Bicep Tendonitis, also known as bicipital tendonitis is a serious medical condition that is caused when the main tendon connecting the biceps muscle and shoulder gets inflamed. Although bicep tendonitis is mainly found in people associated with weightlifting, swimming, gymnastics, and other sports that involve repetitive strain on the shoulder but everyone is susceptible to this condition. If not treated in time, bicep tendonitis can cause permanent damage to the elbow and forearm.

Causes: Following are a few common causes and risk factors of bicep tendonitis:

  • Overuse of the shoulder muscles may lead to bicep tendonitis.
  • Older adults with weak tendons are at greater risk of bicep tendonitis.
  • Accidents involving injuries to the shoulder can also lead to this condition.
  • It has been proven that certain shoulder problems like rotator cuff tears, shoulder joint instability, and tendon impingement can also lead to bicep tendonitis.

Symptoms: Listed below are a few common symptoms of bicep tendonitis:

  • Intense pain in shoulder
  • Tenderness in the area
  • Inability to lift a heavy object
  • Pain in the upper arm
  • Swelling in the area
  • Grating or snapping sound in the shoulder
  • Weakness in the arm and shoulder
  • Limited range of motion

Diagnosis: It is important to consult a doctor if the aforementioned symptoms are noticed. A physical examination and imaging tests like X-Ray and MRI to may be conducted to determine the severity of the condition and rule out other shoulder related conditions. Other tests that your doctor may perform include:

  • Neer test
  • Hawkins test
  • Yergason test
  • Speed test

Treatment: The treatment for bicep tendonitis strictly depends on the diagnostic report. Below is a list of treatments that are often recommended.

  • Rest: You might be advised to stop all types of physical activities for a few weeks and give complete rest to your body.
  • Medication and drugs: Anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed by the doctors to alleviate pain and inflammation.
  • Therapy: Your doctor may also refer you for physical therapy. A range of motion, strengthening, and stretching exercises may be recommended by the physical therapist to help you improve the flexibility of shoulder muscles. You may also be referred to an occupational therapist.
  • Surgery: In severe cases, surgical treatment may be recommended by your doctor.