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Pain in the upper arm near the shoulder is the most common symptom of a bicep tear. Sometimes you will be able to hear a popping sound as the tendon in the bicep tears. Symptoms of a bicep tear include:

  • Pain at the shoulder or elbow
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty turning your palm
  • Arm weakness
  • Popeye muscle (a large painful bulge on the upper arm)


Bicep tears can develop from repetitive movements that cause the tendons to wear down and tear over time. Bicep tears can also happen suddenly from an injury. Common causes of a bicep tear are:

  • Heavy lifting
  • Twisting of arm
  • Overuse of arm
  • Weightlifting
  • Falling on outstretched hand
  • Heavy overhead activities


When treating a torn bicep, it is best to avoid any overhead activities and rest the muscle as much as possible. The most common treatments can include:

  • Ice application
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery
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