Dr. Carlos Rebollón

Biceps tendinitis
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Biceps tendinitis

Biceps tendinitis

Biceps tendinitis is a pathological condition of the tendon that leads to inflammation of this muscle structure. The biceps brachii is located on the front side of the arm and consists of 2 parts: the long head (usually the most affected) and the short head.

What is biceps tendinitis?

Biceps tendinitis is caused by inflammation of the tendon, mainly in the long head. This condition is progressive, so if you don’t see a doctor in a timely manner, there is a risk of developing a more severe injury.

Biceps tendinitis can occur alone or in conjunction with other common shoulder problems, such as joint instability or discomfort in the rotator cuff, among others. The orthopedic doctor is responsible for diagnosing biceps tendinitis.

They evaluate the patient’s current and past medical history and perform a physical examination of the limb, applying pressure to the area to identify the exact point of pain.

During the assessment, the orthopedist measures the range of motion, stability, and strength of the shoulder to rule out any other conditions that may cause pain. In some cases, the doctor may suggest imaging studies to confirm the diagnosis.

Symptoms of biceps tendinitis

Sintomas Tendinitis Del Biceps

The main signs of biceps tendinitis are:

Pain in the front side of the shoulder that can worsen when moving, flexing, or raising the arm.

Hypersensitivity in the muscle.

Pain and difficulty supinating the hand (turning the palm upward).


The first medical option to address biceps tendinitis is conservative treatment, which includes:

Rest: Ceasing all activities that cause pain.

Ice: A simple but effective method to reduce inflammation.

Anti-inflammatory medication: Following the guidelines of the treating physician.

Physical therapy: Properly stimulating the muscle to stretch and strengthen the area and restore range of motion.

When all conservative options have been exhausted without obtaining good results, it is time to consider surgical alternatives. Arthroscopic surgery is usually recommended for these cases, as it allows for a faster recovery with less impact. Specific techniques can be performed during arthroscopic surgery, such as tenodesis or biceps tenotomy.

In biceps tenodesis, the surgeon can remove the torn section of the tendon and attach the remaining portion to the humerus. By removing the affected and painful tissue, it is possible to alleviate symptoms and restore regular function.

Biceps tenotomy is used in more complex cases where the tendon surface is so compromised that it cannot be reattached. In this situation, the surgeon surgically resects the long head of the biceps and then fixes the tendon stump to the humerus.

Tratamientos Para La Tendinitis Del Biceps Braquial

Frequently asked questions about biceps tendinitis

In this section, we address the main questions about the topic…

In its early stages, the tendon appears reddish and slightly swollen. If a person does not seek clinical attention for biceps tendinitis, the tendon will continue to inflame, causing the tissue to thicken and weaken to the point of potentially tearing in multiple places.

After arthroscopic surgery, a sling will be placed on the arm for a couple of weeks to immobilize it and promote healing of the operated tendon. The treating orthopedist will provide instructions on activities to perform, restrict, and when to start therapy and mobility exercises.

Yes, there are special exercises to promote recovery for both biceps tendinitis and most musculoskeletal injuries. In this case, it is advisable to follow an exercise routine to improve postural control and strengthen the shoulder structures. It is ideal to perform these exercises under the guidance and supervision of a physical therapist.

To prevent biceps tendinitis, consider the following suggestions:

  • Perform warm-up and stretching exercises before and after physical activities.
  • Avoid excessive physical exercise.
  • Avoid overloading and repetitive movements.
  • Include activities to strengthen the shoulder muscles.
  • Maintain ergonomic postures at work.
  • Take short breaks to stretch your upper limbs.
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