The triceps tendon is vital to the proper function of the arm as it connects the triceps muscle to the back of the elbow. This muscle is used to straighten a bent arm, which is utilized to complete many everyday tasks. For example, carrying grocery bags, reading a book or looking at your cellphone would all become impossible without the synchronicity between the triceps tendon and muscle.

Many sporting activities put additional strain on the triceps tendon. Baseball, tennis and bowling all involve the arm throwing or having contact with a heavy or fast-moving object. General keep-fit techniques can injure the triceps tendon, for example performing bench presses. Even if you do not participate in sports, a hard fall onto an outstretched hand can shock and damage the triceps area. Certain tasks or professions that require repetitive motions, such as using a hammer, also put the triceps at risk.

What to do About Triceps Tendonitis?

Repetitive use of the arm inflicts tiny tears in the triceps tendon, so symptoms may develop slowly over time. Otherwise, you might experience a popping sensation in the area at the time of an injury. Symptoms include pain in the shoulder and arm or when flexing the elbow. In addition, you will probably feel weakness and loss of motion in the area. Bulging or swelling around the elbow joint indicates triceps tendonitis.

When you first notice symptoms of triceps tendonitis, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication will help with swelling and pain. You can attempt to treat this at home using the RICE method:

R – Rest the tendons by avoiding activities that put a strain on the area

I – Ice the painful region for around 20 minutes a few times a day

C – Compress the arm with bandages until swelling has reduced

E – Elevate the arm above heart level

If symptoms do not improve after a few days, it is time to consult a medical professional. Dr. Steven Struhl, at his AC Joint Separation offices, can get to the bottom of your injury and recommend the best possible treatment.

Triceps tendonitis is treatable with physical therapy, a course of steroids, or platelet-rich plasma injections. Severe damage to the triceps tendon may require surgical intervention. Do not delay the evaluation of your triceps injury. Contact Dr. Struhl in his Westchester and NYC clinics today.

Posted on behalf of Steven Struhl MD