Tricep Tendonitis

What is it, and how is it performed?

Tendon injuries can be very painful. If you suspect you have triceps tendonitis, our board-certified specialists can help! We have over 80 years of experience in providing exceptional patient care.

We are dedicated to providing you with the highest level of treatment. Schedule an appointment at one of our many OrthoNeuro locations throughout Columbus, Ohio today! Our specialists are ready to help with any type of shoulder, arm, or elbow pain you may be experiencing.

What Is Triceps Tendonitis?

Triceps tendonitis is a painful condition caused by inflammation of the triceps tendon. A tendon is a connective tissue that attaches muscles to bone, allowing your joints to move.

Your triceps tendon is the flexible tissue that connects your upper arm muscle to your elbow bones. Triceps tendonitis may also be referred to as triceps tendinopathy or triceps tendinitis.

Triceps tendonitis is a painful condition that can cause significant disruption in daily activities and should be taken seriously. By understanding the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies for tendonitis, you can reduce the risk of developing this condition and ensure proper recovery if it does occur. 

Causes of Triceps Tendonitis

Triceps tendonitis is most commonly caused by repetitive motions or a sudden increase in activity level that puts undue stress on the tendon. There are a few activities or conditions that can lead to the development of triceps tendinitis.

If you play sports that require a lot of throwing or swinging of your arm, you are at higher risk of injuring your triceps tendon. Rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, and other forms of arthritis can also contribute to the development of painful injury.

Other factors that can cause this condition include exercises that target your triceps muscle, including:

  • Push-ups
  • Bench presses
  • Kickbacks
  • Dips

This form of tendonitis can also be caused by a sudden injury.

Triceps Tendonitis Symptoms

 Symptoms of triceps tendonitis include:

  • Pain when bending or straightening your elbow
  • Discomfort/pain that runs from the back of the arm to your elbow bone
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Reduced range of motion in the elbow

In general, if you have this condition, you will feel more pain while moving than when you are at rest. Additionally, tendons are known for having a delayed pain response, so it is common if you feel pain several hours after exercising.

How Common Is Triceps Tendonitis?

Triceps tendonitis is not very common. However, when triceps tendonitis occurs, it is generally caused by overuse of the triceps muscle. It is most commonly seen in gymnasts, boxers, and weightlifters.

When Should I See a Doctor?

You should see a healthcare provider if:

  • You have tried remedying your elbow pain at home and your pain still persists
  • You are unable to move your elbow without experiencing severe pain
  • Notice that you have a lump on the back of your arm
  • Your symptoms get worse even after limited movement and rest

What Diagnostic Tests Are Used to Diagnose Triceps Tendonitis?

Triceps tendonitis diagnosis can be made through a physical exam, a review of your medical history, as well as imaging tests such as an X-ray, MRI, or Ultrasound. Your healthcare provider will assess your range of motion, flexibility, and strength of your shoulder, triceps, and elbow to help determine the diagnosis.

After your diagnosis has been confirmed, your doctor will come up with an appropriate treatment plan.

Tricep Tendonitis Treatment

Treatment is important for healing and preventing further injury or damage to the tendon. The following treatment options are typically used to treat triceps tendonitis:

  • The R.I.C.E Method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). Using this method on the affected arm can be very beneficial in your healing process.
  • Activity modification to limit activities that can put a strain on the triceps tendon.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed to reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain.
  • Over-the-counter pain medications can help decrease pain.
  • Physical therapy. During physical therapy, your physical therapist will use various strength exercises to strengthen the triceps muscle and restore flexibility.

In severe cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to repair the injured tendon. Your recovery time will depend on the severity of your condition as well as the methods used to treat your arm.

Preventing Triceps Tendonitis

To prevent tendonitis from occurring, it is essential to warm up properly before exercising or engaging in any type of physical activity. It is also recommended to avoid overuse of the elbow joint by alternating between activities that require repetitive motions with activities that do not.

Additionally, performing stretching and strengthening exercises specific to the triceps muscles can help improve flexibility and reduce the risk of tendonitis.  Using the proper technique is also important. By learning how to properly perform the exercise, you can reduce your risks of injuring yourself.  

If you are experiencing symptoms of triceps tendonitis, it is important to seek medical attention in order to prevent further damage or pain. With proper treatment and prevention strategies, full recovery from triceps tendonitis is possible.

Schedule an appointment with our board-certified specialists at one of our many OrthoNeuro locations throughout Columbus, OH today!

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