Brachialis Pain - Bicep Disappearing

Hi everyone:

I have been having pain deep on the lateral side of my right bicep whenever performing almost any kind of arm flexion. Heavier the resistance, the more the pain.I have realized now, my right bicep (dominant hand) is now smaller, flatter than my left bicep even though the right bicep has always been larger, fuller and had more peak than my non-dominant. Also discovered that I can no longer fully flex the right bicep isometrically (bicep pose) and is soft to the touch even at full isometric flexion. I do have full movement and most of the strength in the arm, its just the bicep seems to not be fully firing. No pump, no muscle/mind connection. No balling up of the bicep, so rupture seems unlikely. Also experiencing some brachioradialis pain as well.

Been icing 20 minutes twice a day which is helping. Gua Sha is pretty painful and seems to inflame the area. Might start some Voodoo Flossing.

My question to the board is has anyone experienced anything like this or do you have any unique tendonitis type treatments that you successfully used in the past?

For reference, I am a 44 year old, semi-retired bodybuilder with 25 years in the gym and around 20 competitions under my belt (to give you an idea of the mileage on me).

Thanks in advance.

brach

How is the supination strength on that side?

Strength in all aspects seem on pair with the other arm, although the pain prevents me from really pushing it. For example, I tried to get some heavy dumbbells from the floor into a pressing position on a bench two weeks ago and I had to drop them as there was so much pain from the rotation. Unilateral movements are fairly equal but not sure on how much a gap there would be since it’s my dominant arm getting compared to the historically weaker one.

Thanks for your insight.

My hunch is you have a partially torn tendon. The ‘brachioradialis’ pain is from the portion of the tendon that remains attached.

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I had very similar feelings in bicep and brach and that exactly what was found. Tiny tear. Was able fix it with a peptide shot and just taking it easy with arm movements and nothing with a reverse grip or hammer for six months or so. Totally gone now. Good luck OP. These type of injuries suck.

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Partial tear is something that I had not considered. Looking up the symptoms, it’s starting to make sense. I’ll need to get it officially checked and diagnosed for sure but from what I can see it sounds like surgery. Ouch. Thanks again.

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Can you share more information on this peptide treatment you used? I would like to try any decent non-surgical options before potentially going under the knife.

Also, did you have to forego any pulling movements during your rehab period or were you still able to pull just not directly curl?

It was tb4 and bp157 together with ozone to help disperse. Worked very week but it still takes time to fully heal.

The only thing I couldn’t do was curl heavy or do anything palms down for curls. Basically stuck to lighter high rep dumbell curls and ez bar. Just need to not do what bothers it and go lighter.

Thanks for the information. I’ll need all this to try to come up with a solution. Much appreciated.

Posting an update just in case this thread can help someone in the future:

Ended up that it was proximal biceps tendon subluxation (bicep tendon at the shoulder keeps moving out of the groove). This causes a ripple effect that I felt in the lower aspect of the upper arm as described in original post.

Placed arm in a sling and within minutes I felt & heard the proximal tendon snap back into place. Almost instant pain relief in the brachioradialis. Stopped overhead exercises and went with a close grip short ROM on the flat bench. Dropped any palms up curling and went with reverse and hammer curls. Stopped chin/pull-ups and went with lighter neutral grip lat pulldowns. Also doing the standard rehab/prehad stuff for biceps tendon subluxation plus ice etc. Pain is significantly reduced while full function of the bicep is slowly returning.

Moral of the story- if you are hurting, stop doing what hurts and get it checked out. Remember the everything is connected and be willing to pivot, adjust and stay patient.

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Very interesting.
If you get full recovery, give us an update.

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No surgery needed? That’s awesome.

How long did you keep the sling on? Just short term until the tendon slipped, or for days and days? Is this a common treatment?

Yeah, the sling takes away the constant tension on the tendon. Used the sling as much as possible for 10 days but I will say the best “gains” came from placing the arm in the sling and then strapping it to your body overnight. Immobilization overnight really gave it an opportunity to start the healing process.

Not the most comfortable sleeping position but it worked.

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