Tennis Elbow or Bicep Tendon? Test Yourself

This week 4 different people reached out regarding their ‘Tennis Elbow.’ 

All of which have been nursing it for 3+ weeks, and none of them have been able to resolve it. 

2 went to the doctor, and were told to take ibuprofen and stop working out for 6 weeks (Bad advice).

0 of 4 had someone actually look at them move and test to see what is going on, until they saw me.

All 4 had common symptoms of Bicep Insertion Tendinopathy, not a Tennis Elbow. 

I’ll explain the difference and how all 4 of these athletes are going to resolve the problem and keep training without limits, despite the bad advice they got to start. 

Tennis Elbow vs. Bicep Tendon Explained

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is a problem with the muscle and tendon on the outside of the elbow.

As soon as people have elbow pain, they are told:

It’s a Tennis Elbow.

Take Fish Oil.

Stop doing what hurts it.

But this may be the wrong advice, for many reasons, one of them being, you need to look at the actual problem first, before knowing what is causing it. 

Sometimes elbow pain comes from the bicep insertion.

Insertional Bicep Tendinopathy

Although similar in symptoms, different problem, and a different treatment strategy is needed.

How Treat a Bicep Tendinopathy

A tendinopathy is a big word for an overloaded tendon. You did too much, too quick, for too long and the tendon gets damaged. 

*This process is similar to the UCL that gets damaged with Armbars and is explained more in this video

The 3 step process to Resolve a Bicep Tendon Issue:

1. Treat the joint restriction causing overload of the tendon (Shoulder Internal Rotation)

2. Treat the related Soft Tissue (Bicep Smash).

3. Start Loading the Tendon (A Few Example Exercises)

These injuries are common, especially among grappling athletes, because we like to push the boundaries of training and force our bodies to keep up. We can help your body keep up with you. 

I want to keep you training without limits, instead of waiting for things to heal and ending up quitting the sport all together, putting our physical and mental health at risk. 

Try the above 3 steps to resolve your own elbow pain, stay healthy and on the mats.


Have more questions?

I reserve 2 slots each week for a free Q&A call. 

Ask your questions, get quality medical advice from a Performance Physical Therapist who understands your sport, your training demands, and how important it is to you.


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