If you are experiencing arm, shoulder or elbow pain, you may be suffering from biceps tendinitis. Biceps tendinitis is caused by tears in the tendons that connect the biceps muscle to the shoulder or elbow bones. This can occur due to repetitive motion, such as those done by athletes like swimmers, or from repeated manual labor, such as lifting.
Common biceps tendinitis symptoms
Your doctor may require an X-ray or MRI scan to determine the severity of your injury, but most cases include symptoms like:
- Pain at the shoulder or elbow — This can be a sharp, sudden pain as well as a dull ache. The pain is often accompanied by tenderness and bruising at the shoulder or elbow.
- Weakness — The arm may feel weak, making simple activities such as overhead lifting or even just raising the arm over the head difficult.
- Difficulty rotating the arm — It may become difficult and possibly painful to rotate the arm from a “palm up” position to a “palm down” position. For example, pain may be experienced when attempting to turn a doorknob.
Can virtual physical therapy help with biceps tendinitis?
Severe cases of biceps tendinitis often require surgery. Physical therapy is often prescribed to help the muscles regain their strength and flexibility after surgery. If you require physical therapy from the comfort of your own home, a virtual physical therapy clinician can instruct you on these helpful biceps tendinitis exercises:
- Biceps stretching — Stretching the biceps muscles can help keep them from tightening and becoming more painful. Stand 6 inches away from the wall. With your palms down, raise your injured arm and touch the thumb side of your hand to the wall. While keeping your arm straight, turn your body away from your arm until you begin to feel a stretching sensation in the biceps. Hold for 15 seconds, and then rest.
- Flexing and extending — This biceps tendinitis exercise will help keep your injured arm flexible. Slowly bring the palm of your hand to your shoulder, bending your elbow as much as you can. Then, slowly straighten both your arm and elbow back out again.
- Forearm twists — Forearm twists help the tendon glide smoothly along the biceps muscle, as well as increasing flexibility. Let your arm hang at your side. Then, slowly bend your elbow at a 90-degree angle. Turn your palm so that it faces up, holding this position for five seconds before resting.
Keen to find a custom biceps tendinitis exercise program? Agile Virtual PT can help
Agile Virtual Physical Therapy is dedicated to offering the highest standard of care to our physical therapy patients. Our educated and licensed physical therapists can treat a variety of common conditions such as low back, knee and shoulder pain as well as sports injuries such as biceps tendinitis.
Through our innovative online platform, patients receive direct, face-to-face guidance from a licensed physical therapist from the comfort of their home. This guidance may include walking you through a personalized exercise program designed to help ease your symptoms.
Contact our team today for more information on our revolutionary services.