NFL Season: Bicep Injuries

Busari Raji Jr.

NFL-bicep-injuryA professional athlete such as Busari Raji Jr. definitely needs to have strong bicep muscles to carry and throw a football while playing for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League. With a torn bicep, B.J. Raji is unable to play for the entire 2014 season while his injury heals. Injured in a preseason game in August against the Oakland Raiders also a member of the National Football League, Raji’s bicep muscle will require a lot of therapy before he is able to play again. His fans are disappointed by his absence this season, but bicep injuries are common in this sport.

Complex Bicep Muscles

The bicep brachii is a complex muscle in the human body located between the scapula commonly known as the shoulder and elbow. The top of this muscle has two heads while the bottom situated near the elbow has only one attachment to the elbow joint. The bicep is responsible for humans bending the arm and flexing the forearm. In addition to close proximity to the bones of the upper arm, the bicep brachii is located near ligaments, tendons and bursa. All of these body systems work together to allow an athlete to perform their sport.

Prone to Injury

Due to the complexity of the bicep muscle, it is prone to serious injury. Shoulder pain is quite common in this muscle because of overuse. In addition, there are interesting variations concerning this muscle in some individuals with a small percentage having a third head near the humerus bone. Occasionally, physicians discover that a patient has up to seven heads instead of the normal two. Individuals may also have different types of distal bicep tendons, including bifurcated and separated, leading to additional chances of injury and longer healing time. Overuse of the biceps with too much activity in one day or lifting too much weight often leads to muscle tears.

Difficult to Diagnose

A strained or torn bicep brachii muscle is a common injury for many individuals, including athletes who engage in repetitive motion. Football is a tough contact sport despite players wearing protective equipment designed to prevent many injuries. Injuries to the bicep are often difficult to diagnose with the large number of tendons, ligaments and muscles located in the shoulder to elbow area. There are two basic types of tears that occur that have various symptoms, leading to needing expert medical attention to avoid permanent damage to the shoulder and arm.

Types of Tears

The most frequently diagnosed injury of the bicep is a proximal tear in the muscle that occurs in approximately 95 percent of patients. Individuals may hear a snapping noise as one head of the muscle located near the shoulder tears from its connection. The loose muscle will create a bulge under the skin as an individual notices their arm is weaker. The treatment for this tear is surgery while avoiding use of the arm followed by therapeutic exercise to get the arm fully functional. However, athletes such as B.J. Raji tend to get a distal bicep tear that greatly reduces the arm’s movement, making it impossible to play a sport. Treatment for a distal bicep tear is more invasive requiring long-term rest and physical therapy to recover full function of the shoulder and arm.