Friday, April 3, 2015

Suspected Triceps Brachii tear

Day 0:  Last Sunday while goofing around at Urban Acrobatics, I tried to copy my daughters cathang.  We were dropping into these from a ledge.  At the time I heard a distinct pop in both my shoulders and quickly got out of the position.  About an hour later, I tried to do a pull-up and it was really painful.  In fact it was painful to even hold my arms overhead.

Day 1:  Monday the pain was apparent, but only with certain movements.  I did some split jerks and did not feel horrible.

Day 2:  Tuesday I went swimming and that proximal triceps tendon was really painful.  I decided to skip sprints that day in the pool.

Day 3:  Wednesday felt much better and I did not notice any ill effects from doing push presses.  However, I tested by hanging from a pull-up bar and that felt OK, but actually doing a pull-up still felt painful.

Day 4:  Thursday I noticed bruising at the proximal triceps insertion and decided to start digging around on line.  I noticed an article referencing Frederic Delavier’s Strength Training Anatomy book that sounded exactly with what I have.  I will follow the suggestion to continue to take it easy and will probably test it a little more today.

Day 5:  Friday bruising seems stable and there were no signs of aggravation from lat pull downs and 1 pull up performed on Thursday

From Delavier's Strength Training Anatomy

Heavy training of the back and injury to the long head of the ticeps brachii

Although it is not the most-used muscle when working the back, the long head of the triceps brachii is the most frequently injured muscle during back lat pull-downs with heavy weights or during chin-ups with added weight.
The latissimus dorsi is a powerful, fan-shaped muscle that attaches the arm to the rib cage, and whose distal tendon is strongly attached to the humerus. This is the main climbing muscle. The long head of the triceps brachii, on the other hand, is a similar muscle whose main function is to extend the forearm and secondarily to bring the arm toward the ribcage. In this way it complements the action of the latissimus dorsi. 

Tearing of the long head of the triceps occurs when the muscle is fatigued, most frequently after an improper warm-up. It only takes a sudden relaxation of the latissimus dorsi during chin-ups with added weight to immediately shift the tension to the long head of the triceps.

This tendon my partially tear, most often close to its insertion on the scapula. (fortunately complete tears are infrequent)

Unlike incapacitating shoulder injuries, which may completely halt upper-body training, a tear in the long head of the biceps is less devastating. You can still perform back exercises such as seated rows or T-bar rows and movements for the triceps such as forearm extensions at a high pulley with the elbows next to the body despite the injury as long as you begin with lighter weights.

However, a brief rest period is recommended before beginning upper-body training.

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