An Overview of Bicipital Tendinitis

Bicipital tendinitis

Whether you are a professional athlete, a weekend warrior, or just someone who enjoys playing tennis, biceps tendinitis can become a serious problem. This article will provide an overview of the condition, including the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.


Symptoms of bicipital tendinitis include a pain in the anterior shoulder over the bicipital groove and a decreased range of motion in the shoulder. This condition is common among sports and occupations that involve overhead activity. Its onset can be gradual or sudden. Although the pain is usually localized to the proximal humerus, it can sometimes radiate to the elbow. Some patients require tenodesis of the biceps tendon into the humerus to alleviate symptoms. Some patients with bicipital tendinitis are apprehensive about surgery, but the results are usually positive. Surgical intervention can be an expensive and painful proposition, but it is the only option if pain and loss of range of motion are severe.

The best way to prevent the disease is to avoid participating in activities that lead to the development of the condition. Typical exercises include lifting heavy weights, manual elbow flexors, and other repetitive activities. Performing activities that strengthen the biceps will help keep the problem at bay. In the event that surgery is necessary, a multi-disciplinary approach should be taken. A physical therapist will develop a personalized program to suit the needs of the patient. The treatment may also include a steroid injection into the biceps tendon sheath.

While the medical community is still debating what the optimum prescription is, the most popular option is to take a multi-drug regimen. The combination of anti-inflammatory, steroids, and corticosteroids has proved effective in many patients with the condition. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, a patient should receive a multidisciplinary treatment plan that includes stretching and strengthening exercises, along with a variety of passive movements. In addition to exercises geared toward reducing inflammation, patients should avoid excessive weightlifting and resisted supination of the forearm. This is especially important in younger patients and those who are involved in contact sports. Those who are prone to rotator cuff injuries should wear protective headgear and elbow protectors at all times. Those who want to get the most out of their exercise routine should also consider participating in an offseason conditioning regimen.


Identifying the diagnosis of bicipital tendinitis is often based on physical examination. However, there are some tests that can be used to help confirm or refute the diagnosis.

A test known as Yergason’s sign can be used to identify the presence of bicipital tendinitis. The test involves the examiner placing a downward force on the wrist and shoulder and abducting the shoulder to 30 degrees. When the patient fails to maintain the position, the test is positive.

Another test that is often used to diagnose bicipital tendinitis is Speed’s test. The test produces pain over the long head of the biceps. If the pain is relieved by injection of fluid along the bicipital groove, the diagnosis of bicipital tendinitis has been confirmed.

The most sensitive test for biceps pain is the focal digital pressure applied directly to the origin. The sensitivity of this test is improved by using the Bicipital Stress Test (BST).

When a patient has biceps tendinitis, there may be increased swelling in the area. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be used to reduce the swelling. Ice can also be applied to reduce swelling.

In patients with biceps tendinitis, it is important to perform strength testing to detect atrophy. It is also possible to identify rotator cuff disorders with this test.

X-rays can help diagnose the condition, but they are not always necessary. Sonography is more sensitive than x-rays and can provide better details about the soft tissues in the shoulder.

In addition, an arthroscopy can be performed to diagnose the condition. In this procedure, a camera is inserted into the shoulder joint and pictures are displayed on television. A surgeon can then perform an arthroscopy to evaluate the condition of the biceps tendon. This is often done when the injury is severe. In addition, it can be useful in the acute stage of inflammation.

Other tests that can be used to diagnose the condition include Hawkins’ test, which is used to identify a rotator cuff disorder. Additionally, physical therapy and steroid injections can be used to reduce the pain and weaken the injured tendon.

Treatment options

Usually, the best treatment for bicep tendinitis is to try non-surgical methods. The aim is to decrease pain, inflammation, and limit the likelihood of the tendon from becoming injured. However, if the symptoms are persistent, physical therapy may be recommended to restore strength and range of motion. Depending on the extent of the injury, patients with bicep tendinitis may need surgery.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to reduce pain and swelling. These medications can be prescribed in pill form or topical forms. In addition, ice treatments are sometimes administered to reduce swelling. Surgical approaches include removal of calcium deposits, which usually involves downsizing the deposits by arthroscopic means.

Physical therapy involves the application of a variety of stretching and strengthening exercises to keep muscles and tendons flexible. A physical therapist can also offer a massage. The aim is to restore muscle and joint mobility, strengthen the shoulder, and increase range of motion. The patient should only perform exercises that are approved by the doctor.

MRI and ultrasound are helpful in examining the soft tissues of the shoulder. They can show the extent of the injury better than X-rays. If the damage is more serious, a patient might need to undergo arthroscopy, which involves inserting a small camera into the shoulder. This allows the surgeon to assess the condition of the biceps and other structures of the shoulder.

A physical therapist can help a patient with bicep tendinitis achieve a full recovery by developing a treatment plan that includes a series of exercises. In some cases, a patient might be given cortisone injections. These shots are effective in relieving pain, but they can also weaken the surrounding soft tissues, increasing the risk of future tendon injuries.

Often, a person with bicep tendonitis will experience pain in the bicipital groove, where the tendon attaches to the bone. This is aggravated by abduction or elevation.

The risk of developing biceps tendinitis increases with age. However, younger athletes are more likely to suffer from the condition than older adults. In addition, a person’s job or occupation can contribute to a biceps tendon injury.

Common conditions affecting the biceps

Among the most common conditions affecting the biceps is biceps tendinitis. Biceps tendinitis is a painful condition that occurs due to overuse of the muscle. It is often accompanied by other shoulder disorders, such as rotator cuff tear. This condition is usually diagnosed by a physician with a physical exam and x-ray.

Depending on the type of biceps tendinitis, a patient may need surgery or conservative treatment. The cause of the problem can be due to an accident, medical condition, or age. It is possible to treat biceps tendinitis by resting the affected area and performing exercises.

A doctor will perform a thorough physical examination of the biceps. The examination should include a detailed history and a physical evaluation. The examination should include palpation, range of motion, and muscle strength. Some doctors will also conduct an x-ray to check for other issues.

Patients with biceps tendinitis will experience pain when performing overhead activities. They may also have pain on push and pull. The condition may affect both the long and short heads of the biceps. A patient with biceps tendinitis should avoid heavy lifting and overhead motions, and take steps to reduce the stress on the muscle.

In some cases, a biceps tenotomy is a possible option. This procedure involves placing a piece of bone or plastic into the bicipital groove to hold the effected tendon in place. Surgical procedures for biceps tendinitis are most commonly performed arthroscopically. This surgery is less invasive than open surgery, but it does involve a recovery period.

Patients with biceps tenotomy should be rehabilitated with a physical therapy program. The rehab program will include exercises designed to improve muscle strength and stability. It can take several weeks for the patient to complete a full rehabilitation plan. This rehabilitation plan will include strengthening exercises and flexibility exercises.

Regardless of the treatment chosen, it is important for the patient to follow the instructions of their physician. This will help ensure a full recovery. The rehabilitation program may start with a physical therapy program designed to unload the effected tendon. The treatment program should also focus on increasing range of motion in the shoulder and strengthening the scapular stabilizers.

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