Orthopaedic and Spine Center logo
Home > Resource Center > Upper Arm Care > Triceps Strain

Triceps Strain

A strain not often seen is one of the Triceps Brachii, the large muscle that runs down the back of your arm from your shoulder to your elbow. The reason for this is that the Triceps can only be strained by doing very specific movements, because its work is often shared by the other muscles of the upper arm, the deltoid and the biceps. Since the main job of the triceps is to bend and straighten the elbow, it is usually injured only during activities which isolate this muscle movement, as in weightlifting.


Patients often report that they hear a pop sound and feel pain suddenly along the back of their upper arm, near their elbow or shoulder. The area may swell, bruise or be tender to the touch. It may hurt to extend one’s arm, especially if resistance is applied.


The PRICE protocol should be followed: Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Ibuprofen or Aleve should be taken for pain reduction and to reduce inflammation. Ice should be used intermittently for the first 48 hours. After that time, moist heat may be applied. The patient should begin a program of gentle stretching after a few days of rest. If the pain and swelling does not subside after several days of following the above protocol, you should be checked out by an OSC Orthopaedic Specialist to ensure that you have not torn your muscle or the Triceps tendon.

Make An Appointment

Schedule an appointment with our highly skilled, multidisciplinary team of orthopaedic and spine specialists.