Bicep tendonitis is inflammation of the long head of the bicep tendon. A tough band of fibrous tissue, the bicep tendon connects the bicep muscle in the front of your upper arm to the top of your shoulder socket (glenoid). Your shoulder socket is lined with soft cartilage called the labrum which helps the head of the upper arm bone (humerus) fit into the shoulder socket. Bicep tendonitis can be caused by repetitive overhead activities at home, at work or at play.
Bicep Tendonitis Symptoms
You may experience one or more of these common symptoms of bicep tendonitis:
Symptoms of bicep tendonitis may resemble other medical conditions or problems, so always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
Bicep Tendonitis Causes
The main cause of bicep tendonitis is the gradual wear-and-tear process that occurs with aging and is associated with a lifetime of overhead activities. The degeneration of bicep tendons can be worsened by repeating the same shoulder motions again and again. Other causes of bicep tendonitis include:
Shoulder Problems Related to Biceps Tendonitis
Biceps tendonitis often occurs in tandem with other shoulder problems:
Bicep Tendonitis Treatment
Treatments for bicep tendonitis include nonsurgical approaches such as modifying the activities that cause the problem, icing to reduce inflammation, splinting or immobilization, steroid injections and anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and naproxen. If your condition doesn't improve with nonsurgical treatment, your doctor may recommend shoulder arthroscopy surgery, a minimally invasive procedure that repairs the most severe cases of bicep tendonitis.
The multidisciplinary team of orthopaedic experts at North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedic Institute's Shoulder and Elbow Services in New York treats bicep tendonitis as well as a broad range of shoulder and elbow conditions that can occur at any stage of life.