Biceps Tendinitis… Watch Your Form
Biceps injuries largely happen when working out or due to overuse on the tendon. Often, any movements that result in a lot of pulling or pushing repeatedly can irritate the biceps tendon resulting in inflammation. If the force is large enough, you could end up rupturing the tendon at the MTJ (musculotendinous junction AKA where the muscle meets the tendon) at either end of the biceps. Biceps tendinitis can result from poor form when weight lifting at the gym specifically to your biceps or shoulders. This can be corrected by keeping your shoulders back and having your elbows at 90 degrees to your shoulders. Also, limiting your weight and performing more repetitions at a lower weight will still increase your strength by slowly straightening your arm. If this is work-related, it may not be easy to change your work-related responsibilities, but you can do some simple things when not working or on break to limit your biceps inflammation and/or irritation.
Stretching your biceps seems easy, but don’t forget that your biceps tendon starts in your shoulder, so the actions of the biceps is to flex both the arm and the shoulder. Thus, when stretching it, you need to extend/straighten both the arm and shoulder to ensure proper stretch on the tendon. Moreover, applying ice with barrier when it’s a new injury for the 1st 3 days and heat thereafter with a barrier for no more than 20 minutes can help to decrease swelling and inflammation initially, followed by increasing blood flow and loosening the muscle later on. Also, utilizing Active Release Techniques on the biceps tendon and surrounding muscles will stretch the muscles and break any scar tissue that has formed to help this heal much faster. In addition, applying Kinesiotape to the biceps by inhibiting the biceps from contracting more often can support the arm and shoulder when using it. Lastly, chiropractic manipulation to the shoulder and mid-back, including appropriate rehabilitative exercises can help to realign the shoulder to lessen the tension on the biceps when using it and strengthening the tissues around the biceps to limit its involvement.
Following the steps above and seeking out treatment if needed for this injury will shorten your recovery time and limit this injury from worsening. The next time you begin to have biceps/shoulder pain, don’t wait and see. Get it looked at and watch your form when working out to ensure that this doesn’t worsen.