The triceps is a big muscle located on the posterior side of the upper limb. Its main function is for the extension or straightening of the joint of the elbow or the arm. The triceps tendon is connected to the posterior side of the elbow.
Triceps tendonitis causes pain in the back of the elbow and symptoms occur when the triceps tendon which is connected to the bones of elbow joint is damaged. Triceps muscle is located at the back of the upper arm.
When there is excessive tension placed on the tendon caused by repeated movement or extreme force, microscopic tearing of the tissue will occur in the triceps tendon that results to inflammation and severe pain.
Possible causes of triceps tendonitis
- Prolonged repetitive strain that is placed on the triceps tendon and the neighboring muscle can cause triceps tendonitis.
- Triceps tendonitis can occur when doing certain activities such as weightlifting in the gym, repeated use of tools such as a hammer and lifting and pushing heavy objects in workplace. The tendon can even damage itself from external trauma that results to inflammation and pain at the back of the elbow.
- Performing exercises without proper warmup.
Symptoms of triceps tendonitis
- Pain can be felt at the posterior side of the elbow
- Pain at the elbow while performing exercises and at rest
- Tenderness or pain when pressure is applied on the triceps tendon
- There is swelling and limited movement of the elbow
- Pain can be felt when extending the elbow usually against resistance
- Pain when the individual stretches the triceps muscle.
Treatment and home remedies for triceps tendonitis
- Rest the affected area by avoiding any activities that can make the pain worse such as exercises that involves lifting or pushing.
- Apply an ice compress over the affected area for 10 minutes at least three times every day.
- Provide the individual with anti-inflammatory medications for the few days in order to minimize pain. In addition, during this period the affected person should avoid lifting heavy objects even if there is no more pain.
- Wear a strap or a brace in order to minimize movement of the triceps tendon.
- When pain is reduced, the person should start physiotherapy exercises in order to improve and strengthen the movement. Massage and electrotherapy can also help manage the condition.
Triceps tendonitis exercises
- Stand straight with both hands on the side and then bend the hand at the elbow joint and raise the forearm until at the level of the chest. This must be done at least 10 times as long as there is no pain.
- A simple exercise is to raise the arm above the level of the head and then drop the hand behind the neck. With the other hand, press the elbow of the affected hand backwards until the person can feel a stretch at the back of the arm. Hold the hand for a few seconds and reverse it to normal position. Perform these exercises at least 2-3 times a day and then slowly increase the rate.