Living with tendinitis in your biceps can make everyday tasks, such as dressing and eating, more difficult.
Your biceps are crucial for a wide variety of movement in your arms and shoulders.
Therefore, conditions affecting the range of movement in your biceps can significantly impact your daily functioning.
Additionally, biceps tendinitis is a painful condition which may worsen over time without treatment.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with biceps tendinitis, we can help.
Keep reading to find out more about biceps tendinitis and how our services can help.
What Is Tendinitis In Your Biceps?
Bicep tendinitis is a condition commonly associated with shoulder pain and impaired movement.
This is caused by an inflammatory response located in your bicep tendons.
Your bicep tendon is made up of two parts: the long head and the short head.
Since the long head runs up the length of your arm and through your shoulder, it’s more commonly affected by tendinitis.
Tendinitis in your biceps develops gradually and often starts with minor shoulder pain before worsening over time.
It may also worsen with continued physical activity.
What Causes Bicep Tendinitis?
The most common cause of bicep tendinitis is the performance of repetitive, overhead movements.
These include throwing, swimming, climbing, placing items above your head, or any movement that requires you to repeatedly reach overhead.
Hair stylists, construction workers, and electricians may be more at risk for biceps tendinitis given the amount of overhead reaching their jobs require.
Such repetitive movements apply excessive pressure on your tendons and can lead to irritation, pain, and swelling.
Other contributing factors of bicep tendinitis include:
- Rotator cuff tears or weakness
- Weakness in your upper back muscles
- Weakness and/or muscle tightness in your shoulders
- Poor body posture and improper movements
- A sudden, drastic increase in exercise routine
- Age related body changes
- Other shoulder joint conditions
How Do You Know If You Have Bicep Tendinitis?
The most obvious symptom of bicep tendinitis is the presence of sharp pain at the front of your shoulder when reaching overhead, behind your back, or across your body.
Additional symptoms of bicep tendinitis may include:
- Tenderness to the touch at the front of your shoulder
- Pain that moves toward the neck or arms
- A dull, achy pain at the front of your shoulder, especially following physical activity
- Pain with using a screwdriver or turning a doorknob
- Weakness in your shoulder and arm
- “Clicking” sensations when reaching overhead
- Pain when throwing objects, such as a ball
- Difficulty performing daily activities that require you to lift objects above your head or behind your back
- Pain when resting that may worsen at night
How Can Physical Therapy Help With Tendinitis In Your Biceps?
Once bicep tendinitis is diagnosed, a physical therapist can work with you to help regain movement and minimize pain.
They do this through a variety of methods, such as activity modification, stretching, strength training exercises, postural reeducation, and neuromuscular reeducation.
Let’s take a closer look at some common physical therapy techniques used for biceps tendinitis.
1. Manual Therapy Techniques
Also referred to as “hands on” therapy, manual therapy techniques include therapies such as soft tissue mobilization, dry needling, and joint mobilization and manipulation.
Physical therapists are trained to use their hands in a variety of ways to relieve pain and improve function in their clients.
These techniques help to move your shoulder joint and surrounding muscles to improve range of motion, flexibility, and strength.
2. Physical Therapy Pain Management
Traditional pain medications, such as opioids, come with a long list of side effects and potential dangers.
Your physical therapist can work with you in a variety of ways to prevent or reduce your need for pain medications.
If you have any questions about your medications, please consult your prescribing medical doctor as physical therapists are not trained to manage your medications.
Physical therapy can provide alternate pain management techniques.
Physical therapy pain management techniques include heat and cold therapy, soft tissue mobilization, dry needling and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).
3. Restoring Your Range Of Motion
Bicep tendinitis is often associated with improper shoulder joint movement.
Your physical therapist will assess your shoulder motion by comparing it to your other shoulder as well as the expected normal motion.
After the assessment, your physical therapist will help to restore your movement through exercises targeted to improve your range of motion.
4. Strengthening Your Muscles
Your shoulder muscles work with your upper back to perform coordinated body movements.
Due to its ball and socket design, your shoulder uses your upper back muscles for movement in a variety of directions.
Therefore, balancing strength for all your upper body muscles is crucial for protection and efficient movement of your shoulder.
Your physical therapist will teach you a variety of exercises aimed to strengthen the muscles around your shoulder and improve coordination while simultaneously reducing pain.
5. Improving Functional Movement
Often, improper movement of your upper body muscles can lead to pain over time.
Since they are movement experts, physical therapists are skilled at assessing the movement quality of your upper body muscles as well as training them to function efficiently.
Your physical therapist will point out any improper movements that could be causing you trouble and show you how to correct them.
Additionally, the strategies they teach you will help avoid reversing the positive effects of physical therapy after you graduate from care.
Book Your Appointment With Capitol Physical Therapy Today
At Capitol Physical Therapy, our top priority is patient care.
We provide the highest quality of care to help our clients live fulfilling lives.
Book your appointment with Capitol Physical Therapy today to find out more about how physical therapy can work for you.
1331 H St NW #200,
Washington, DC 20005
9560 Pennsylvania Ave. # 202,
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
Capitol Physical Therapy offers orthopedic and other pain related solutions, with our versitile team of physical therapists in Washington, DC