Understand what could cause a torn arm muscle, and be able to identify the symptoms. During a workout, stress on the bicep or tricep muscles can cause a tear especially if there is too much weight being used. Immediate symptoms of a torn bicep muscle include sharp or intense pain, burning and weakness in the muscle. Tricep tears have the same symptoms, as well as muscle swelling, bruising and intense pain. Not all torn muscles are extreme, some can be painful but mild and rest is needed in order to heal. Other tears are severe enough to require medical attention to repair.