Sharp Pain in the Middle of the Biceps Muscle

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Written By Dr. João Arthur Ferreira

MD, PhD. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician from São Paulo - Brazil. Pain Fellowship in University of São Paulo.


The biceps brachii is a big, thick muscle in the upper arm’s ventral region. The muscle has two heads: a short head and a long head. One well-known cause of shoulder discomfort in the anterior region is the long head of the biceps tendon.

Trigger points, or sensitive spots in this muscle, may affect ambitious athletes or skilled craftspeople. Of course, these issues might affect other people as well. Let’s get started!

Muscular Anatomy

biceps muscle pain


A small head (caput breve) and a long head (caput longum) make up the muscle. The coracoid process at its apex serves as the origin of the short head. In contrast, the supraglenoid tubercle (tuberculum supraglenoidale) of the glenoid/scapula serves as the origin of the long head.


Before tapering over the front of the elbow and subsequently inserting onto the radial tuberosity and the forearm fascia through the bicipital aponeurosis, both small and long head course distally and fuse into a muscular belly.

Nerve Supply

The musculocutaneous nerve (root C5, C6) provides the nerve supply to the biceps.

Blood Supply

The brachial artery’s muscular branches serve as the biceps muscle’s main arterial blood vessels.

Functions of Biceps Brachii Muscle

The biceps muscle is a big muscle in the upper arm that helps to flex the elbow joint. It is one of the muscles utilized while lifting big things such as boxes or luggage.

The biceps muscle can also draw things closer to the body, such as pulling a sweatshirt over one’s head.


Cause of Biceps Pain

causes of biceps muscle pain

Sharp pain in the center of the biceps, which is the muscle at the front of the upper arm, can be caused by various factors. Bicep discomfort is frequently caused by muscle strains and bruising, for example.

Overuse or injury might result in biceps discomfort. Lifting excessively heavy or repetitive arm motion while working at a desk might cause it. Biceps discomfort or sharp pain can sometimes emerge due to an underlying ailment, such as elbow arthritis or tendonitis.

Trigger Point in the Biceps Brachii

Trigger points are hyperirritable muscle areas that can produce pain and an unnatural, sometimes painful, feeling. Trigger points can be induced by several sources, including repetitive muscle usage, direct damage to the muscle or tendon, or other conditions.

Trigger points are frequently seen in the biceps muscle. They can be obtained from repeated activities like using a computer mouse or playing video games. You can also acquire them if you sleep on your arm incorrectly or if you have an injury and do not adequately care for it.

Typically, trigger points are harmless and don’t need special care to become well. By extending the muscle and applying cold or heat treatment, self-care is the most efficient technique to treat trigger point discomfort.

Pain Patterns and Symptoms

Trigger points in your biceps brachii can cause discomfort to travel down to your elbow and the front of your shoulder. You may also feel pain on the side of your shoulder and in your upper back.

As a result, your biceps may contribute to upper arm discomfort, pain on the crest of the elbow, and pain in front of the shoulder.

If this muscle has any trigger or painful places, you could have pain or difficulty while bending, abducting, or extending your arm above shoulder level.

Treatment Options for Biceps Pain

Doctors recommend following the RICE( rest, ice, compression, and elevation) principle for mild biceps pain. Additionally, they also recommend patients take over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve). Let us see the RICE principle for hurting biceps:

Rest: Resting until the discomfort subsides will aid in muscle healing.

Ice: Using an ice pack for no more than 20 minutes multiple times a day will help minimize swelling.

Compression: Wrapping the affected muscle tightly in a bandage will also help to reduce swelling.

Elevation: Healing will go faster if the bicep is kept as near the heart level as feasible.


In the biceps muscle, trigger points are frequently the source of discomfort. Although they can be found elsewhere on the body, these points are commonly seen in the neck and shoulder area.

If your shoulder joint is damaged or you overwork your biceps muscle, it might become strained or injured. You can have soreness towards the back of your shoulder, directly below the shoulder blade. Take a break from your activity if you are feeling this discomfort so that your body can recuperate. You should also see a doctor to address and diagnose any underlying illnesses that might be the source of this discomfort.

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Physiatrist, M.D. Pain Center of University of São Paulo

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