Are you having elbow pain?
The triceps take up the majority of the back of the arm. If there are trigger points in the triceps, there will be referral patterns up the back of the arm into the back of the shoulder, sometimes into the base of the neck, sometimes down the forearm, into the elbow and sometimes even in the palm and fingers.
The triceps extends the forearm at the elbow. IF you cannot straighten your arm directly up as if raising your hand to ask a question and have your bicep touch your ear, you likely have trigger points in your triceps. You may also tend to hold your arm away from your side as it causes pain when your arm hits your body. There will also be pain during activity that requires forceful extension of the arm.
One can get trigger points here from extensive and repetitive motions. Activities like golf and tennis are the most likely culprits. However, over use of forearm crutches, driving a car with manual transmission, having to press down on something for a long time…like making a lot of copies can also cause trigger points in the triceps.
If you have been diagnosed with tennis elbow (lateral or medial epicondylitis, arthritis of the elbow, olecranon bursitis or thoracic outlet syndrome it would be good to see if there are trigger points in your triceps.
Now the most important part…how to fix it!
When doing any sitting activities (typing, reading, writing, etc.) try to keep the arm vertical with the elbow behind the plane of the chest and not reached out in front of you. Use an arm rest if you need to. Don’t do chinups until you feel better. Then when you start them back up, do it gradually.
In tennis, change to a lighter weight racquet or at least one that is not so heavy in the head. It may also be helpful to shorten the grip on the handle, which changes the leverage and how the muscle responds.
And you definitely want to make sure to do tricep stretches. Doing them under a warm shower will get them stretched even better than cold.
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