In biceps tendonitis, the patient feels pain in front side of upper arm and shoulder joint. The reason is inflammation and irritation of biceps tendon. Biceps muscles are situated in front of upper arm. The two biceps tendons attach bicep muscles to the shoulder joint. The function of bicep muscles is movement of forearm.
Long head and short head are two bicep tendons. It is usually the long head of bicep tendon that gets inflamed resulting in a condition called bicep tendonitis. The most common cause of bicep tendonitis is overuse of the muscles.It can be while playing sports or doing certain type of work which requires lifting, pulling or throwing.
The pain and weakness can be gradual in onset due to constant wear and tear. The symptoms can be abrupt from direct injury. Treatment is usually conventional which consists of rest and anti inflammatory medication. Gradual employment of physiotherapy exercise helps to strengthen the sore tendons and bicep muscles.
Signs And Symptoms Of Biceps Tendonitis
The most common symptom is pain. Especially at night the pain is severe and is felt in front of the shoulder.The pain can be gradual or abrupt. It may radiate in whole of the upper arm. Pain restricts the movement of upper arm. With bicep tendonitis, the person finds difficulty in lifting objects. Due to pain, he is not able to lift his hand above the head. He finds difficulty while combing.
There may be associated swelling and redness around the bicep tendon. Swelling may restrict the free movement of the affected arm.
A peculiar snapping sensation can be heard or felt by the patient. It is commonly observed when the bicep tendon gets trapped between the bones of the shoulder joint. The sensation is remarkable when the arm is moved in certain direction. Surprisingly, snapping sensation does not cause pain.
To begin with, the pain of bicep tendonitis is mild. It is felt with activity. However after few days, patient may feel pain even when he is resting.
How To Treat Biceps Tendonitis?
- It is important to avoid all activities which are responsible to aggravate pain. The affected person should therefore give rest to his arm. He has to wear a sling. Ice fomentation helps to reduce swelling and redness.
- He has to avoid all sport activities. All type of physical hard work has to be suspended for some time. Giving rest is half way to cure.
- The affected person should avoid lifting, stretching and elevating the affected arm.
- To reduce pain, the patient may require anti inflammatory medicines. In modern medicine, NSAID’s are used to relieve pain and inflammation.
- Use of turmeric is a natural way to cure the condition. Turmeric has properties to reduce swelling and irritation in tissues and bones. Curcumin present in turmeric is the ingredient responsible for its action.
Exercises For Biceps Tendonitis
After few days or weeks of rest to the affected arm, the patient may require physical therapy. The intention is to strengthen the bicep tendon and bicep muscle. It also helps the arm to be more flexible and perform range of motion.
Soft tissue massage helps to increase the circulation. It provides enough nutrition to the sore and irritated tendon and rehabilitates it.
Shoulder blade exercise is beneficial in improving the range of motion.
- Sit or stand straight.
- The shoulders have to be stretched slightly backwards.
- Now squeeze the shoulder blade as much as possible.
- Hold it for 10 seconds.
Do this simple exercise 10 to 15 times in a day.