Biceps Tendinitis

Understanding Your Pain

Biceps tendinitis is an inflammatory condition affecting the tendons that attach the biceps muscle to bones in the shoulder and elbow. The biceps muscle, located at the front of the upper arm, plays a crucial role in the movements of both the shoulder and elbow, including bending the elbow and rotating the forearm. Biceps tendinitis typically results from repetitive motion or overuse injuries, making it common among athletes and individuals engaged in activities requiring frequent overhead arm movements.

The condition is characterized by pain at the front of the shoulder, which can worsen with activity, especially lifting, pulling, or reaching overhead. The pain may radiate down the arm towards the elbow. Other symptoms can include tenderness to the touch at the shoulder, swelling, and a sensation of warmth over the affected tendon. In some cases, individuals may hear a snapping sound or sensation in the shoulder, indicative of the tendon moving out of place.
Diagnosis of biceps tendinitis involves a physical examination to assess pain, tenderness, and range of motion. Imaging tests, such as MRI or ultrasound, can help confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions, such as rotator cuff injuries or shoulder impingement.

We Can Help
Treatment typically begins with conservative measures aimed at reducing inflammation and pain. Rest, ice applications, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can provide initial relief. Physical therapy plays a pivotal role in rehabilitation, focusing on exercises to strengthen the shoulder muscles, improve flexibility, and restore normal movement patterns. Corticosteroid injections may be considered for persistent pain.

In cases where conservative treatments fail, or if the tendon is severely damaged, surgical intervention may be necessary to repair the tendon. Post-surgery, a comprehensive rehabilitation program is crucial for a full recovery.

Preventative measures include proper training techniques, adequate warm-up routines, and ergonomic adjustments to reduce strain on the tendons. Early treatment and management of biceps tendinitis are essential to prevent progression to more severe conditions, such as tendon tears.