramped. It is important to keep the arm immobilized and seek medical care as soon as possible following a bicep tear.

A doctor can confirm that a tendon or muscle is damaged by taking x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging scans of the arm. The physician works to identify the exact site of the tear and gauge its severity to determine the best course of treatment. A patient who has a mild tear is usually instructed to avoid using his or her arm for several weeks, take anti-inflammatory medications, and apply ice regularly to ease symptoms. Once the arm starts feeling better, he or she can begin a regimen of guided physical therapy to rebuild strength. A minimally-invasive surgery can be considered if conservative treatments fail or if a tendon is too damaged to heal on its own.

People can take steps to reduce the risk of bicep tears. It is essential to stretch and warm up properly before lifting weights or engaging in other types of strenuous physical activity. If the shoulder or bicep muscle starts feeling sore, a person should take a break from activity for a few days to prevent unnecessary damage to the tendons.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.