What is it?
Biceps tendinitis, aka “bicipital tendinitis”, is inflammation of the secondary (long head of the biceps tendon that attaches the top of the biceps muscle to the shoulder. The most common cause is overuse from certain types of work or sports activities such as: Tennis, Golf, Handball, etc. Biceps tendinitis may develop gradually from the effects of wear and tear, or it can happen suddenly from a direct injury such as being struck by an object. The tendon may also become inflamed in response to other problems in the shoulder, such as rotator cuff tears, nerve impingement of the spine, or instability such as the shoulder ‘popping’ out of joint (Subluxation).
Most patients generally verbalize the feeling of a ‘deep ache’ directly in the front and top of the shoulder. The ache may spread down into the main part of the biceps muscle. Pain is usually made worse with overhead activities. Resting the shoulder generally eases pain while Continuation of activities aggravates the pain.
The arm may feel weak when bending the elbow or when twisting the forearm into supination (palm up) positions. A catching or slipping sensation felt near the top of the biceps muscle may suggest a tear of the transverse humeral ligament. If tears are suspected; diagnostic X-Rays, MRI scans, and/or CT scans are taken. If Macro tears are evident on these results; Surgery is the course of treatment. However, if the tears evident are Micro tears surgery is not needed. Surgery is not necessary on micro tears due to their size; and the body’s ability to heal them alone.