Triceps Brachii the Forgotten Warrior

Muscle Profile on January 22nd, 2011 No Comments

I can’t remember the last time someone came into my office and said my Triceps are killllling me. They do however report this phenomena/problem with their Trapezius, Deltoid, Rotator Cuff, Quadriceps and Hamstrings just to name a few common anatomical names that clients know and love to say. This three headed Warrior/Workhorse does not complain very much if at all and yet performs alot of hard work on a daily basis. The Triceps Brachii has a long head that attaches to the infraglenoid tubercle of the scapula, which makes it a multi-joint muscle acting upon both the shoulder and elbow joint. The medial head attaches to the distal and posterior surface of humerus and consists of more slow twitch fibers than fast twitch fibers and extends the elbow. The lateral head attaches to the proximal posterior surface of humerus just superior to the radial nerve and extends the elbow. All three heads share a common tendon that inserts into the olecranon process of the ulna. The long head is a synergist to the Lats, Teres Major and  Pectoralis Major in adducting the shoulder and acts synergistically with the Lats and Teres Major in extension of the shoulder joint. From a clinical standpoint the lateral head is also of great interest because it can entrap the radial nerve causing tingling and numbness in the dorsal aspect of the forearm and base of the third digit. The trigger points of the lateral head refer into the fourth and fifth digits, both the entrapment and trigger point referral patterns mimic a common condition called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.        Don’t forget this silent Warrior!             (Travel & Simons 1999)

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