Biceps Tendon Injuries: Treatment and Prevention


Biceps tendon injuries treatment | Dr. Praharsha Mulpur

Biceps tendon injuries are a common issue that many people face, often as a result of overuse, aging, or sports-related activities. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into what biceps tendon injuries are, their types, causes, symptoms, diagnostic methods, treatment options, recovery, prevention strategies, and how to cope with this condition.

Understanding Biceps Tendon Injuries

Biceps tendons are strong, lengthy, cord-like structures that connect the biceps muscle to the bones in your shoulder and elbow. They play a crucial role in various arm movements. The biceps are essential muscles that enable you to bend your elbow and rotate your forearm. They connect to your bones through tendons, which can become damaged or torn due to various reasons. Let’s explore biceps tendon injuries in detail.

Types of Biceps Tendon Injuries

There are two primary types of biceps tendon injuries: proximal and distal. Proximal injuries occur at the shoulder, while distal injuries happen at the elbow.

Causes of Biceps Tendon Injuries

Biceps tendon injuries can result from overuse, aging, heavy lifting, or sports activities.

Are you at risk of biceps tendon injuries?

People who are in certain sports, activities, and occupations could be at risk. Therefore, they should take precautions. For instance, those who more frequently engage in activities that involve throwing, rotating hands, lifting, and pulling whether for recreation or work are susceptible to biceps tendon injuries.

Limited data and a few clinical studies report biceps tendon ruptures in weightlifters and rock climbers. In older people, biceps tendon injuries and degenerative tendinosis occur more frequently. But, in middle-aged people and younger men isolated tendonitis is commonly observed.

Recognizing Biceps Tendon Injuries Symptoms

Symptoms associated with biceps tendon injuries include:

  • Moving, lifting, and rotating the arm becomes difficult and painful.
  • Pain in the shoulder and swelling in the vicinity of the shoulder.
  • Progressively worsening pain in the upper arm or shoulder during physical activity
  • A popping sound is audible If the tendon is torn completely.
  • Bruising on the shoulder area
  • Sensitivity to touch.

Understanding the symptoms is crucial for early diagnosis. If you experience these symptoms and recognize the signs of a biceps tendon injury, then consult an orthopedic doctor.

Treatment Options

Non-Surgical Approaches

Non-surgical treatments for biceps tendon injuries include rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy. These methods are often effective for mild injuries.

Early intervention, diagnosis, and treatment can help resolve the condition completely.

The application of cold packs and ice helps in relieving pain and swelling. Aspirin and ibuprofen can help in reducing pain and swelling.

Your doctor will recommend you stop or avoid physical activities that put pressure, force, and workload on your shoulder.

Your doctor will suggest physical activity that will help in the recovery of the condition.

To provide relief from severe pain, and inflammation and promote healing, doctors recommend corticosteroid injections

Surgical Interventions

In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to repair or reattach the torn tendon. Arthroscopic surgery, a procedure performed on an outpatient basis, can be utilized to reposition bones and repair torn tendons. Surgery is typically recommended for distal biceps tendon injuries. Following surgery for tendonitis, most patients can move their arms without pain and regain their full range of motion.

Prevention Strategies

Proper Warm-up and Stretching

Preventing biceps tendon injuries involves proper warm-up and stretching exercises before engaging in physical activities that strain the arm.

Strength Training

Strengthening the biceps and surrounding muscles through resistance training can help prevent injuries and improve overall arm health.


Can a biceps tendon injury heal without surgery?

Yes, some minor biceps tendon injuries can heal with rest and physical therapy. However, severe injuries may require surgery for proper healing.

How long does recovery take after biceps tendon surgery?

Recovery time can vary but typically takes several months. Your healthcare provider will give you a personalized timeline based on your injury and the type of surgery performed.

Are biceps tendon injuries common in athletes?

Yes, biceps tendon injuries are relatively common in athletes, especially those involved in sports that require repetitive arm movements or heavy lifting.

What exercises can help strengthen the biceps tendon?

Specific exercises, like resistance training and physical therapy, can help strengthen the biceps tendon and prevent injuries.

Is it possible to re-injure the biceps tendon after treatment?

While it’s possible to re-injure the biceps tendon, following your doctor’s advice on post-treatment care and rehabilitation can minimize this risk.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, understanding biceps tendon injuries is essential for prevention and timely treatment. Whether you’re an athlete or someone prone to overuse, knowing the risks and how to mitigate them is crucial.