Biceps Tendinitis

Biceps tendinitis is an inflammation or irritation of the upper biceps tendon, which travels from the front of the upper arm to the top of the shoulder socket. Biceps tendinitis is a painful condition, but it can usually be relieved with rest and medication.


Biceps tendinitis is often the result of everyday wear and tear. It is more common in people who participate in activities that require repetitive shoulder movement, such as swimmers or construction workers. As biceps tendinitis progresses, the tendons begin to weaken, swell, and the tendon sheath covering the tendons can thicken.


Pain and tenderness in the shoulder that worsens with overhead lifting or moving are the primary symptoms. The upper arm may also ache under normal conditions. In some cases, a snapping sensation can be detected in the shoulder.


After discussing symptoms and medical history, physicians will often perform a physical exam to diagnose biceps tendinitis. Some of the factors they will look for include range of motion, shoulder strength, and instability. Imaging tests such as x-rays and MRIs may also be used to view the tendon and rule out other conditions.


In most cases, biceps tendinitis can be treated with conservative methods, such as rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and corticosteroid injections. Physical therapy is also beneficial in restoring strength and range of motion. If symptoms persist, surgery may be required.

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