What Does the Dent In Your Bicep Mean? Get it Checked Out!

by Josh | Last Updated:  September 17, 2020
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Injuries, whether muscular or skeletal acquired during workouts, can be very demotivating as they tend to put you on a bed for weeks, thus impeding your muscle growth as well as comprising your muscle training schedule. Not only that, but the injury might, at times, be fatal.

What does a dent in your bicep mean? The most common reason is that you have experienced a bicep tear, should this occur you need to go speak with your doctor just to ensure no lasting damage or health impacts could occur and what the course to heal will need to be taken.

There are countless tragic examples of bodybuilders and weight lifters who have suffered career-threatening injuries during their muscle training. You should always pay attention to your posture when performing intense exercises for your muscular health. If you happen to have an injury or a symptom of one, you immediately seek professional health.

In this article, we shall be discussing a certain kind of muscular injury that usually occurs in the form of dents on your biceps. We will look at the possible causes, how harmful it can be, and the condition’s diagnosis and treatment. Let’s dive in!

What Are These Dents On Your Biceps?

The bicep is attached to your bones with the help of tendons that is divided into three components.

  1. The long head tendon
  2. Short head tendon
  3. The third section

The Long Head Tendon

Long head tendon functions to attach your bicep to the top of the shoulder socket.

Short Head Tendon

Short head tendon functions to attach your bicep to your shoulder blade section, known as the coracoids process.

The Third Section

This portion of the tendon attaches your bicep to your forearm or, to be precise, the radius.

So, in light of this insight, when you have a torn bicep, it’s caused by the tendons’ tearing or detachment in any of the above three.

Strong male doing a bicep curl with weights - what does a dent in your bicep mean
Strong male doing a bicep curl with weights

The Common Bicep Tear Variations

In this section, we shall look at the common condition of torn biceps, which are categorized by their severity and the portions they happen at; let’s start with the current blog’s gist.

Tendonitis (Microtears)

Tendonitis refers to the inflammation or irritation which occurs in the long head of the bicep tendon. It usually shows up on the muscle in the form of tears or dents, which can be aggravated by excessive motion, whether heavy or light exercise. It’s also related to other problems such as arthritis, chronic shoulder dislocation, and shoulder impingement.

Before getting more technical about tendonitis, let’s look at some other conditions that can happen to your bicep tendons.

Distal Biceps Tendonitis and Elbow Tear/Dislocation

Distal bicep tendonitis refers to the inflammation or irritation which happens in the tendons near to the elbow. Similarly, to microtears, it’s caused by wear and tear and can be aggravated by excessive exercise and motion.

Your elbow surrounding tendon might get torn when attempting to lift a heavyweight; the stress might tear apart the bone. To keep the movement going, your other arms will still accommodate you during movement.

However, you lose a massive number of efficiency when you encounter this condition.

Proximal Tendon Tear

This type of tear occurs when the tendons attaching your bicep muscle to the shoulder torn apart. This type of tear is more likely to happen in your long head tendon than the shorter head.

What Are the Symptoms Of Bicep Tendon Tear?

Tearing your muscle-tendon results in losing a proportion of your strength, and you will experience pain when you move your arm. Some common symptoms of tendon tears in biceps are as below:

The Pop Sensation

The “pop” sensation sometimes very audible when the injury happens is a common way to first hand diagnose your condition. When you feel this sensation, it’s advisable to stop your exercise and seek help.

The Swelling

The area around the injury tends to swell after you have torn your bicep tendon during heavy weight exercise.

The Bruising

The area around the wound might also show signs of being bruised when your bicep tendon gets torn during heavy exercise.

The Sharp Pain

When the injury happens, you will experience an immediate, sharp, and acute pain sensation. If your arm gets numb for a reason, the painful sensation may occur a bit later.

Difficulty in Movement

The injured area after being injured will immediately be compromised; besides losing your arm’s strength, you will face difficulties rotating and turning sideways your arm.

