There are two heads to the biceps brachii, the long head (that goes from the labrum to just past the elbow…the outside one in the picture) and the short head (that goes from the coracoid process to just below the elbow…the inside one in the picture). We rely on each muscle for shoulder flexion, elbow flexion, and some supination (hand rotated upward) of the forearm/wrist/hand. Of the two heads, the long head tends to tear more as it thins out as it travels into the shoulder and it is more susceptible to damage at its attachment on the shoulder labrum.
The muscle can tear due to age-related wear and tear, labral tearing, overuse and trauma. Generally, muscles tear from either the origin (where it begins proximally), or the insertion (the distal attachment). When the biceps tears from the insertion, it will tend to roll up the arm and form a ball in the middle of the biceps region. This type of tear tends to be very noticeable. Continue Reading →