Bicep tendinitis is a condition that occurs when the tendons that attach the bicep muscles to the shoulder become inflamed. This condition is common among athletes and those who engage in repetitive overhead activities. If left untreated, bicep tendinitis can cause chronic pain and weakness in the affected arm. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for bicep tendinitis.
Causes of Bicep Tendinitis
Bicep tendinitis is caused by overuse of the shoulder joint. This can occur as a result of repetitive overhead activities such as throwing a baseball, swimming, and weightlifting. Over time, this repetitive motion can cause inflammation of the tendons that attach the bicep muscles to the shoulder, leading to bicep tendinitis.
Other risk factors for bicep tendinitis include age, as the tendons become less flexible with age, and shoulder instability, which can cause additional stress on the tendons.
Symptoms of Bicep Tendinitis
The most common symptom of bicep tendinitis is pain in the front of the shoulder. This pain may be worse when performing overhead activities or lifting heavy objects. Other symptoms of bicep tendinitis include:
- Pain that radiates down the arm
- Weakness in the affected arm
- Stiffness in the shoulder joint
- Clicking or popping sounds when moving the arm
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention promptly to prevent further damage and improve your quality of life.
Diagnosis of Bicep Tendinitis
To diagnose bicep tendinitis, Dr. Hicken will perform a physical exam and review your medical history. They may also order imaging tests such as an X-ray or MRI to rule out other conditions and determine the extent of the inflammation.
Treatment Options for Bicep Tendinitis
Rest: Resting the affected arm is an important part of treating bicep tendinitis. This can involve taking a break from activities that cause pain and using the arm as little as possible.
Ice: Applying ice to the affected area can help to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
Physical Therapy: Physical therapy involves exercises and stretches that can help to improve the strength and flexibility of the affected arm. It can also help to reduce pain and improve function.
Injections: Injections of corticosteroids can help to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. These injections are often used to treat conditions such as bicep tendinitis.
Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat bicep tendinitis. This is often the case for severe or chronic cases of the condition.
Prevention of Bicep Tendinitis
To prevent bicep tendinitis, it is important to take steps to reduce the risk of overuse injuries. This can include:
- Using proper technique when performing overhead activities
- Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of activities
- Taking breaks and stretching regularly
- Using proper equipment, such as a shoulder brace, to support the joint during activities
If you suspect you may have bicep tendinitis, know that through proper diagnosis, full recovery is possible. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hicken, click here.