Biceps Tendonitis

After rehabilitation for biceps tendonitis, return to throwing sports gradually. Build tolerance by starting with gentle tossing, then gradually throw harder. To resume contact sports, your shoulder must not be tender to the touch, and contact should progress from minimal contact to harder contact.

Biceps tendonitis, or bicipital tendonitis, is inflammation that causes pain in the front part of the shoulder or upper arm. Remember that tendons are the connect tissue bands that attach muscle to bone. The biceps muscle is located in the front part of the upper arm. It attaches at the elbow and in two places at the shoulder.

Biceps tendonitis is caused by overuse of the arm and shoulder, or from an injury to the biceps tendon.

The primary symptom is a feeling of pain when you move your arm and shoulder, especially when you move your arm forward above shoulder height, and when you touch the front of the shoulder.

Your doctor will examine your arm and shoulder for tenderness along the biceps muscle and biceps tendons.

Treatment options include:

  • applying an ice pack to the shoulder for 20-30 minutes, every three to four hours for a couple of days until the pain disappears
  • anti-inflammatory medicine
  • an injection of a corticosteroid medication to reduce the pain and inflammation
  • rehabilitation exercises.

Return to Regular Activity
The goal of rehabilitation is to return you to your sport or activity as soon as is safely possible. Returning too soon can worsen your injury, possibly leading to permanent damage. Everyone recovers from injury at a different rate. The issue is how soon your shoulder is healed, not how many days or weeks have passed. In general, the longer symptoms exist before seeking treatment, the longer it will take to get better.

It is usually safe to return to activity when the injured shoulder:

  • has full range of motion without pain, and
  • has regained normal strength, as compared with the uninjured shoulder.

A proper warm-up and stretching activities for your arm and shoulder are the best way to prevent biceps tendonitis.