Biceps tendonitis is inflammation or irritation of the tendon that connects the biceps muscle to the shoulder. Pain is frequently felt in front of the shoulder and can occur with weakness. The biceps muscle is the muscle on the front of your arm that helps with bending your elbow, rotating your shoulder and sometimes lifting overhead. It has two parts called the long head that attaches to your shoulder joint and the short head that attaches more inwards at a part of the shoulder blade called the coronoid process. Biceps tendonitis involved the long head where it attaches into the shoulder. It can often be relieved with rest, ice, and therapeutic treatment.
Most of the time bicep tendonitis occurs due to overuse of overhead activities. As we age, the tendons weaken and degrade with wear and tear. Adding in overhead and frequent overhead increases this process. With poor posture or shoulder blade stability, the shoulder blade can also tilt forward and increase the wear and tear on the biceps.
Biceps tendonitis often occurs in junction with other shoulder pathologies. At times it is also linked to rotator cuff involvement including tears or impingement. Other pathologies that can occur with biceps tendonitis include:
- Arthritis of shoulder
- Tears in the labrum of the shoulder
- Shoulder instability
- Shoulder impingement
Signs and Symptoms:
- Pain and tenderness at the front of the shoulder
- This can worsen with lifting or overhead activities including reaching.
- Pain that moves down the arm towards the elbow
- Possible snapping at the front of the shoulder.
How can I prevent this?
Biceps tendonitis can be prevented with decreasing un-needed overhead activities, improving posture, strengthening shoulder blade stabilizers and the rotator cuff. Working with the therapists at Arvada Spine and Sport can help with above, as well as, prescribe appropriate stretching in order to treat or prevent biceps tendonitis.