Proximal Bicep Tendinopathy


Are you experiencing pain at the front of your shoulder that gradually came on? It’s possible that it could be bicep tendinopathy. Keep reading to find out more information, including what you can do to help reduce the pain and get back to your daily activities.

What is Proximal Bicep Tendinopathy?

This occurs when the bicep tendon, that attaches your bicep muscle to the bone at the top of your shoulder, becomes inflamed. As it progresses, the tendon thickens, and can eventually lead to degenerative changes.

What Are Common Symptoms of Bicep Tendinopathy?

Pain at the front of your shoulder that gradually increases

Pain can radiate down the front of your arm

Clicking can sometimes occur

Pain is often worse when lifting your arm up overhead e.g. reaching into a cupboard, doing overhead presses, shooting in basketball or netball

Pain is often worse at night, and after not moving for a period of time

Muscle weakness

What causes Proximal Bicep Tendinopathy?

It often develops over time from repetitive shoulder movements, such as reaching overhead while doing housework, swimming or playing tennis.

Other causes/risk factors of proximal bicep tendinopathy:

-Lifting an object that is too heavy

-Increasing age (as you get older, tendons become stiffer, and repair at a slower rate)

-Other shoulder issues, such as arthritis and rotator cuff injuries have also been associated with bicep tendinopathy

How can we treat Proximal Bicep Tendinopathy?

We will assess your shoulder, as well as the surrounding areas, to determine the best treatment. Your Osteopath will provide treatment to help reduce your pain, and improve mobility of your shoulder, as well as any surrounding joints that may be restricted.

They will give you advice on load management, to help manage the pain. This could involve modifying or temporarily stopping certain activities. Your osteopath will also show you exercises to initially manage your pain, and then help strengthen your shoulder to help prevent it from happening in the future.

Here are some common exercises to help with proximal bicep tendinopathy:

Isometric Shoulder Flexion

Isometric exercises, which involve holding a muscle contraction without moving from that position, are particularly helpful for tendon issues. They can help to reduce tendon pain, and start improving strength.

To perform the isometric shoulder flexion exercise, stand facing a wall. Relax your shoulders and bend your elbow to 90 degrees, keeping your elbow at your side.

Push your fist forward into the wall. Hold this contraction for 30-45 seconds, and repeat 3-5 times. Aim to do this a couple of times a day for pain relief.

Resisted Shoulder External Rotation

This exercise helps to strengthen your rotator cuff muscles, which are important muscles to strengthen, in order to reduce the stress on your bicep muscle and tendon.

Tie a resistance band to something stable at elbow height, such as a door handle. Bend your elbow to 90 degrees and pull the band outwards.

If you would like to get on top of your shoulder pain, give us a call on 9363 4100, or book online.

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