How to Heal a Strained Bicep

A strained bicep can refer to an injury in the biceps brachii muscle at the top of the arm or the tendons that connect the muscle to the bone. Regardless of the exact location of the strain, this type of injury typically occurs from an overstretched or overworked muscle. Always see a doctor for strained muscles of any kind as long-term problems can develop if not properly cared for. If you cannot see a doctor immediately, some at-home care techniques may help treat the symptoms of a strained bicep.

Use caution when lifting heavy weights.

Step 1

Apply an ice pack to the bicep immediately after the strain is apparent. Ice the bicep for 15 to 20 minutes, then repeat every three hours for the next three days. The muscle only needs to be iced while you're awake, so don't wake up throughout the night to apply ice.

Step 2

Take anti-inflammatory medicine until the bicep heals. The medicine helps with inflammation and eases pain. Follow the recommended daily dosage of the medicine.

Step 3

Wrap the bicep with a compression bandage to control swelling. Start wrapping at the bottom of the bicep, just above the elbow, and work up to the top. The wrap bandage must be tight enough to compress the muscle slightly, but not so tight that it causes discomfort or slows blood flow.

Step 4

Rest the arm as much as possible until the bicep heals. Regular movement of the arm slows the healing process and may cause further injury.

Step 5

Sleep with the arm elevated above the rest of the body to reduce swelling and prevent fluid buildup. Pile two or three pillows next to your body and rest your arm on them to keep it elevated.

Things You'll Need

  • Ice pack

  • Anti-inflammatory medicine

  • Compression wrap bandage

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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