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Ask Dr. Arun Phophalia Your Own Question
Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 34683
Experience:  MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
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Cause & treatment of bicep pain/weakness when extending arms

Resolved Question:

Cause & treatment of bicep pain/weakness when extending arms or reaching. I am 76 years old and recently had knee surgery. Pain/weakness started shortly after coming home from physical rehab center.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 6 years ago.



The causes of consideration would be;

1) Bicipital tendinitis
2) Brachial neuritis
3) Cervical radiculopathy
4) Cervical spondylosis
5) Suprascapular neuropathy

Majority of people with above problems will respond to physical therapy alone. The program should be aggressive, daily and assisted by the physical therapist. The regimen consists of active and active-assistive range-of-motion exercises combined with stretching. Other treatment modalities such as heat and massage may help. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory analgesics may also be beneficial. Deep electrotherapy in the form of short wave diathermy, Interferential current, trans cutaneous electrical stimulation, iontophoresis, phonophoresis also are very helpful initially.

Following investigations would be required;

1) X-ray of the neck spine
2) MRI of the neck and shoulder
3) Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) study
4) Electromyography (EMG)

You may consult following specialists;

a) Orthopedist
b) Neurologist
c) MD in Physical medicine and rehabilitation

Please feel free for your follow up questions.

Dr. Arun

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
It is quite painful to move arms; do you still recommend physical therapy?
Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 6 years ago.



Initially physical therapist will start with the deep electrotherapy for the pain. Anti-inflammatory analgesics should be continued round the clock. Once the pain improves, passive range of motion, active assisted exercises may be commenced. Against resistance exercises and exercises with the weight would only be started with further improvement of the pain. So exercises are very gradually increased. At no time there should be more than discomfort with the physical therapy.


It is privilege assisting you.


Dr. Arun

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