Aching in the front of your shoulder that gets worse after physical activity? You may be suffering from bicep tendonitis, a common condition caused by inflammation of the upper bicep tendon. At Tennessee Orthopedic Clinics, we regularly help people with bicep tendonitis put out the “flames” of tendon inflammation fast, most of the time without surgery.
Our biceps get a lot of use every day – lifting, driving, cleaning, and more. All that daily use adds up over time, sometimes leading to tendonitis. Most of the time, bicep tendonitis is caused by age, not injury.
Of course, repetitive movements can bring on the condition more rapidly. If you play tennis or baseball, swim every day, or work in a job that requires consistent movement of the shoulder such as being a hairstylist, construction worker, mechanic, or warehouse worker, you may be at greater risk of developing bicep tendonitis.
Getting a good night’s sleep is tough when you’re suffering from bicep tendonitis. Finding a comfortable position to sleep that does not put additional pressure on your shoulder joint can be quite challenging.
Sleeping on your back is best. If you’re a side sleeper, sleep on the side that’s not painful. Adding extra pillows around your body can help you maintain your position while you sleep. If you’re a stomach sleeper, put a thin pillow under your hips to keep your spine straight while you sleep. You can also put rolled-up hand towels under your shoulders for added support.
Several tests can be used to diagnose bicep tendonitis. The Yergason’s Test, Neer Test, and Hawkins test involve your practitioner gently moving your arm into different positions to see if you experience any discomfort. Pain or discomfort may be a sign that you have bicep tendonitis.
Fortunately, bicep tendonitis is very treatable, usually without surgery. Our physicians will work with you to find the most conservative treatment that restores the pain-free function of your shoulder.
For most patients, rest, ice, and OTC anti-inflammatory medications can be all they need to reduce inflammation and find relief.
For more persistent cases, we often prescribe steroid injections and physical therapy to help the tendon heal.
If non-invasive treatments don’t provide enough relief, surgery may be the right treatment option for people with bicep tendonitis.
Surgery for bicep tendonitis is done arthroscopically, using tiny instruments and incisions. Arthroscopic shoulder surgery leads to better outcomes and shorter recovery times than traditional open surgery.
Our surgeons will gently repair any damage in your shoulder that is contributing to your shoulder pain, including fixing damage to your tendon itself, as well as any other abnormalities in the surrounding structures that may be exacerbating the problem.
Schedule your appointment today. The shoulder surgeons at Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinics help patients all over East Tennessee regain their range of motion and live pain-free in Tennessee.