Biceps tendinitis involves inflammation of the tendon. The pain and diminished mobility of the arm and shoulder are the typical symptoms. The exact cause of biceps tendinitis is usually due to overuse by engaging in repetitive activities which means that the injury is quite common among athletes. The treatment is usually focused on helping relieve the symptoms as well as allow the individual to resume his/her daily activities. When it comes to surgery, it is not the initial-line of treatment for biceps tendinitis.
Since biceps tendinitis is typically caused by overuse, the treatment is often comprised of resting the damaged tendon. In most individuals, this involves limiting activities that involves the use of the shoulder. Those who pitch in baseball should not engage in any throwing activities so that the biceps are given enough time to rest.
Application of ice
The application of ice on the shoulder for biceps tendinitis can help minimize the inflammation of the tendon. Always bear in mind that ice packs must be applied on the shoulder for 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours. The icing can be performed 2-3 days or until the symptoms eventually resolve.
Anti-inflammatory medications work by reducing the inflammation of the tendon as well as providing a certain degree of pain relief. Some of the commonly used anti-inflammatory medications for tendinitis include naproxen and ibuprofen. Both medications can be bought over-the-counter. It is still recommended to consult a doctor before using these medications since they have the potential to interact with other medications or even complicate a current health issue of the individual.
Corticosteroid injections are administered directly into the swollen site. The doctor might administer into the biceps tendon sheath in order to reduce the inflammation. The potential risk for corticosteroid injections is tendon break down or degeneration if the injection goes directly into the tendon instead of the area around the tendon.
Physical therapy can help hasten the recovery process for those who are suffering from biceps tendinitis. This therapy involves stretching and strengthening exercises as well as other forms of therapies such as electric stimulation, ultrasound or hydrotherapy.
Home exercises can also be effective for many individuals. The exercises are carried out to strengthen and stretch out the shoulder and elbow joints.
When to resume activity?
The individual can resume activity once the symptoms start to improve. Engaging in physical therapy or home exercises can help hasten the recovery. If the individual resumes his/her activity early, it can lead to worsening of the injury or lasting injury to the biceps tendon. Prior to returning to activity, the individual should have full range of motion of the shoulder as well as full strength.