Bicep Tendinitis is the inflammation of biceps tendon which causes pain in the front part of the shoulder or upper arm. The biceps is a muscle at front of your upper arm and attaches at the elbow and two different places in your shoulder. Biceps tendon connects the muscle to the bone. Biceps muscle allows you to bend your elbow, to turn your hand from a palm down position to a palm up position and helps to stabilize your shoulder joint.
Biceps Tendinitis Cause
Repetitive microtrauma in case of overhead throwing or racquet athletes
Acute inflammation in case of sudden overuse
Biceps Tendinitis Symptoms
Pain while moving your arm up especially forward over shoulder height and bending your elbow.
Painful to touch in front of the shoulder.
Deep intense pain which intensifies with lifting, overhead reaching and pulling.
Pain is usually on the front of the shoulder but may radiate down on the outer side of your arm to your hand.
Pain usually worsen at night especially if you try to sleep on the affected side.
Biceps Tendinitis Treatment
Your Physiotherapist will be able to do an assessment to confirm the diagnosis and come up with a treatment plan to help you return to normal activities. Initial treatment will be focussed on reducing the pain and inflammation. You will be advised with activity modification to reduce further stain on the muscle/tendon. Ice, ultra sound therapy, laser, moist heat, interferential current, taping or acupuncture will be used with gentle exercises and manual therapy techniques. The exercises will be then progressed to improve pain free range of movement, flexibility and strength.
The goal of therapy is to help you return to your sport or activity as soon as it is safely possible. Return to your activity depends on how soon your shoulder recovers. In general, the longer you have symptoms before you start the treatment, the longer it will take to get better.
You can safely return to your sport or activity when:
Your injured shoulder has full range of motion without pain.
Your shoulder has regained normal strength compared to your other shoulder.
In throwing sports, you must gradually increase your tolerance to throwing from gentle tossing.
In contact sports your shoulder must not be tender to touch and progress from minimal contact to harder contact.
You can best prevent biceps tendinitis by doing warm up and stretching exercises for your arm and shoulder before your activity.