Middle Aged Men And Anterior Elbow Pain

Middle Aged Men And Anterior Elbow Pain

Biceps Pain In The Elbow, Considerably Less Common Than In The Shoulder

Biceps tendon complaints causing anterior elbow pain are relatively common, however having said that the majority of tendon issues involving the biceps muscle occur in the shoulder. Where proximal biceps tendon issues can present as tears to the tendon, tenosynovitis and complete rupture of the tendon, to name a few. Tendon ruptures at the elbow involving the distal biceps tendon however not unheard of, are significantly less common than its equivalent in the shoulder. Exact numbers regarding any frequency of distal biceps tendinopathy complaints causing anterior elbow pain are unknown. However, the biceps tendon as a source of pain at the elbow is a far less common cause than other tendon complaints in the region of the elbow, including golfers elbow, or tennis elbow.

The Curse Of The Middle Aged Man

Distal biceps tendinopathy is reported to be more commonly associated with males in their fourth decade. Where typically pain and/or injury occurs in males aged between 30-60 years old. Worth noting like many tendinopathies, smoking has been reported to increase the risk of developing a distal biceps injury, leading to the onset of anterior elbow pain. Reports suggest smoking may increase the risk in the vicinity of up to 7 and a half times that of non-smokers. From my own practice experience over the years (more than I would like to say), my personal findings would tend to support the above statistics, regarding anterior elbow pain of biceps origin being a male dominated condition. As it stands, I am still yet to treat a female with the condition and almost all patients I have previously treated in our Randwick and Sydney CBD physio practices for anterior elbow pain from biceps origin, have been aged in the 35–55-year-old bracket.

Biceps Pain In The Elbow, A Condition On The Rise

In my experience biceps pain in the elbow is becoming more prevalent. In the last ten, or so years, I feel I have seen an increase in the number of patients presenting for treatment for distal biceps pain. My rational around this phenomenon, is that over the years resistance training has become a more valued form of exercise in the aging population, A shift helped along by the benefits of resistance training across all age groups being more widely reported. Whereas previously, decades ago, weight training at the gym was almost exclusively a young man’s game. These days resistance training as a part of an exercise regime is now very much commonplace with people in their fourth decade and beyond. Now, not only is there seemingly a greater percentage of individuals middle aged and beyond engaging in resistance training, many of them with current trends are involved in high intensity resistance training, using heavy weights and compound movements. This style of lifting may suggest in training these individuals are taking their tissues closer to failure, placing demands on the tissues that may put them at risk of tissue overload and injury.

Signs and symptoms of Distal Biceps Tendinopathy

Pain is the dominant symptom with any distal biceps tendinopathy. Patients will tend to report experiencing localized pain at the front of the elbow. The pain sensation with mild conditions may simply be felt as a dull ache in the front of the elbow, often accompanied with a feeling of elbow stiffness. Pain and stiffness symptoms are generally more noticeable following activities requiring repetitive, or heavy contraction of the biceps muscle. Examples of potential triggers for pain include performing weighted biceps curls, chin ups, carrying heavy shopping. Pain and stiffness can also present when moving the arm after period of prolonged inactivity. The more severe the tendinopathy, any anterior elbow pain will likely be reported as being quite sharp, to the point it acts as a deterrent to any and all lifting or carrying activities. And may be accompanied with the presence of swelling around the biceps tendon at the front of the elbow and reported weakness when attempting to lift objects. If you suspect you may have pain in the elbow of biceps origin, or otherwise. At the Movement Centre our physio team is ready to help you become pain free again and return to you to your best regardless of your age.
Disclaimer: The Movement Centre provides this information as an educational service. The information contained on this website and in this blog is not intended to serve as or replace actual medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance should consult their local Randwick Physio, general practitioner, medical specialist, or otherwise appropriately skilled practitioner.