Constant pain in the triceps muscle

A degenerate joint of Luschka is a common cause of a pinched nerve.

A degenerate joint of Luschka is a common cause of a pinched nerve.

Constant pain in the triceps muscle may be a strain, or a pinched nerve; the correct diagnosis is important.

Hello,
I have a constant pain in my left triceps and also problems with pain behind the left scapula. I tried the upper limb tension test and felt tightness in the left forearm and elbow but it didn't really aggravate the symptoms. I do a lot of yoga. I would like to know what poses I can continue doing that will a)not cause further damage and pain and b) improve the condition. Thanks for your help. Great site.

Hello Mieke,
Turn your head to the left and look up? Does it cause lower neck or arm pain? This is called Spurling's sign.

Ask your health provider to test the triceps reflex.

It sounds very like you have what is known in anatomical terms as a brachial neuralgia, or a pinched nerve in volkstaal. Ben je Nederlands?

Headstands would certainly not be a good idea.

This is not something to ignore; if the arm and midback remain painful then the triceps will progressively become weaker; you can test it by doing press ups; is it more difficult on the left?

The real question is whether you've strained the triceps, or whether this is a true pinched nerve; the latter is difficult particularly if you allow it to become chronic. If Spurling's sign is positive I'd certainly start with an x-ray of your neck.

Carrying anything heavy in the left arm stretches out the nerve plexus and will make it worse; shopping basket in the right arm. Conversely, raising your arm above your head will often relieve the arm pain; the shoulder abduction relief sign.

Dr B


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