Torn biceps occur when either the long or short head of the biceps tears near the shoulder. This type of injury usually occurs from overuse or when someone falls. An older person is more susceptible to this type of injury.
People who can visibly see a deformity in their biceps after they tear it will usually require surgery. This injury is called a complete tear where the biceps detaches from the shoulder bone. Anyone who has biceps with a "Popeye muscle" appearance should stop all physical activity, rest their arm and make an appointment with their doctor.
Types of Treatment
A person can also suffer a partial tear that will eventually heal on its own. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce swelling, inflammation and pain. Treatment for a complete tear will usually be similar to that of a partial tear after the surgery is completed.
Other Types of Treatment
Ice can also help reduce swelling and pain. Ice is most effective if it is applied for 20 minutes several times per day.
Effects of Exercise
When the inflammation and pain have subsided, certain stretching and rehabilitation exercises can help increase flexibility and strength in the biceps. Shoulder strengthening exercises will gradually be added to a person's routine, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
A person should avoid resistance training for the biceps for about four to six weeks after surgery. However, it will normally take three or four months before one can start using more forceful bicep exercises, according to Orthopod.com.
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