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Five days ago i tore part of my right bicep: I’ve been diagnosed with a grade 1/2 tear in the belly of the muscle .

Apr 22nd, 2014

Five days ago on monday ( its now sat. ) i tore part of my right bicep. I’d been in the gym for approx 45 mins working my shoulders then bicep / triceps in a bodybuilding type. I completed 4 sets of standing barbells curls ending with 70kg x 4-5 explosive but somewhat controlled reps . later i completed a set of single arm curls in very strict precise style on the preacher bench 24kg x10… on my second set i completed 3 reps carefully and as i came half way UP.. i felt a hard crude type shredding and tearing sensation , obviously i immediately dropped the weight as i knew the bicep had been torn. I went home immediately and put ice on it for 10-12 mins .. i repeated this 3 times that night. The next morning i had no bruising .. minor swelling .. and pretty much full range of motion back .. i iced it 8 times during the day and eve. The next day after this was wed. and 100% full ROM was back . Pain was zero

Ive been diagnosed with a grade 1/2 ? tear in the belly of the muscle .

What do you feel is a good recuperation strategy …. i did train my legs two days later on the wed. On the friday i did a full chest workout with some modified back exercises .. i.e limited range of motion rowing and wide front pulldowns .. dumbell pullovers and cable pullovers.. i had zero pain … for the injured bicep . At the end of that session i did bicep curls with a 2kg dumbell for 3 sets of 15…. zero pain but a minor achey or uncomfortable feeling was felt ? .

Next day was saturday again plenty of icing …. and no pain upon waking .. and no pain in the morning .

I’ve been reading a bout a remediation strategy where i would work the bicep every day for two weeks ( its for advanced trainees only … i’ve been training for 30 years in a bodybuilding , sometimes powerlifting , sometimes strongman and sometimes mma type training . I’ve suffered only one injury in that time in terms of a tear o my right quadriceps rectus femoris ( grade 1 tear ) .

The strategy i mentioned is one where you reb uild the damaged fibres with very light weight adding poundage every day for a TWO WEEK PERIOD STRAIGHT ?
for example 2kg curls day 1 .. 3kg day 2 …. 4 kg day 3 and so on … as long as you feel only discomfort … but not pain as such you carry on 3 sets per day … the whole premise is that the injury in the muscle belly is worked and heals without scar tissue build up .. but with muscle fibres in correct alignment .

It is for advanced trainees only in that we would be able to distinguish between discomfort … and pain from further damage .

What are your thoughts on this?? ive had frictional masage by the physio .. who suggested i perform 5 mins per day ( which i have done ) .

I eat a very healthful diet , i take spoonfuls of efa’s and various multi vitamins minerals as recommended by the colgan institute for athletes.

I want to recover quick and i will be recovering quick by doing as much as i can later with deep tissue massage and stretching very carefully next week.

can i have your thoughts on the strategy i outlined in the gym . … and anything else.

The tear itself is in my upper bicep and 2 ” from the front deltoid … I have a very light bruise there since the physio massaiged it. I’m also very mildly tender along the inner bicep .. by my pec major … from top to about 2/3 rd’s down is mildly tender

Kind regards

Steve Ewer

Apr 22nd, 2014

The Guru Responded:

Hi Steve

All sounds above board as long as the diagnosis is correct.

If the damage to the muscle is less than a Grade II, I think your strategy is fine – but absolutely be controlled by pain. It’s permissible to feel MILD discomfort during and a but after but no more that that.

Make sure you add in some eccentric control work too.

I don’t think I’d be too keen you doing anything to the area where the suspected tear is until you are day 10+. You want tissue to heal correctly rather than keep stirring the pot. The same with through range stretches too.

With regards to scar tissue. Scar tissue is normal, unspecialised tissue which is a precursor to normal healing. You need this tissue to be laid down and then modified into specialised muscle tissue – allow this process to happen. The proliferation phase goes from day 10 – day 20ish – remodelling is north of these number.

No pain during a rep does not mean normal tissue….

The Guru,
Six Physio

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