Treatment for Biceps Tendonitis
If you have pain in your shoulder, it could be caused by biceps tendonitis. The biceps muscle in your upper arm is connected to your shoulder bones by tendons. If these tendons get damaged and inflamed, it causes pain and weakness in your arm and in your shoulder.
Any ongoing shoulder pain should be diagnosed as soon as possible – the sooner you know what is wrong, the easier it is to treat a condition conservatively.
At Capital Orthopaedics, we are focused on offering the most efficient treatment plans with minimal intervention. If surgery is necessary, our renowned consultant surgeons use cutting-edge minimally invasive surgical techniques to ensure quicker healing and recovery times.
Led by renowned orthopaedic surgeon, Simon Moyes, the Capital Orthopaedics team is made up of highly experienced medical professionals including surgeons, radiologists, physiotherapists and nurses.
If you have biceps tendonitis symptoms, or any other shoulder problems, contact us to book an appointment.
What is Biceps Tendonitis?
The stretchy tendons that connect the biceps muscle at the front of your arm to your shoulder joint are called the biceps tendons. Together with other tendons, they form part of the ‘rotator cuff’ – a tube of tendons in your shoulder.
One bicep tendon runs over the top of the ‘ball’ part of the ball and socket of your shoulder, and the other runs across the front of the joint attaching to the shoulder blade. These tendons help you to bend and raise your arm, rotate your forearm and stabilise your shoulder joint.
Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon is caused by tiny tears that occur due to overuse, such as repeated overhead motions in sport or at work.
What are the Symptoms of Biceps Tendonitis?
The symptoms of biceps tendonitis can be similar to other shoulder conditions. For this reason, it is always advisable to get medical advice and a thorough diagnosis. Typically, biceps tendonitis results in:
- Throbbing, aching pain in your shoulder that may radiate down your arm.
- Pain when you throw, lift or pull with your arm.
- Cramping, swelling or tingling in your shoulder
- Pain gets worse at night
- Reduced range of motion
What Causes Biceps Tendonitis?
Biceps tendonitis is usually caused by overuse, although there can be other factors:
- Repetitive overhead movements (eg throwing, tennis, swimming)
- Pre-existing shoulder injury
- Sudden force
- Age – tendons can deteriorate as we get older
How Can Biceps Tendonitis be Treated?
Biceps tendonitis can usually be treated with a period of rest, ice and anti-inflammatories. If pain persists after six weeks, you may be offered:
- Injections – a steroid injection into the tendon sheath to reduce inflammation.
- Physiotherapy – to build up the bicep and shoulder muscles
- Surgery – in rare cases, the tendon is repaired using arthroscopic surgery
How Capital Orthopaedics Can Help Treat Your Biceps Tendonitis
At Capital Orthopaedics, shoulder pain is diagnosed using physical assessment and scans. An MRI or ultrasound scan is used to assess tendon or any other soft tissue damage.
An x-ray may also be offered to rule out arthritis or a fracture.
Our team is dedicated to offering the lowest impact treatment for biceps tendonitis, so where possible, we will provide a programme of physiotherapy, followed by ultrasound-guided anti-inflammatory injections if necessary. In rare cases, tendon repair is carried out using keyhole (arthroscopic) surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
A torn biceps tendon is a more severe condition that biceps tendonitis. The time taken to heal depends on the severity of the tear and whether it requires surgery. It can take a few weeks of conservative treatment (physiotherapy and steroid injections), or three or four months to recover from a torn biceps operation.
Yes. Complete tears, or ruptures, can be repaired by re-anchoring the tendon into the shoulder joint, or using a graft tendon from elsewhere in your body (or from a donor).
A torn biceps tendon, even a minor tear, will usually require physiotherapy to help build up the strength and mobility of your arm and shoulder.
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