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Triceps Brachii Muscle: Shoulder, Arm, Elbow, Hand Pain

The triceps brachii muscle can contribute to pain in the shoulder, arm and hand. The triceps play a role in both tennis and golfer's elbow.

What are the pain and symptoms associated with the triceps brachii muscles?

  • Pain in the back of the shoulder
  • Pain at the base of the neck
  • Pain on the outside of the elbow
  • Pain throughout the back of the elbow
  • Feeling of weakness in the elbow
  • Pain in the back of the upper arm
  • Can make elbow hypersensitive
  • Occasionally pain and/or burning down into the fourth and fifth fingers
  • Difficulty straightening and bending the elbow
  • Tendency to carry arm away from the body with the elbow slightly bent
  • Pain is usually dull and aching, rarely is the pain sharp or stabbing

Where is the triceps brachii muscle?

The triceps brachii is a three headed muscle which connects the shoulder blade (scapula) and the upper arm (humerus) to the lower arm (ulna). The muscle is found in the back of the upper arm.

What movements do the triceps brachii muscle control?

  • Straightens the arm at the elbow
  • Assists with stabilizing the shoulder joint
  • Assists with straightening the arm at the shoulder
  • Assists pulling the arm in toward the body
  • Pulls the arm back behind the body

Activities that cause triceps brachii muscle pain and symptoms:

  • Tennis
  • Golfing
  • Swinging a baseball bat
  • Repetitive pushing downward action
  • Forcefully holding something down
  • Using crutches
  • Driving a manual shift vehicle


Triceps Brachii Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

You use the triceps brachii to straighten the elbow, pull the arm back behind the body and bring the arm down from raised position.

Interesting facts about the triceps brachii muscle:

  • The triceps brachii is a contributor to both tennis elbow and golfers elbow.
  • It and the serratus anterior are known as the boxer’s muscles because these muscles deliver the straight-arm punch.

Clinical Diagnoses To Which The Triceps Brachii Muscle May Contribute:

  • Lateral epicondylitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Medial epicondylitis
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Olecranon bursitis
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • C6 C7 or C8 radiculopathy

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the triceps brachii muscles:

Satellite trigger points associated with the triceps brachii muscle:

  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Teres major
  • Teres minor
  • Serratus posterior superior
  • Anconeus
  • Supinator
  • Brachioradialis
  • Extensor carpi radialis longus

For detailed anatomy information:  
Triceps Brachii Anatomy

Help with Triceps Brachii Muscle Injury Pain

Cold Therapy Treatment For Triceps Brachii Pain and Symptoms

Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is a cold therapy gel that provides pain relieve for new injuries and is great as a maintenance treatment for overuse and repetitive use injuries such as tennis elbow. Cold therapy should be used on new and recent injuries instead of heat as it cools the area much like ice and does not promote swelling. A recent study showed that Biofreeze decreased pain 2 times more than ice and the pain relief lasts 9 – 10 longer. If you have recently injured the triceps muscle or have unexplained pain that has just started in the shoulder, arm and elbow use Biofreeze. Rub the gel into the shoulder, down the back of the arm and all around the elbow. If needed, apply Biofreeze down the forearm and into the hand.

Cold Compression Sleeve For Triceps Brachii Arm Strain and Pain

Freeze Sleeve Cold Therapy Compression Sleeve is recommended by medical professionals for treatment of injury, recovery, and over-use soreness. The sleeve provides total circumference cold therapy and compression that other cold treatments do not provide. The sleeve slides on and features material that can be worn on bare skin, allowing you to be mobile during treatment. It can be used for most areas of the arms and legs.

Hot and Cold Shoulder and Upper Arm Therapy Wrap

Elasto-Gel Hot Cold Wrap works well for those who need a wrap that provides both heat and cold therapy. This is a great wrap for people suffering from shoulder arthritis pain. Heat and cold can both help relieve symptoms of biceps and triceps strain, frozen shoulder and rotator cuff muscle pain. This wrap is recommended for the triceps muscles because the wrap covers the muscle shoulder attachment and muscle belly. The wrap is gel which allows it to mold to the chest, shoulder, and upper arm comfortably.

Available in two sizes: Small Hot Cold Shoulder Wrap and Large / XLarge Hot Cold Shoulder Wrap

Warm Therapy for Post Injury and Chronic Shoulder and Elbow Pain

For arthritic or chronic shoulder, arm, elbow and hand pain relief I recommend Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel. Sombra provides warmth without burning and is better at relieving pain than other over the counter pain creams. Apply Sombra to the shoulder, back of the arm and all around the elbow for warmth and triceps pain relief.

Full Arm Compression Sleeve for Upper Arm, Elbow, Forearm and Wrist Support

The CompressionZ Compression Arm Sleeves are for those who want or need more support for muscle injury, muscle recovery or lymphedema. The sleeves work well for those who have chronic elbow, forearm and wrist pain due to repetitive motions that can irritate the muscles in the arm. The sleeves work well for athletes as well as people whose jobs require repetitive and twisting motions of the elbow and wrist. The sleeves are available in 3 sizes and a variety of colors. Be sure to read the size chart and follow the instructions to ensure proper fit. Two sleeves per package

Compression Band for Tennis Elbow, Golf Elbow, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Repetitive Stress Injuries

The BandIT Forearm Band is worn by many professional athletes to prevent and relieve muscle pain caused by repetitive motions of the elbow and wrist. The BandIT uses selective pressure on the forearm muscles without cutting off circulation, limiting range of motion or causing swelling around the band. Though I do not recommend this as a long-term treatment or for long-term wear, the BandIT can help relieve pain for athletes to help get through a game or for those who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome that want pain relief while typing to make a deadline. Read and follow the enclosed instructions for temporary relief from forearm, wrist, hand, and finger pain.

Self Treatment For Triceps Brachii Muscle Shoulder, Elbow, Hand Pain

Do you know that small knots and other dysfunction in the triceps brachii muscle can contribute to pain from the shoulder to the hand? These knots can also make it difficult to impossible to straighten the elbow.

If this pain pattern sounds familiar I recommend that you purchase Claire Davies The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain ReliefMr. Davies explains the trigger point phenomenon and muscle pain in everyday language. But what makes this book worth its weight in gold are the individual muscle trigger point treatments that Davies has compiled. His diagrams and step by step instructions help you locate which muscles are contributing to your pain, how to find the trigger point and treat it. It takes time and practice to master finding trigger points, but once you learn you have a tool and method to help relieve muscle pain throughout the body. If you have unresolved shoulder, arm pain and find it difficult to straighten the elbow without pain it maybe trigger points in the triceps brachii muscles. Deactivating trigger points can reduce or eliminate this pain. This book is a must-have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle pain.