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Biceps Tendinopathy

What is Biceps Tendinopathy?

Biceps tendinopathy is a term used to describe several injuries that can occur in and around the biceps tendon:

  1. Biceps Tendinitis – Inflammation of the tendon itself
  2. Biceps Tendinosis – Degeneration of the tendon (non-inflamed)
  3. Biceps Tenosynovitis – Inflammation of the tendon sheath
  4. Biceps tendon rupture – This is usually secondary to a preexisting tear or chronic degeneration 
BIceps Tendinitis
Biceps Tendinopathy

What causes a Biceps Tendinopathy?

The exact cause of a biceps tendinopathy depends on the pre-existing factors prior to the injury as well as if it is an acute injury or results from prolonged overuse. It is also rare for a biceps tendon injury to occur on its own. It is common to find biceps tendon involvement with a rotator cuff injury, shoulder instability or labral tears. Certain sports such that involve throwing, swimming or gymnastics are also predisposing factors. As well as jobs that require a lot of overhead work.

Symptoms of a Biceps Tendinopathy

  • Pain in the front of the shoulder and sometimes pain into the elbow
  • Pain or weakness when lifting arm in front of you
  • Pain when raising the arm above your head, especially with activities like throwing
  • Possible snapping when moving the arm
Biceps tendinopathy
Biceps tendinitis

How is a Biceps Tendinopathy treated?

Treatment for a biceps tendinopathy depends on the severity of the injury but can include:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Anti-Inflammatories or painkillers for pain management
  • Cross friction and soft tissue massage
  • Correction of abnormal shoulder biomechanics