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).

Treatment

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.

Rehabilitation

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.

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment with a physician or other Sports Medicine expert, call 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).

UPMC Center for Sports Medicine
3200 S. Water St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com