Biceps Tendonitis

Biceps tendonitis is a condition characterized by inflammation or irritation of the biceps tendon, which connects the biceps muscle in the upper arm to the shoulder joint.

Biceps Tendonitis
Biceps Tendonitis
Anchor Health and Performance Icon
is this treatment right for you?

Your Guide to Understanding Biceps Tendonitis

What is Biceps Tendonitis?

Biceps tendonitis is a condition that involves inflammation or irritation of the biceps tendon, which connects the biceps muscle in the upper arm to the shoulder joint. This tendon plays an essential role in the movement and stability of the shoulder. Biceps tendonitis typically occurs due to repetitive overhead activities or overuse of the shoulder, such as throwing, lifting heavy objects, or performing certain sports movements.

The primary symptom of biceps tendonitis is pain in the front of the shoulder. The pain may be dull or sharp and can radiate down the upper arm. It often worsens with activities that involve lifting, reaching, or stretching the arm. Along with pain, individuals may experience tenderness and swelling in the affected area. Weakness in the affected arm is another common symptom, making it difficult to perform tasks that require strength, such as lifting objects or participating in sports.

How can Physiotherapy help treat Biceps Tendonitis?

Physiotherapy services offer a unique and effective approach to alleviating biceps tendonitis. Physiotherapists specialize in assessing and treating this condition by targeting the underlying causes and promoting healing. Through a combination of manual therapy techniques, such as joint mobilizations and soft tissue massage, along with specific exercises and stretches, physiotherapists can reduce pain, inflammation, and muscle imbalances in the affected area.

They may also provide guidance on modifying activities and ergonomics to prevent further aggravation. By tailoring treatment plans to the individual's needs, physiotherapy helps alleviate biceps tendonitis and improves overall function and mobility.

What causes Biceps Tendonitis?

Biceps tendonitis is typically caused by repetitive movements or overuse of the shoulder joint. Activities that involve the repeated overhead motion of the arm, such as throwing a ball, lifting heavy objects, or participating in certain sports like tennis or swimming, can contribute to the development of biceps tendonitis. These actions put strain on the biceps tendon, leading to inflammation and irritation.

In addition to repetitive movements, poor technique or form during these activities can also increase the risk of biceps tendonitis. Incorrect body mechanics or using improper equipment can place excessive stress on the shoulder joint, affecting the biceps tendon.

What treatments might help Biceps Tendonitis?

The treatment for biceps tendonitis aims to improve the condition and alleviate symptoms. Here are some ways in which treatment can help improve biceps tendonitis:

  • Pain relief: Treatment options such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen can help reduce pain and discomfort associated with biceps tendonitis.
  • Reduced inflammation: Anti-inflammatory medications and therapies can help decrease inflammation in the biceps tendon, promoting healing and reducing swelling.
  • Rest and immobilization: Resting the affected arm and avoiding activities that aggravate the condition can provide the tendon with the opportunity to heal. Immobilization through the use of slings or braces may be recommended in severe cases.
  • Physical therapy: Engaging in targeted exercises and stretches prescribed by a physical therapist can help strengthen the surrounding muscles and improve flexibility. This can aid in the rehabilitation process and prevent future recurrence.
  • Steroid injections: In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be administered to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. These injections are typically used sparingly and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
  • Surgical intervention: In more severe cases, arthroscopic or open surgery may be considered if conservative treatments do not provide sufficient relief. Surgery aims to repair or remove damaged tissues and restore proper function to the biceps tendon.

Signs of Biceps Tendonitis:

The signs of biceps tendonitis can include:

  • Pain in the front of the shoulder: You may experience a dull ache or sharp pain in the front of your shoulder, which can worsen with movement or when lifting objects.
  • Shoulder weakness: Biceps tendonitis can lead to weakness in the affected shoulder, making it difficult to perform certain activities that require strength and mobility.
  • Swelling and tenderness: The area around the biceps tendon may become swollen and tender to the touch. You may notice increased sensitivity or discomfort when pressure is applied.
  • Limited range of motion: Biceps tendonitis can restrict the range of motion in your shoulder joint. You may find it challenging to fully extend or rotate your arm without experiencing pain or discomfort.
  • Crepitus: In some cases, you may hear or feel a cracking or grinding sensation, known as crepitus, when moving your shoulder. This can indicate inflammation or irritation of the biceps tendon.

Symptoms of Biceps Tendonitis:

The symptoms of biceps tendonitis can vary, but commonly include:

  • Pain in the front of the shoulder: You may experience aching or sharp pain in the front part of your shoulder. This pain can worsen with certain movements, such as lifting, reaching, or stretching your arm.
  • Weakness in the shoulder: Biceps tendonitis can lead to weakness in the affected shoulder. You may find it difficult to perform tasks that require strength, like carrying heavy objects or doing push-ups.
  • Swelling and tenderness: The area around the biceps tendon may become swollen and tender to the touch. It might feel warm or appear red due to inflammation.
  • Limited range of motion: Biceps tendonitis can restrict the full range of motion in your shoulder joint. You may have difficulty fully extending or rotating your arm without experiencing pain or discomfort.
  • Clicking or popping sensation: Some people may notice clicking or popping sensations when moving their shoulder. This can occur due to irritation or inflammation of the biceps tendon.
Naturopathy
Chiropractic
Physiotherapy
Naturopathy
Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy
Chiropractic
Physiotherapy
Chiropractic
Chiropractic
Chiropractic
Anchor Health and Performance Icon
is this treatment right for you?

When is the right time to see a Physiotherapist for Biceps Tendonitis?

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your shoulder that is affecting your daily activities, it may be a good time to consider seeing a physiotherapist for help with biceps tendonitis. This can include symptoms like persistent shoulder pain, difficulty lifting or reaching, and swelling or tenderness in the front of your shoulder.

It is advisable to seek professional assistance if your symptoms persist or worsen over time, or if they do not improve with rest and home remedies. By consulting with a healthcare professional, they can assess your condition, provide a proper diagnosis, and develop a suitable treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

Meet our Lead Registered Physiotherapist

Brittany Pereira

Brittany Pereira

Registered Physiotherapist

Registered Physiotherapist with a degree from the University of Toronto

Brittany enjoys working with patients across age groups and backgrounds to help them move better, get stronger, understand their bodies and ultimately, feel more confident. She combines her knowledge and clinical experience to best serve her patients.

Anchor Health and Performance Icon

The Anchor Difference

PATIENT-DRIVEN CARE

ONE-ON-ONE TREATMENTS

EVIDENCE-INFORMED PLANS

are you ready to move and feel better?

book your appointment today

Let's address your Biceps Tendonitis concerns together!

Physiotherapist Brittany Pereira working with client at Anchor Health and Performance Clinic Mississauga
Interior Lobby at Anchor Health and Performance Clinic in Mississauga