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Sports Medicine

Upper arm/bicep pain

08/13/2007

Question:

I have developed a pain in my bicep area over the past few weeks. I have not strained it doing weights or other exercise. Sometimes when I bend my arm and twist is to look at my watch it feels like there is a hook in my arm twisting my bicep muscle. My chiropractor says it is related to a stiff upper back and should fix itself with massage and exercise. Do you agree?

Answer:

Without examining your arm, it is impossible to give you a diagnosis in a forum such as NetWellness. Pain in the biceps muscle certainly can originate from a strain of the biceps muscle or tendinitis of the bicipital tendons.  Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) could cause pain that radiates into the biceps and pain the has its origin in the shoulder (such as a rotator cuff injury or bursitis) could radiate down into the upper arm.  Radiculopathies (radiating pain due to impingement of a nerve in the neck) can cause pain that appears in the shoulder and upper arm.  If you have questions regarding your current diagnosis, it is always reasonable to seek a second opinion.  I hope this helps.

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Response by:

Charles Webster, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati