Biceps Tendonitis

What is it and how is it treated?

Biceps Tendonitis Overview

The biceps is a large muscle that helps move the arm and forearm. The biceps tendons originate on the shoulder and insert on the elbow. Biceps tendonitis is inflammation of the biceps tendons on the shoulder and is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain.. Because symptoms occur on the shoulder, biceps tendonitis can be easily mistaken for a shoulder injury. An important part of the diagnostic process is having a Sano Orthopedics specialist’s review the injury history.

Common Causes of Biceps Tendonitis:

  • Overhead sports (baseball, swimming, tennis)
  • Weightlifting
  • Heavy lifting
  • Manual labor and household chores that require overhead shoulder use

Symptoms of Biceps Tendonitis may include:

  • Pain and tenderness on the front of the shoulder
  • A dull ache on the front of the shoulder
  • A snapping sensation when raising the arm

A Sano specialist will also perform a complete arm and shoulder examination before making an official diagnosis. Medical imaging studies (x-rays and an MRI) may be ordered to rule out certain injuries. Once a Sano specialist diagnoses biceps tendonitis, a customized treatment plan is prescribed.

How is Biceps Tendonitis Treated?

A Sano specialist centers biceps tendonitis treatment around decreasing inflammation and related symptoms. The following may be included in a Sano specialist’s treatment plan:

  1. Rest and ice. A break from activities that cause symptom flare-ups and ice application decrease inflammation, swelling, and pain.
  2. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). Oral and topical anti-inflammatory and pain relief medications are easy to take/apply and effective.
  3. Steroid injections. A corticosteroid and anesthetic injection decreases severe inflammation and pain very quickly.
  4. Physical therapy. Once pain is managed, exercises are prescribed to help you regain shoulder strength and flexibility and prevent future injuries.
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