Tendonitis of the Biceps

Tendonitis of the biceps is inflammation of the biceps tendon and synovial sheath caused by friction and irritation of the biceps tendon in the bicipital groove as the humeral head moves on the tendon during active shoulder motion (overhand throwing motion).


Nonsurgical Treatment

Treatment generally does not start with surgery. The first step is to rest the arm and shoulder by temporarily switching to another sport or activity that does not include overhead activity. Ice applications and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, can help reduce inflammation. The physician may recommend stretching and progressive strengthening exercises to build muscle endurance and restore range of motion. Overhead activity can be resumed gradually.

Surgical Treatment

Arthroscopic surgery may be considered if pain results from shoulder instability or from pressure on the tendon from the shoulder bones. Arthroscopy uses fiber optic technology and small instruments to examine the shoulder joint and anchor the tendon properly.


After surgery, the orthopaedic surgeon will prescribe a rehabilitation program that includes stretching and strengthening exercises. Early movement is important, but you should wait for your physician's approval before doing any heavy lifting or before returning to sports.

As with most shoulder injuries, using correct technique along with a stretching and strengthening program can help prevent recurrences.

Content on this page is for informational purposes only. If injured, please consult a physician.

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