Increased Fatigue

The injured or torn tendon will, along with being bruised and weaker, will also have increased chances of being fatigued when you use your arm for a task.

What Causes a Bicep, Tendon Tear?

A bicep tendon tear can have various causes behind it. However, it’s mainly due to injuries you encounter during a heavy workout or some precarious task or excessive use of your bicep.

Injuries can result from a bad posture, lifting a weight greater than your muscular capability, dropping a weight on your arm, or falling on your arm.

The excessive use or overuse happens when you take too much time with your bicep. For example, you might be lifting heavy material for a very long duration, such as you may be carrying wooden logs or shifting furniture from one place to another.

This also happens due to the aging factor. This is usually common for people who take part in sports, which require heavy exercise for long durations such as swimming and heavy weight lifting.

The Medical Diagnosis of Torn Bicep Tendons

When you head to a doctor to diagnose your torn tendon, they usually inquire about you whether or not you suffered previous injuries, your symptoms, and if you feel pain and how acute the pain is.

After evaluating your medical history, they ask you to take a medical exam such as testing how well your arm can move and in what angles and how much strength you can exert by your arms.

After carefully analyzing your arms’ rotations and how much pain you feel, they check for the symptoms mentioned above in your bicep, such as swelling and bruising.

To rule out the risk of a skeletal injury, a doctor might also take an MRI test or an X-ray test to check your bones’ condition.

How Can You Treat Your Torn Bicep Tendon?

There are two ways to get rid of your bothersome condition, divided into two sections, I.e., non-surgical treatments and surgical treatments. Let’s first take a look at the first one!

Non-Surgical Treatments of Bicep Tendon Tears

The cure depends on the severity. The torn bicep tears are treated by following some common symptom relievers such as rest, using ice, and taking adequate medication for most people.

Taking Adequate Rest

One of the most common ways to treat your torn bicep tendon is to allow your natural healing systems to go up and running. Temporarily taking time off your muscle training is highly effective for torn and tear treatments of all sorts.

Along with avoiding working out, it’s also vital for you to void any activity required to put too much effort into your arm.

Treating with Ice

Putting ice on your torn areas stimulates healing and allow you to get over bruising, swelling, and acute pain sensations.

Taking Physical Therapy

Practicing physical therapy and rehabilitation also goes hand in hand with all the methods mentioned above. Physical therapy helps you regain your strength by taking slow steps as you gradually explore your injured arm’s movements.

Contacting a physical therapist is very useful, so he may recommend a plethora of flexing and rotating arm exercises.

Taking Medications

The pain, which is the result of tendonitis, can be treated by taking anti-inflammatory and NSAIDs drugs. These medications help relieve your acute pain and cure the inflammation you feel in your torn bicep.

Surgical Treatments for Torn Bicep Tendon

If the non-surgical methods don’t work for you, then you have to contact an orthopedician. Depending on your condition, if the arm doesn’t heal and the tendons still show progressive symptoms, then are these two kinds of surgeries your doctor will recommend fixing your condition.

Bicep Tenodesis

It’s a type of surgery where the surgeons attach the muscle to the bone. The ruptured part is anchored to the bone with the help of a screw.

Acromioplasty

If you have a history of prior injuries, you will have to go for this exercise. In this surgery, the surgeon removes the defected part of the bone. This relieves the impingement of the rotator cuff tendon supporting your shoulder joint.

How Much Time It Will Take You to Recover from the Tear?

The bicep tendon tear can take a certain amount of time to heal depending on the factors of aging, severity, treatment, and surgery—anything from a week to a month.

Final Thoughts on What Does a Dent in Your Bicep Mean

Bicep tendon tear is a bothersome injury that can be treated differently depending on the severity of the workout. You should pay attention to your posture mistakes in the gym, and whenever you happen to run into a negative symptom, immediately seek medical help.

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