Biceps brachii pain typically manifests itself as pain or aching in the front of the shoulder or crease of the elbow.
In some cases, it can also lead to mild arm weakness and/or shoulder pain.
Patients often report having trouble straightening their arm with their palm facing down.
It’s a serious problem that should be treated right away. Below, we’ll show you a few potential treatment options.
Brief Anatomy of The Biceps Brachii Muscles
Firstly, let’s spend a little time talking about the biceps brachii muscles. This two-headed muscle is responsible for several things:
- It helps bend the arm at the elbow
- It helps rotate the arm so that your palm is facing upwards
- It helps you raise your arm above your shoulder
Anatomically, it’s located in the front portion of the upper arm.
It connects the upper arm as well as the shoulder blade to the elbow.
In the following sections, we’ll talk about various triggers and activities that can lead to biceps brachii pain.
What Causes Biceps Brachii Pain?
There are various activities that can cause this symptom. They include:
- Playing musical instruments (specifically, the violin)
- Lifting heavy objects
- Exercise (pull ups, chin ups, etc.)
- Repetitive movements (using a screwdriver, etc.)
The good news? These causes are within your control. It’s your job to figure out what’s causing your pain so that you can eliminate the trigger.
If you try to treat the pain but you continue to misuse your muscle, then it’s not going to go away.
You must treat the pain and remove the cause. If your profession requires use to lift heavy things, then you might not have a choice.
However, if it’s something you do for enjoyment, like playing a musical instrument, then you can go without it for a few weeks until you heal.
Otherwise, you might make the symptom worse, in which case, it will take many months until you’re fully healed.
Another possible cause for your symptom is biceps tendonitis. This happens whenever the tendon that attaches to the biceps muscle gets inflamed.
Most people get it because they’ve overused their biceps muscle during physical activity.
Depending on the root cause and severity, there are many treatment options available.
Doctors will usually start by recommending rest and/or ice application.
If that doesn’t work, they may try nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or steroid injections.
Both can be quite effective at reducing biceps brachii pain. Your diet may also play a role in reducing the inflammation (depending on the cause).
If the inflammation is due to an intrinsic cause, like chronic inflammation, then eating a low-inflammation diet might help.
How Long Until It Heals?
This will vary from person to person. Most doctors will agree- the more you allow your biceps brachii muscle to rest, the faster you’ll recover.
Think about it like this: if you continually pick at a scab, then you’ll bleed indefinitely. The same holds true with your muscle.
If you continually use your injured muscle, then it’s never going to heal. In some cases, you might even make it worse.
So, the biggest takeaway here is that you can’t predict when it’s going to heal. However, you can speed it up by not using that muscle.
To give you an estimate, most mild cases will heal within a few days to a few weeks.
Severe cases, as in ruptures, tears, and strains, will require several months to heal.
When Should You See a Doctor?
Since this isn’t a medical emergency, it’s up to you. We recommend seeing a doctor as soon as possible to get a diagnosis.
Even if there’s nothing the doctor can do about your biceps brachii pain, it’s still get to get an official diagnosis.
A perk to visiting a doctor is that they can prescribe you pain medication, ultrasound therapy, etc.
Make sure that you’re utilizing hot and cold therapy to speed up thehealing.
This includes using cold and hot gels that are designed to sooth biceps brachii pain.
When icing your biceps brachii muscle, keep your sessions short- up to 15 minutes. Repeat them about 4-5 times per day for maximum effect.