Some of the common causes of biceps tendonitis include:
Repetitive overhead motions: Activities that require frequent overhead movements, such as throwing a ball, swimming, or painting, can put stress on the biceps tendon and cause tendonitis.
Lifting weights: Weightlifting, particularly exercises that involve lifting heavy weights or doing bicep curls, can also lead to biceps tendonitis.
Sudden injury: A sudden injury, such as a fall or impact to the shoulder or elbow, can cause biceps tendonitis.
Aging: As we age, the biceps tendon may become weaker and more prone to injury.
Shoulder impingement: Shoulder impingement, which occurs when the tendons and bones in the shoulder rub against each other, can also cause biceps tendonitis.
The treatment for biceps tendonitis usually depends on the severity of the condition. In most cases, conservative treatments are effective and may include:
Rest and activity modification: Resting the affected arm and avoiding activities that worsen the symptoms is crucial to allow the tendon to heal. Your doctor may also recommend modifying your activities to avoid repetitive overhead movements.
Ice therapy: Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. You can apply ice for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
Pain relief medications: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naproxen can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Physical therapy: Physical therapy may be recommended to improve the strength and flexibility of the shoulder and arm muscles. A physical therapist may also use modalities like ultrasound, heat, or ice to reduce inflammation and pain.
Corticosteroid injections: In some cases, a doctor may recommend a corticosteroid injection to reduce inflammation and pain.
Surgery: Surgery is usually a last resort and is only considered if other treatments have failed to improve symptoms. Surgery may involve repairing the damaged tendon or removing any bone spurs or other structures that are causing compression of the tendon.
Here are some common physical therapy treatments for biceps tendonitis:
Range of motion exercises: These exercises involve moving the affected arm in different directions to improve flexibility and reduce stiffness.
Strengthening exercises: These exercises involve using resistance bands or weights to strengthen the muscles in the shoulder and arm, which can help take the load off the biceps tendon.
Manual therapy: This involves hands-on techniques such as massage, mobilization, and stretching to help reduce pain and stiffness.
Modalities: Modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and heat or ice therapy may be used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Activity modification: Your physical therapist may recommend modifying your activities or sports techniques to reduce stress on the biceps tendon and prevent further injury.
Education: Your physical therapist may provide education on proper posture, body mechanics, and techniques to help prevent future injuries.
It's important to follow your physical therapist's recommendations and complete your exercise program as directed to achieve the best possible outcomes.