The Biceps-‘playing for both north and south’


It is easy to forget the Biceps Brachii when patients present with shoulder and elbow pain. Even a thorough local examination of either joint area is not likely to indicate that the patient’s symptoms could be stemming from the belly of the muscle.

Biceps acts on the shoulder joint in the north and the elbow joint in the south and one simply has to remember to examine it in both instances.

Think of Biceps as the fifth rotator cuff muscle. It does not add much flexion strength, but it stabilizes the shoulder joint anteriorly. So it makes perfect sense that that biceps is overloaded with shoulder injuries.

However, also remember that Biceps assists supination and therefore elbow injury will similarly cause overload.

Biceps hardly ever acts by itself and because it functions with other smaller muscles such Coracobrachialis and supinator it is important to check for satellite TPs in order to completely resolve the myofascial pain component of the patient’s complaint.