Tendinitis is an inflammation accumulating around the tendon causing pain.
The long head of the biceps tendon that runs along the length of the arm and attaches to the rim of cartilage and shoulder blade is commonly affected by tendinitis.
Biceps tendinitis develops when abnormal and excessive forces are applied around the tendon such as pulling of muscle and tendon (tension), pinching or pushing (compression) or rubbing (shearing).
The factors that lead to biceps tendinitis are:
- Rotator cuff tears
- Weakness in the upper back muscles and rotator cuff
- Activities with the repetitive overhead movement of arms such as lifting boxes and placing dishes above the head
- Muscle tightness or shoulder joint
- Looseness of shoulder joint
- Poor body mechanics
- Age-related bodily changes
- Abrupt increase in an exercise routine
- Infections in the shoulder joint
Symptoms of biceps tendinitis
- Pain in the shoulder front that worsens with lifting, pulling or performing overhead activities
- Dull pain that moves down the upper arm bone
- Snapping or clicking sound or sensation in the shoulder that worsens during the night
Treatment for biceps tendinitis depends on the severity of the condition. In the case of mild injuries, the following measures will relieve the condition:
- Rest from your physical activities for about a week.
- Applying ice compress for about 15 to 20 minutes for four to six times a day to decrease inflammation.
- Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin.
- Stretching exercises and movements will strengthen the muscles and reduces strain on the tendon.
In severe injury cases, steroid injections and physiotherapy is recommended. And in most severe injuries, surgical intervention is recommended.