Arm tendon injuries occur from rupture or inflammation of the tendons in the muscles in the arm such as the rotator cuff muscles, biceps brachii and the muscles that cross from the forearm to the wrist. It is important to note that tendinitis typically develops due to constant use of the muscles within a particular range of motion such as grabbing, pitching or carrying heavy loads for prolonged periods of time.
To learn to recognize and manage tendon injuries to the arm, sign up for standard first aid training with a credible Canadian provider near you.
Wrist flexor tendon injuries
The tendons in the wrist face a high risk to injuries during contact sports where one opponent is grabbing at or pulling the jersey of another player. Quick and strong tightening of the hand flexor muscles in contrast to a quickening resistance can result to injury. Take note that this movement will increase the force on the weaker tendons, thus producing an optimal condition for a tendon strain or full rupture. Tendinitis on these flexors is also possible with overuse injuries during sports such as rock climbing or those that involve constant throwing.
Biceps brachii tendinitis
The main function of the biceps brachii muscle is flexing the elbow or drawing the forearm toward the shoulder. One of the connection points for the biceps traverses the shoulder joint, nevertheless any monotonous overhead motion at the shoulder joint can cause strain on the biceps tendon. The diminished supply of blood and lack of the smooth gliding surface during monotonous movements can initially lead to inflammation.
Take note that incomplete healing will lead to further reduction in the supply of blood and a rough gliding surface. This can potentially cause the biceps tendon to fully rupture from its origin at the top of the shoulder joint capsule. During the early stages, tendinitis can be relieved with the application of ice and by resting the affected area.
Rotator cuff impingement and tendonitis
It is important to note that there are muscles in the rotator cuff and all are responsible for driving the head of the arm bone or humerus into the joint cavity during movement of the shoulder. The rotator cuff muscles start on the shoulder blade and insert into the humerus bone.
Overusing the shoulder joint such as during pitching or throwing will cause the joint to loosen up. This will allow the head of the humerus bone to push up against the space in between the bone and the acromion process of the shoulder blade.
The optimal amount of space in between the bone and the acromion process is required for the rotator cuff tendons to smoothly glide in the joint. The diminished space and increased friction on the tendons will trigger rotator cuff impingement as well as tendonitis. The individual must stick with exercise conditioning, sensory-motor training and postural awareness in order to prevent rotator cuff injuries from developing.