Inflammation of the biceps tendon around the long head of the biceps muscle is the hallmark of biceps tendinitis. It is caused by degeneration or inflammation within the biceps tendon within the bicipital groove. Patients usually complain of anterior shoulder pain with loading activities. They sometimes describe a deep – throbbing ache in the anterior portion of their shoulder with repetitive motions.
Diagnosis is based on a physical examination as well as through patient history. The most common isolated clinical finding in biceps tendinitis is bicipital groove point tenderness. X-rays are obtained to evaluate the boney structures. Occasionally, an MRI is obtained for persistent symptoms.
Clinical treatment involves icing, anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, and activity restrictions. Possible oral steroids or an injected steroid into the biceps tendon sheath may be considered. In some patients, the biceps tendon may tear due to degeneration or injury.