The triceps muscle begins at the shoulder joint and ends at the elbow. The triceps tendon helps to attach the muscle to the elbow joint. Triceps tendonitis is an irritation or inflammation to the triceps tendon. The pain is typically noticed behind the elbow, as the triceps tendon aides the muscle in straightening the elbow. The most common cause of injury is overuse. It may also develop as a result of the normal wear and tear associated with the aging process. Additionally, triceps tendonitis may be due to trauma and excessive force with movements.
Symptoms include pain at the back of the elbow, especially with straightening movements. Mild swelling, muscle weakness, and pain while touching the tip of the elbow. Diagnosis of triceps tendonitis is typically done through physical examination and an oral history of the activities that cause pain. X-rays and MRIs are only used to rule out other potential causes of the pain.
Treatment options typically include rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, the use of a brace to support the elbow, and a program of stretching and strengthening exercises. Extreme cases may require surgery.