Triceps tendonitis: Signs, symptoms and treatment options

Triceps tendonitis: Signs, symptoms and treatment options

Triceps tendonitis is a common nagging elbow injury in athletes and active people. It frequently affects throwing athletes and adults who lift weights. In this video, I explain what triceps tendonitis is, how you can recognize it and recover from it.

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Athletes and active people with triceps tendinitis typically complain of pain that comes on over time rather than after a specific injury. A pitcher might feel it after a period of throwing a lot in a short amount of time with little rest. A weightlifter might notice it when strenuous lifting.

You will likely have pain just above the tip of the elbow mainly with activity and for a short period of time just after activity. Occasionally you might feel pain at rest or with activities of daily living. It can start to affect daily activities as the problem progresses.

You can almost always recover from triceps tendonitis without surgery. Treatment initially consists of rest. In this case, rest is usually just avoiding or limiting activities that cause pain, such as throwing. Ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy can be helpful as well. When symptoms improve, a throwing program or other exercise activities can be slowly started.

Occasionally patients who have experienced triceps tendinitis for a long period of time do not improve with simple measures. Sports medicine physicians typically try to avoid cortisone injections into the tendon for fear of increasing the chance of a triceps tendon rupture.


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