Biceps tendinopathy, sometimes called biceps tendinitis, refers to injuries to the tendons that connect the biceps muscle to the bones in the shoulder that are used when lifting, throwing, bending the elbow and reaching overhead.
Biceps tendinopathy may be caused by overuse, impingement of the tendon, instability of the shoulder joint, and trauma. It is most common in people between the ages of 18 and 35 who are involved in throwing sports, swimming, gymnastics, golf, tennis or martial arts, and in individuals whose jobs involve heavy lifting or overhead work.
In cases of constant wear and tear or overuse, a biceps tendon may fray and eventually tear at either the shoulder or the elbow.
Symptoms of biceps tendinopathy include pain when pressing on the tendon, swelling and pain at the shoulder or elbow that may be exacerbated by lifting or twisting the forearm, and a feeling of weakness in the shoulder or elbow.
Treatment of biceps tendinopathy at Lancaster Orthopedic Group focuses on resting the injured tendon to allow healing, using techniques to relieve pain, and improving muscle strength and tendon stability with exercise and physical therapy. In the case of a torn tendon, surgery may be recommended. In most patients, biceps tendinopathy resolves with treatment and patients enjoy a full range of motion and near-normal arm strength.