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Biceps Tendinitis


Symptoms Checklist:

  • Your pain developed gradually
  • The pain is confined to a small area of the shoulder
  • There is little or no swelling
  • It is more painful after activity and eases with rest
  • It is tender to pressure and hurts when you lift or reach

Biceps Tendinitis

Tendinitis is an overuse injury that develops gradually.  Tendon attaches muscle to bone and is the focus for the “pull” of the muscle.  What happens is that the muscle pulls part of the tendon away from the bone and the attachment point (or focus) becomes frayed and sore. While the tendons themselves are enormously strong (half the tensile strength of steel), the attachment to the bone is usually weaker and first to give.  The shoulder is a very common place for tendinitis.  It is worst when you combine arm and shoulder movements as you do in playing a forehand shot in tennis.

Physical Therapy/Osteopathy and Tendinitis

In tendinitis, some of the many fibres that make up the tendon snap and the broken ends curl back leaving a gap. Tendon grows slowly, so it’s place is taken by scar tissue which does not have as good “pulling power” as does tendon.  The damaged fibres then re-attach themselves by forming scar tissue.  Unlike fractures, where the repair is better than the original, the quality of repair for tendons can be poor.  This is caused because of the formation of scar tissue, which sticks to the surrounding tissues and causes adhesions.  These damage the surrounding musculature and restrict circulation -- a vital part of the healing process.  The result is that the tendon is more likely to injure again as a result of the poor quality of the mend.  The Physical Therapist will work to correctly align the damaged and repairing fibres, break down the scar tissue, gently stretch the shortened tendons and muscles, prevent the formation of adhesions, increase circulation and improve the quality of repair.  Because the blood supply to tendons is poor, the speed of recovery is also slow.  Treatment not only speeds repair and recovery, but can dramatically improves the quality of repair.

Tags: Neck & Shoulder, Shoulder, Arms, Tendons, Sports Injuries, Tendinitis

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