Biceps Tendinitis is a condition where inflammation or irritation occurs at the upper biceps tendon leading to pain. The upper biceps, also known as the long head of the biceps tendon, is a cord-like structure that connects the biceps muscles to the bone in your shoulder socket.
In the early stage, the tendon becomes swollen. As the tendonitis develops, the covering of the tendon called the tendon sheath starts to thicken. The tendon itself grows large and thickens. The tendon at a later stage turns dark red due to inflammation. If it’s not treated on time, the damage to the tendon can cause partial or complete tearing.
Mostly, biceps tendinitis occurs along with other shoulder problems. In most cases, the rotator cuff tendons are also damaged. Some other problems that are associated with biceps tendinitis are –
An inflamed biceps tendon can rupture and tear, causing it to detach from one end of the bone to which it is attached. Tendon injuries do not repair themselves, while total ruptures will need surgery.
If you are young and active, loss of strength is totally unacceptable, especially with the physical disfigurement of bulging biceps that have lost their tension. For a sportsperson, such injuries can end your career, unless it is fixed in a timely manner.
One of the best ways to remain healthy, active and to avoid surgery is to prevent biceps tendinitis before they appear. You need to prevent tendon damage from getting serious.
People may develop biceps tendinitis as a form of repetitive strain injury. If you play a certain sport or have poor posture when working, they can tear the tendons in the biceps.
Some other risk factors include –
Make sure to warm up well before any exercise and take breaks when performing repetitive movements. Make sure you perform all movements safely and do not take any unnecessary risks that can cause injury. If you are playing a new sport, take proper lessons to understand the techniques.
Biceps Tendinitis symptoms can be divided into two categories. The first is the common symptoms that most people suffering from biceps tendinitis experience, and the other is when the biceps tendon has ruptured. However, the symptoms may vary from person to person.
After a trauma or a fall, most people with biceps tendinitis may hear a pop sound. After that, they may experience swelling, pain, and bruising in the area. It happens when the bicep tendon has broken or ruptured. Some other symptoms that may be present include –
Your surgeon will carry out an extensive medical and injury history. Later, they will perform a physical examination. The doctor will assess your shoulder for a range of strength, motion, and signs of shoulder instability during the examination. In addition, your doctor will also order some tests to check the function of the biceps.
The following tests will help your doctor confirm your diagnosis –
Your orthopedic surgeon will identify any other problem with your biceps tendinitis and treat them along. They will develop a personalized treatment plan depending on the severity of the injury and the symptoms you are experiencing.
Biceps tendinitis is typically treated with non-surgical treatments such as rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy, exercises, and corticosteroid injections. If the above treatment options are not working properly. Your doctor may recommend surgery if there is a tear that needs repairing.
Biceps tendinitis usually heals in a few weeks to a few months and does not cause any long-term issues. It is important to rest and rehabilitate the shoulder and arm to allow it to heal completely. Slow return to sports or regular activities can help prevent biceps tendonitis from recurring.