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Biceps tendon injuries treatment | Dr. Vasudeva Juvvadi

The biceps tendon is a lengthy, cord-like structure situated at the front of the shoulder. It emerges from the upper part of the shoulder socket, known as the glenoid, and passes through a bony groove called the biceps groove. As it extends below the shoulder, this tendon transforms into the long head of the biceps muscle. The short head of the bicep, on the other hand, is a continuation of the conjoined tendon that starts from a bony protrusion known as the coracoid, located at the front of the shoulder blade. Consequently, the biceps muscle, responsible for elbow flexion and forearm rotation, has two attachment points within the shoulder area.

Epidemiology and risk factors

There is limited available data regarding the occurrence of biceps tendon injuries in relation to specific sports or occupations, and it should be interpreted with caution. However, it seems that individuals who frequently engage in activities involving pulling, lifting, reaching, or throwing, whether for work or recreation, are more prone to such injuries. There have been reports of biceps tendon ruptures in rock climbers and weight lifters, according to a few clinical studies.

Degenerative tendinosis and biceps tendon ruptures typically occur more frequently in older patients, while isolated tendonitis is commonly observed in younger or middle-aged individuals.


Biceps tendon injuries usually present with similar symptoms, which may include:

  • Increasing pain in the shoulder or upper arm during physical activity.
  • Swelling in the vicinity of the shoulder.
  • Bruising on the shoulder area.
  • Sensitivity to touch.
  • Difficulty in moving or lifting the affected arm.
  • A popping sound may be heard if the tendon is completely torn.

Biceps Tendon Injuries treatment?

Although biceps tendonitis can cause discomfort, it can usually be completely resolved if treated early and appropriately.

To alleviate the swelling and pain associated with tendonitis, applying cold packs or ice is recommended.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain.

Resting is often advised by your doctor, especially avoiding activities such as heavy lifting, elbow flexion, and overhead movements.

Physical therapy may be suggested by your doctor to aid in the recovery of your shoulder or elbow.

In cases where tendonitis is severe but not torn, corticosteroid injections may provide pain relief, reduce inflammation, and promote tendon healing.

Following surgery for tendonitis, most patients can move their arms without pain and regain their full range of motion.


Physical therapy

In the majority of cases, your healthcare provider will prescribe rehabilitation therapy. Our physical therapists will create a personalized treatment plan that includes specific interventions tailored to your condition and circumstances, aiming to alleviate pain and improve your mobility.


To relieve pain and reduce inflammation, your doctor may recommend medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen.

Slings and immobilizers

Your specialist might suggest the use of a sling or immobilizer to restrict movement of your arm away from your chest, promoting proper healing of the injury.

Arthroscopic surgery

Our highly skilled team of specialists, who hold board certifications and have received fellowship training, employ minimally invasive techniques whenever suitable for patients with more severe injuries. Arthroscopic surgery, a procedure performed on an outpatient basis, can be utilized to reposition bones and repair torn tendons.

Bottom Line

The initial approach to treating this condition is centered around resting the shoulder and refraining from activities that provoke pain. Applying ice to the affected area and utilizing over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and naproxen can help alleviate pain and reduce swelling. Patients with this condition often find ultrasound-guided cortisone injections beneficial as they effectively reduce inflammation. Additionally, specific physical therapy exercises may be recommended to enhance flexibility, strengthen the area, and restore mobility.

If these non-surgical methods fail to provide relief and the pain significantly impacts daily life, surgical biceps tendon injuries treatment may need to be considered.