Biceps Brachii Bruise

Brief Outline of Biceps Brachii Bruise

Bruising to the biceps brachii can occur following tearing and/or rupture of the biceps brachii tendon, or trauma to the muscle. The biceps brachii tendon attaches the biceps brachii muscle to bone in the shoulder region. Overstrain from weight training can cause tears and bruising, which may also result from throwing sports or following direct trauma to the shoulder during a fall or collision with another athlete.

Anatomy and physiology

The biceps brachii muscle is located on the front of the upper arm, and operates over three joints. Its function is to allow bending of the arm and to support loads places on the arm. This muscle has two parts, known as the long head and short head, both connected to bone via the biceps brachii tendon. This muscle runs down the anterior or front side of the upper arm and allows motion of the forearm towards the shoulder (elbow flexion). The biceps brachii muscle also allows turning the hand face down or face up. This is known as pronation or supination of the forearm.

Cause of Biceps Brachii Bruise

Direct blow to the biceps brachii region of the upper arm. Biceps brachii rupture. Repetitive tearing of the biceps brachii muscle or tendon.

Signs and symptoms

Discolouration of the biceps brachii area. Aches or pain in the biceps brachii. Stiffness and limitations of movement in the affected arm and shoulder.

Complications if left unattended

Bruising of the biceps brachii generally resolves itself without treatment. Sports involving heavy use of the biceps brachii muscle including weight training and throwing sports, and contact activities with high risk to the biceps should be avoided pending adequate time for healing.

Treatment

  • Immobilisation with a sling to prevent excess movement
  • Physiotherapy

Rehabilitation and prevention

Rest and avoidance of activities involving stress to the biceps brachii muscle and tendons during the healing phase are generally sufficient. Range of motion exercises and graded strength training should be undertaken to restore full power and resilience to the muscle. Stretching exercises performed before athletic activity may help prevent injury and associated bruising to the biceps brachii.

Long-term prognosis

Bruising to the biceps brachii is generally a minor condition that is self-correcting without resort to surgery, given adequate time for healing. No long-term deficit in strength or mobility is expected.

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