The Triceps originate from the shoulder blade and Humerus (upper arm bone) inserting into the ulna (forearm bone). Distal Triceps Tendinopathy typically presents after overusing the triceps; these muscles are elbow extenders (help with straightening your arm). This overuse often occurs with repetitive pushing movements, ultimately leading to tendon degeneration where the triceps attach onto the elbow (olecranon).
WHAT TO CHECK:
Triceps tendinopathy often presents as pain in the back of the elbow, just above the bone. Typically, there will be pain as you straighten the arm, which will activate the triceps. There may also be a recreation of pain with palpation, to find the distal triceps come just above the elbow bone. There may also be some discomfort when you passively bend the elbow, this is stretching the triceps.
WHAT TO AVOID:
Avoid loading your triceps with very heavyweights. The triceps will extend or straighten your elbow. Be careful with movements that require heavy pushing like boxing, throwing, gymnastics, or push-ups. If you do load the triceps, make sure it is performed slow and controlled. The tendon will need load as part of the rehab process, the key is to slowly progress how much you load this region.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Just like most tendinopathies, the rehab process is very slow. It may take a few months to get back to using that tendon pain-free.