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Q. My biceps caved in a little with pain after workout. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Rajesh Naidu
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 27, 2020 and last reviewed on: Feb 28, 2020

Hello doctor,

Last night I worked out my arms, mainly my biceps and today I woke up and noticed that the upper region of my biceps has caved-in a little. It seems like it has changed its shape slightly. It does not look like a popeye. There is no constant pain, but I do get a dull pain when I firmly touch that region. What could this be? Could this be a tendon rupture or tendonitis?

Dr. Rajesh Naidu



Welcome to

I have received your query and have gone through your physical findings and my diagnosis and treatment advice regarding this would be as follows.

You said that previous night you have worked out your arms, the next day you had pain in anterior shoulder, and pain is not constant. Yes, I do suspect it might be a biceps long head tendinitis. I am saying this because you had more pain in the anterior shoulder. This thing could be because of your heavy workout, sudden lifting of weights, sudden high tensed overhead activity, improper maintenance of posture while workout which could stress your biceps long head which origins from the anterior shoulder blade and lead to pain, inflammation, tenderness, swelling, and minimizing activity levels.

I would say that in your case, it might be an acute mild or moderate injury and not severe.

My advice would be

1. Please do break your workout for some days.

2. Do not perform any overhead activity.

3. No external rotations of your shoulder.

4. No pulling or pushing using your shoulder.

5. Apply ice for 15 minutes for two to three times a day until pain and swelling subside.

If symptoms do not subside, please do consult an orthopedic or qualified physical therapist. There are many techniques available for further rehabilitation. Protocols such as soft tissue mobilization, iontophoresis, ultrasound, tens, stretchings, phonophoresis, etc., can be used if injury is severe and long term rehabilitation is planned.

I hope this helps.

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