Bicep Tendonitis: Causes and Treatments

Dealing with bicep tendinitis flare-ups? Find out what might be to blame. 

The bicep (that curling muscle that most bodybuilders are checking out in the mirror) contains three tendons, two tendons that attach to the front of the shoulder and one that attaches to the elbow. While tendons are particularly durable and resilient, repetitive overhead motions can wear them out and lead to inflammation. This inflammation of the tendon is known as bicep tendinitis. Here’s what you should know about bicep tendonitis and when to turn to our Taylor, MI, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Alexander Martusiewicz.

What causes bicep tendonitis? 

Bicep tendonitis is most often caused by overuse or by placing repeated stress on the tendon. This is common in athletes, particularly ones who perform a lot of overhead movements, such as swimmers, as well as tennis and baseball players.

In some cases, overuse of the bicep tendon can cause it to tear. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to any pain, stiffness or limited range of motion in the bicep and front of the shoulder that could be a warning of tendonitis. A torn bicep tendon will require surgery.

Of course, there are other factors that could play a role in whether or not you develop bicep tendinitis. Other factors that could put you at risk include,

  • Weakness or tightness in the shoulder joint or muscles
  • Shoulder joint hypermobility
  • Poor body control
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Sudden increase or intensity in exercise

What are the symptoms of bicep tendonitis? 

You may be dealing with bicep tendinitis if you experience,

  • Pain in the front of the shoulder, especially when lifting your arm above you or reaching across your body
  • A shoulder that’s tender to the touch
  • A dull persistent pain in the shoulder, particularly after activity
  • Referred pain in the neck
  • Pain with activity, even everyday activities
  • Pain that gets worse at night or may remain even with rest

If you are experiencing these symptoms, it’s always a good idea to see a doctor for an evaluation.

What are the treatment options for bicep tendonitis? 

Most cases will go away with proper rest and home care. This means avoiding any and all athletic activities that may have caused these problems in the first place. Ice and pain relievers can also help manage pain and inflammation. Our orthopedic surgeon may recommend undergoing physical therapy to retrain and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the arm.

If you are looking for an orthopedic doctor in the Canton or Taylor, MI, area to address tendinitis pain, Dr. Martusiewicz and the team at Beaumont Orthopedic Associates are here to help. Call our office at (313) 887-6000 to schedule an appointment.

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