Part 2 of our series on shoulder pain is all about bicipital tendinitis. Like our previous condition, bicipital tendinitis has a variety of spellings and variations! (eg. bicipital tendonitis, biceps tendinitis, biceps tendonitis)

The biceps muscle is a well-known muscle that runs from the elbow to the shoulder. What is not so well-known is that it splits into two ‘heads’ as it travels up the arm, so that is attaches to the shoulder at two different locations. The short head attatches at the front of the shoulder, but it’s the long head that causes all the problems! The tendon of the long head travels through a groove in the bone to the shoulder joint. This puts the long head tendon in a vulnerable position. When you lift your arm overhead or turn your arm outwards it can compress and irritate the tendon.

This makes bicipital tendinitis more common in people who play sports with overhead movements – eg. cricket, tennis, gymnastics, swimming and kayaking. It can also occur in people who do a lot of overhead lifting. It is not so much the overhead movement but the repetitive overhead movements that cause the irritation and inflammation.

Management of bicipital tendinitis can include:

  • Limiting any aggravating activities
  • Ice/heat therapy
  • Osteopathic treatment
  • Stretches
  • Exercises to strengthen the surrounding rotator cuff muscles

Osteopathic treatment for bicipital tendinitis may include:

  • Soft tissue techniques to relax tightened muscles
  • Gentle joint articulation or manipulation to help correct any posture issues that may be affecting the shoulder mechanics
  • Ultrasound therapy to reduce inflammation (if the area is inflamed)
  • Advice on stretches and exercises to improve the rehabilitation process

As osteopaths, we have had great success with treating bicipital tendinitis. So if shoulder pain is bothering you, call us today for a thorough evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.