Biceps Tendonitis General Information
Tendonitis is a overuse injury where the tendon becomes inflamed. Biceps Tendonitis is tendonitis of the tendons that connect the biceps, the round muscle on the inside of the upper arm, to the shoulder and the elbow. There are two tendons in the biceps that attach at the should and one tendon that attaches at the elbow.
What puts you at risk for Biceps tendonitis?
Biceps tendonitis occurs more frequently in people that use repetitive motion of the bicep or quick bursts of high energy. Swimmers, golfers, and tennis players, are athletes that are commonly effected by biceps tendonitis due to the nature of the movements they often use.
What are the Symptoms of Biceps Tendonitis
The symptoms of biceps tendonitis include pain at the shoulder or elbow when you use your upper arm. The arm can be weakened as well as tender to the touch on the biceps or at the elbow or shoulder. The pain may become more noticeable while lifting overhead, and in some patients pain can also radiate down the arm. If biceps tendonitis is suspected a trip to a orthopedic specialists would be warranted to get a diagnosis, and rule out other diagnoses. After a initial physical exam the physician may order a MRI to confirm their hypothesis as well as to determine the extent of the inflammation and possible damage.
What is the treatment of Biceps Tendonitis
If you suspect you have biceps tendonitis you should refrain from the activity that caused it. Resting the tendons along with over the counter NSAIDs can clear up many cases. If your pain continues, or if you are an athlete, you may want to see an orthopedic specialist to help expedite and monitor your recovery.
Provider care for Biceps Tendonitis
Cortisone injections can help relieve acute inflammation. Adding a physical therapy routine to help support the joints can alleviate some of the strain put on the tendon. Ruling out a tendon tear would also be a consideration in getting into to see a specialist. If you have Biceps Tendonitis you may also want to discuss if you would be a candidate for PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections if other modalities are not giving relief. If you tendonitis is secondary to a shoulder impingement and you are unable to resolve the impingement to take the strain off of your biceps tendon, then a shoulder impingement surgical intervention may be considered.