Bicep tendonitis, which is also more correctly known as bicep tendinopathy is an overuse injury to the biceps tendon in the shoulder.
What is Biceps Tendonitis?
It is an overuse condition in which the biceps tendon may be damaged, degenerate and inflamed. The biceps tendon runs through the front of the shoulder, passing through the bicipital groove and this is where the problems can occur. This affects the long head of the bicep. Check out this anatomy picture.
Bicep Tendontis can occur because of a specific trauma, however it is more commonly an overuse condition and due to the tendon gradually wearing and tearing.
What are the causes of Bicep Tendonitis?
As we have stated before, it is more commonly an overuse injury. Repetitive movements which place strain on the bicep tendon such as heavy lifting overhead, always moving your arm above your head, heavy pushing and pulling, being an overhead athlete and sometimes even sleeping badly are all common causes. This condition sometimes comes about from one traumatic activity, and most often occurs when using the arm overhead suddenly or doing a heavy lifting activity.
Symptoms of Bicep Tendonitis
Bicep tendonitis usually takes its form in an ache in the front of the shoulder. it worsens and occurs gradually over time. In severe cases it can feel like a catch in the front of the shoulder, and sometimes a sharp pain can be felt. These symptoms can become very severe if the condition is left untreated and the activities are repeated.
Often in smaller cases you will feel OK once the area is warm. Pain will go away during the activity, and afterwards once the shoulder cools down will have larger pain in the area. If the symptoms are severe then often the activity can’t be done because the pain is too high.
Anyone suffering from bicep tendonitis will have pain at the front of the shoulder when trying to lift something over head. Any activities that you need to elevate the arm for will aggravate it. If you have to use your arm out the front of your body you may also experience problems. Throwing can be a problem when you have to take the arm back across your body. Lying on that side whilst sleeping can also cause a lot of issues. If you touch the area right at the front of the shoulder you might feel pain and tenderness.