July 14, 2024
Home » It Could Be More Than Triceps Muscle Pain


One of the many muscles that help stabilize the shoulders and provide movement when the arms are in motion. The tricep muscles are one of the most underrated muscles that many people don’t seem to take care of when working out. The other muscles in the upper arms and shoulders are more likely to be worked on when it comes to being physically active. The deltoidsbiceps, and brachialis muscles are some of the muscles that get much more attention when working on shoulder mobility. Still, the triceps provide the functionality to the shoulders as well. When the shoulders or the upper arms are injured and develop pain-like symptoms in the muscle groups, it can develop trigger points along the affected muscle. Today’s article looks at the tricep muscles, how trigger points affect them, and ways to manage trigger points along the tricep muscles. We refer patients to certified providers who specialize in arm pain treatments to aid individuals suffering from trigger points associated with the tricep muscles along the upper arms and elbows. We also guide and inform our patients by referring them to our associated medical providers based on their examination when appropriate. We established that education is a great solution to asking our providers profound questions the patient requests. Dr. Jimenez DC takes note of this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer

What Do The Tricep Muscles Do?


Do you experience pain underneath your forearm? How about feeling a dull ache on your elbows? Or do you feel a numbing sensation on your ring and pinky fingers? Individuals experiencing these symptoms in their arms could potentially develop trigger points along their tricep muscles. The tricep muscles are located under the upper arm and are a large, thick horseshoe-shaped muscle at the end of the arm. As stated earlier, the tricep muscles are one of the most underrated muscles in the arm that no one tends to work on during a workout, so they can be easily overlooked. However, the tricep muscles help in providing stability to the shoulders and help strengthen the arms. One of the main functions the triceps offer is that they allow the extension of the elbow joints. Studies reveal that the three head tendons that make up the triceps can influence elbow extension torque. The three heads of the triceps have different patterns of force when it comes to various activities during different shoulder evaluations. To that point, multiple combinations of the shoulder and elbows at different angles can affect the tricep’s shoulder extensions. Since many individuals don’t work on their triceps often, it can potentially develop issues that can make this underrated muscle weak.


How Trigger Points Affect The Tricep Muscles?


When the triceps don’t get worked on during a workout, it can lead to muscle weakness when doing pushups or when someone suffers from an injury with direct trauma in the elbows. When the tricep muscles become affected, it can lead to chronic conditions that are associated with myofascial pain or trigger points. Trigger points in the triceps can be formed when there are restrictions in extending the elbow joints. Studies reveal that when the triceps become overloaded from overusing the forearms from normal activities, it could potentially lead to tricep tendon rupture. To that point, which leads to the development of trigger points to invoke pain in the triceps and elbow joint. According to  Dr. Janet Travell, M.D., trigger points associated with the tricep muscles could potentially involve referred pain in the vicinity of the elbow joints. What this refers to is that trigger points can mimic other chronic conditions so in this case, referred pain caused by trigger points associated with the tricep muscles can be mistakenly attributed to arthritis on the elbow joints. All is not lost, as there are ways to manage trigger points affecting the tricep muscles.


Treating Trigger Points On The Triceps- Video

Have you been experiencing pain in your shoulders, elbows, and hands? Do you have limited mobility when extending your elbows? Or do you notice that your triceps are weaker than normal? If you have been dealing with any of these symptoms, it could be due to trigger points associated with the tricep muscles that are causing referred pain to the upper arms and elbows. The triceps in the upper arms is one of the most underrated muscles people tend to overlook. When individuals begin to succumb to injuries that affect their triceps, it can lead to the development of trigger points along the muscle fibers in the tricep muscles. Trigger points can occur in the tricep muscles due to overusing the forearm muscles, causing stress in the elbow joint and the muscle itself. When the trigger points become active, it can lead to limited mobility to the elbow joint, causing the individual thinks they are developing arthritis when it is the trigger points causing the referred pain. There are ways that many people can manage trigger points associated with the elbows along the triceps to relieve the pain from the muscle. The video above shows where the active trigger points are located and how to release them through palpations and massage. Treating the trigger points along the tricep muscles allows many individuals to regain mobility in their elbows and upper arms.

Managing Trigger Points Along The Triceps


As stated earlier, the triceps are the underrated muscle that people tend to forget. When the tricep muscles succumb to trigger points, it can lead to referred pain along the elbow joints, causing pain-like symptoms affecting the elbow’s mobility function. When this happens to the upper arms, there are various ways to strengthen the tricep muscles and manage trigger points from developing in the future. Incorporating exercises targeting the tricep muscles can help improve mobility to the elbows and shoulders. If a person is playing sports like tennis, they can opt for a lighter racket and have a more lightweight grip on the handle. Suppose a person is in pain from their triceps. In that case, however, studies reveal that upper limb rehabilitation can help reduce the pain along the triceps and improve the mobility range caused by pain associated with trigger points. People can continue their daily activities without pain when they utilize these various ways to enhance their triceps’ functionality. 



As the most underrated muscle that people tend to forget to work out, the tricep muscle can be overlooked. This large, thick horseshoe-shaped muscle has a job that provides stability to the shoulders and allows an extension to the elbow joints. When individuals don’t work on their tricep muscles, it can lead to muscle weakness and pain-like symptoms that lead to the development of trigger points. Trigger points associated with the tricep muscles can cause referred pain to the elbow joint, making many individuals believe they have arthritis. However, many individuals can regain mobility to their elbows by incorporating exercises targeting the triceps and utilizing treatments to manage trigger points along the muscle fibers. They can do daily activities that require the triceps without pain.



Landin, Dennis, et al. “Functions of the Triceps Brachii in Humans: A Review.” Journal of Clinical Medicine Research, Elmer Press, Apr. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5827912/.

Lennon, Olive, et al. “Effect of the Triceps Brachii Facilitation Technique on Scapulohumeral Muscle Activation during Reach and Point in a Healthy Population.” Physiotherapy Canada. Physiotherapie Canada, University of Toronto Press, 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6855346/.

Mangano, Tony, et al. “Chronic Tendonopathy as a Unique Cause of Non Traumatic Triceps Tendon Rupture in a (Risk Factors Free) Bodybuilder: A Case Report.” Journal of Orthopaedic Case Reports, Indian Orthopaedic Research Group, 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4719357/.

Tiwana, Manpreet S, et al. “Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Triceps Muscle.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 6 Aug. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK536996/.


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The information herein on "It Could Be More Than Triceps Muscle Pain" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

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Specialties: Stopping the PAIN! We Specialize in Treating Severe Sciatica, Neck-Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sports Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal Mobility, Posture Control, Deep Health Instruction, Integrative & Functional Medicine, Functional Fitness, Chronic Degenerative Disorder Treatment Protocols, and Structural Conditioning. We also integrate Wellness Nutrition, Wellness Detoxification Protocols, and Functional Medicine for chronic musculoskeletal disorders. In addition, we use effective "Patient Focused Diet Plans," Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Cross-Fit Protocols, and the Premier "PUSH Functional Fitness System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems.
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