What is Biceps Tendonitis?

Biceps Tendonitis is a common shoulder injury. It can be caused by many of the normal day to day repetitive movements many people do. Both weakness and pain in the shoulder are common symptoms of this condition. 

Defining Biceps Tendonitis

Your bicep is the muscle that runs from your shoulder to your elbow. These muscles are used frequently as you go about your day. With Biceps Tendonitis, the tendons that connect this muscle become irritated, often in the form of inflammation. If the condition continues to progress, it can cause a tear in the tendon, causing a deformity. This is unofficially known as a “Popeye arm” due to its appearance. 

Common Causes of Biceps Tendonitis

Although this condition can happen to nearly anyone, there are some groups of people who are at a higher risk. These groups include those who regularly swim, play tennis, or play baseball. As we get older, our tendons get weaker. This is caused by overuse. As this happens, the risk of Biceps Tendonitis gets higher. There are several other shoulder issues that can occur alongside this one, including:

  • Shoulder Instability
  • Arthritis in the Shoulder
  • Shoulder Impingement (where the tendon rubs the shoulder blade) 

Symptoms of Biceps Tendonitis

It can be hard to pinpoint the reason you are experiencing shoulder pain. Some of the most common symptoms of Biceps Tendonitis include:

  • Shoulder pain that worsens when raising arms above your head
  • Tenderness in the shoulder
  • Weakness in the shoulder or elbow
  • Occasionally hearing a snap when moving your shoulder
  • Having the “Popeye arm”

Sometimes, the condition can be diagnosed professionally by a physical examination. An MRI is typically required if a tear in the tendon is suspected. 

Treating Biceps Tendonitis

The exact course of treatment will be determined by the severity of your condition. In many cases, surgery is not necessary. On top of self-care at home, which involves things such as icing your arm and avoiding activities that cause pain, physical therapy can often help. This therapy will involve both stretching and strengthening moves, allowing you to regain your range of motion more quickly. Physical therapy may also be recommended if you do end up needing surgery for the same reasons. 

If you have questions about Biceps Tendonitis, feel free to visit Plymouth Bay Orthopedic Associates in Plymouth, Duxbury or Sandwich. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have. At a consultation, we can address your concerns and create a treatment plan for you. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!