T Nation

Bicep Injury

Hello, been a long time since I have posted anything but I hope someone can help.

I changed my bicep training last week from alternate dumbell curls, to straight bar preacher curls, did 2 warm up sets no problem, put some more weight on for my working sets, nothing major, was backing off heavy bicep work so would have been in the 10 - 12 rep range, leaned over grabbed the bar and before I could even curl it I heard snap and immediate pain in my right bicep, towards the elbow I dropped the bar and grabbed it, i was too scared to look for a while, I looked and it was still attached so i knew it wasn’t a complete tear, I went straight to the hospital, and the dr had a look and said it was defiantely a partial tear and I need an ultrasound to see how much is torn and if i require surgery. Im booked in for the scan next week (earliest i can get in).

Now, the the next day the pain was very intense, I had full movement but very painful, there is NO bruising at all which I assume is a good sign, this is the third day after I have done it, (still 2 days before the scan) I have full movement with no pain unless I pull any weight with it then there is a lot of pain, but just day to day things its fine. I can not flex it yet. The bicep looks the same shape, although when my arms is straight the bottom part looks slightly different,im not sure if this if from swelling, my paranoia or if it is different.

I am terrfied that I wont be able to train for a long time, and lose all the size I have worked so hard to gain the last 8 years.

I know this sems long winded but I am really terrified and very depressed over this.

Everything I have read comes from a non-bodybuilding perspective and basically say that surgey for partial tears isn’t always required although you can lose up to 50% of your strength in that bicep.

Has anyone had any experiences in anything similar?? any advice on what to do in the meantime?? I know its hard until I get the scan done but any advice would be greatly appreciated, Ive had many injuries in the past and have always been able to train around them without any atrophy, but im scared this is different. So what are your thoughts? is it possible that it isn’t a tear?? given the fact that there is no bruising at all and I have full-movement, how can I train around this?

Any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated

Listen to your doctor ~ and rehab it like a motherfucker with dedication you have never shown and you’ll come back stronger. Oh and from what I know of others and my own experience rehab can last anywhere betweeen 3-6 months EASY ~ especially if you do surgery.

Thanks kinein

Tincture of time partner. I did the same thing awhile ago. I kept training though, even if all I could do was a 60 pound dumbell for one hand and a ridiculous 15 pound one for the other. Be patient and it will most likely come back. It did take months though, but I pushed it too quick once in the process and had to back off again.

Slowly put weight onto it, its gonna hurtm but if you want to build it back up to where it was before your going to have to take the pain and push youself. Obviously your lifts wont go back to normal right away, but if you do light weight for a bit your arm may recoop faster.

I havent really heard of a tear that takes you out for 6 months… But it will take around 3 months to get your arm back to normal if you are working it properly. Also, make sure that you dont tear it again by trying to do more weight than it can handle at this time.

Thanks alot amphibian and mmafeak, depending on what the scan shows up tomorrow Im thinking Im am going to have to train around it for a while, than slowly start training that bicep

You will not lose eight years of progress. When you are healed after several months and resume training, your muscle memory will bring it back soon enough. I would say after 6 months of training your biceps will be back with the other arm.

I know it’s a drag, but it’s also a learning experience.

Thanks a lot Mytchbucansn, much appreciated, I had the scan today and the radiographer said he didn’t think it was torn but it looks like a tear is developing but my doctor will have to look at it, and I cant see my dr until two weeks time, I have resumed training, just training around it and changing exercises so the bicep is not involved, so far have only trained legs, shoulders and traps, still have chest and triceps which will be a challenge and of course the big one, back, not sure how I will train that without using my bicep!!

Update to my injury, saw my doctor and it is a partial distal bicep tear, started Physiotherapy this week and she said I “should” be back to full strength in 6 weeks, but of course it will never look the same becuase it has re-attached at a shorter point, so at the moment it is a lot smaller than the other bicep with no strength, training around it and now started very very very light work on that bicep,

she said to keep stretching, deep tissue massage to break up the fibres and prevent scar tissue and training it 3 time a week with basic dumbell curls and partials, has anyone else has similar experience that can tel me about their rehab and how they managed it? results etc? would be much appreciated.