Aging: As we age, the tendons in our body become less flexible and more susceptible to injury and inflammation.
Poor posture: Poor posture can put additional stress on the biceps tendons, increasing the risk of injury and inflammation.
Shoulder impingement: Shoulder impingement occurs when the tendons and bursa in the shoulder joint become compressed, leading to inflammation and pain in the area.
Rotator cuff tears: Rotator cuff tears can cause changes in the mechanics of the shoulder joint, increasing the risk of biceps tendonitis.
The symptoms of biceps tendonitis can vary depending on the severity of the condition but typically include:
Pain in the front of the shoulder may radiate down the arm.
Pain or tenderness in the elbow.
Weakness in the affected arm.
Stiffness or limited range of motion in the shoulder and/or elbow.
Clicking or popping sounds when moving the affected arm.
Biceps tendonitis is typically diagnosed through a physical exam, which may include a range of motion test to evaluate flexibility and strength in the shoulder and elbow joints. Your healthcare provider may also order imaging tests, such as an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI, to evaluate the extent of the damage and rule out other conditions, such as a rotator cuff tear or arthritis.
The treatment for biceps tendonitis typically involves a combination of rest, physical therapy, and medication. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damaged tendons.
Rest: Resting the affected arm is crucial to allow the tendons to heal and reduce inflammation. This may involve avoiding activities that exacerbate symptoms and immobilizing the arm with a sling or brace.
Physical therapy: Physical therapy is often recommended to help improve the range of motion and strength in the affected arm. This may include exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the shoulder and elbow joints, as well as techniques to improve posture and mechanics.
Medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, may be recommended to help reduce pain and inflammation in the affected area. In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be recommended to reduce inflammation and pain.
Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damaged tendons. This may involve reattaching the tendons to the bone or removing damaged tissue.
Preventing biceps tendonitis involves taking steps to reduce the risk of overuse and injury. This may include:
Avoiding repetitive overhead arm movements.
Using proper technique and equipment when engaging in physical activity.
Maintaining good posture.
Incorporating stretching and strengthening exercises into your routine.
Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of physical activity to avoid sudden strain on the tendons.
How physiotherapy helpful in biceps tendonitis
Physiotherapy is an essential part of the treatment plan for biceps tendonitis. Physiotherapy aims to reduce pain, restore range of motion, and improve muscle strength and flexibility in the affected area. Here are some ways in which physiotherapy can be helpful in treating biceps tendonitis:
Manual therapy: Manual therapy techniques, such as soft tissue massage and joint mobilization, can help reduce pain and inflammation in the affected area. These techniques involve gentle movements and pressure on the affected tendons and muscles to improve circulation, reduce tension, and promote healing.
Strengthening exercises: Strengthening exercises for the biceps muscle and surrounding muscles can help improve muscle strength and stability in the shoulder and elbow joints. This can reduce the risk of further injury and improve overall function in the affected area. Some common strengthening exercises for biceps tendonitis include bicep curls, shoulder presses, and rows.
Range of motion exercises: Range of motion exercises can help improve flexibility and mobility in the affected area. These exercises involve gentle stretching and movements of the shoulder and elbow joints to reduce stiffness and improve function. Some common range of motion exercises for biceps tendonitis includes shoulder circles, elbow flexion, extension, and shoulder shrugs.
Posture correction: Poor posture can contribute to biceps tendonitis by putting additional stress on the affected tendons and muscles. A physiotherapist can assess your posture and provide exercises and techniques to help correct any imbalances or weaknesses that may be contributing to the condition.
Education: A physiotherapist can provide education and advice on how to prevent further injury and manage symptoms of biceps tendonitis. This may include advice on proper lifting techniques, ergonomic adjustments, and modifications to your daily activities to reduce strain on the affected area.
In addition to these techniques, a physiotherapist may also use modalities such as ultrasound, heat or ice therapy, and electrical stimulation to help reduce pain and inflammation in the affected area.
Overall, physiotherapy can be a valuable tool in the treatment of biceps tendonitis. By addressing the underlying causes of the condition, improving muscle strength and flexibility, and providing education and advice, physiotherapy can help reduce pain, improve function, and prevent further injury. If you are experiencing symptoms of biceps tendonitis, speak to a healthcare professional to determine if physiotherapy may be appropriate for your condition.
Some Exercise To easily get over biceps tendonitis
While it’s important to consult with a physiotherapist before beginning any exercise program for biceps tendonitis, here are some exercises that may help reduce pain and promote healing:
Isometric exercises: Isometric exercises involve contracting the muscle without moving the joint. These exercises can help build strength without putting additional stress on the affected tendon. One example of an isometric exercise for biceps tendonitis is to stand with your arm extended in front of you, your elbow straight, and your hand facing the ceiling. Contract your biceps muscle by flexing your elbow and holding for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat for 10 repetitions.
Eccentric exercises: Eccentric exercises involve slowly lengthening the muscle while it is contracting. These exercises have been shown to be effective in the treatment of tendinopathy. One example of an eccentric exercise for biceps tendonitis is to hold a weight in your hand with your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle, palm facing down. Slowly lower the weight to your thigh, taking 3-5 seconds to complete the movement. Repeat for 10 repetitions.
Shoulder blade exercises: Strengthening the muscles around the shoulder blade can help reduce strain on the biceps tendon. One example of a shoulder blade exercise for biceps tendonitis is to lie face down on a mat with your arms at your sides. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for 5 seconds, then release. Repeat for 10 repetitions.
Range of motion exercises: Gentle range of motion exercises can help improve flexibility and reduce stiffness in the affected joint. One example of a range of motion exercise for biceps tendonitis is to stand facing a wall with your arm extended and palm flat against the wall. Slowly rotate your body away from the wall, keeping your arm straight, until you feel a gentle stretch in your shoulder. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
Scapular retraction exercises: Scapular retraction exercises involve squeezing the shoulder blades together to promote proper alignment and reduce strain on the biceps tendon. One example of a scapular retraction exercise for biceps tendonitis is to sit or stand with your arms at your sides. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for 5 seconds, then release. Repeat for 10 repetitions.
It’s important to start with light resistance and progress slowly to avoid further injury. Always listen to your body and stop if you experience pain or discomfort. A physiotherapist can help you develop a safe and effective exercise program to promote healing and prevent further injury.
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