Every part of our body has a significance in keeping the body working properly. One of several such parts is the Bicep muscles. These muscles help you to bend your elbow and turn your palm upward by twisting the forearm. They are located on the front side of the arm. The bridge that connects the biceps muscles with one of the forearm bones – radius bone is called the biceps tendon. When there is some problem associated with this tendon, it is known as a common problem called biceps Tendonitis. In particular, if there is any inflammation is related to the tendon, then it is called as Biceps Tendonitis. The problems might seem simple or negligible but often they cause pain and uneasiness. In some people, if left untreated, it might cause severe problems like rupture of this tendon. In this article, let us see what causes this problem, any remedies and recommended exercises to help with the pain.
Reasons for Biceps Tendonitis:
Any sudden increase in the intensity of physical works that you do might cause this condition. This may occur with over bending your elbow or rotating your wrist vigorously. The main cause in most of the people is trying to lift heavy objects or weightlifting activity. The weightlifting, if you are suddenly doing it with more weight and extending your elbows with the weight, can cause severe pain in the elbow area leading to biceps tendonitis. It is important to take care of the pain; otherwise, it will intensify the pain, causing risks. This is true for sportspeople. Those who involve in weightlifting, bodybuilding, gymnastics or rock climbing often experience this condition. Also, it is important to do an adequate warm-up before involving in actual activity.
Symptoms that you need to look at:
The main symptoms of biceps tendonitis can be anywhere from simple uneasiness to severe pain in the elbow. The main symptom that you need to look at is the pain caused when you try to move the elbow or shoulder. You might also feel some tenderness or weakness in the area. The effects may be observed not only by the movement of the elbow but also with the turning of the palms.
Treating Biceps Tendonitis:
It is always recommended to take care of any disease or pain in the initial stages rather than waiting for some miracle to happen. Usually, when the pain starts in the elbow, doctors recommend relaxing for a bit not continuing the heavy physical activities. You might need to take some rest for a few days to completely cure the tendon. You can use ice in the area and take pain medications to find some relief. However, in severe cases, the tendons might tear, causing permanent damage. There is no way that this tendon grows back to normal position. Doctors can easily know biceps tendonitis by simply touching the area, and if they suspect any such tears, they will immediately order for an X-ray or MRI. If they found any abnormal tears in the tendons, the doctors immediately schedule for performing surgery to correct the tear caused. The person can return back to normal activities in 2 weeks. The symptoms and pain can be relieved by a few exercises and for people who got their surgeries done need to start on physiotherapy after surgery.
Biceps Tendonitis Pain Management by exercises:
As said in the previous section, if you start experiencing biceps tendonitis or any injury related to the tendons, you need to perform some exercises to strengthen the tendon and also to get relief from pain. Below are some exercises for the purpose.
- Biceps Curl: A bicep curl is done by carrying weights and in this case, it is suggested to carry 5 to 8-pound weight. Holding the weights, bend your elbows to reach the shoulders and stay here for few seconds. Later, come back to the initial position by straightening the arm. This strengthens the tendon and muscles.
- Shoulder flexion: This is an easy exercise. Start by keeping your injured arm to the side. Bring the arm slowly forward and then to the ceiling keeping the arm straight. The positions need to be held for a few seconds. You can start doing this exercise with weights once you are comfortable.
- Elbow extension and flexion: For this exercise, bend your elbow to bring the palm towards the shoulder. Then go back to the initial position by straightening the elbow. The bending and straightening need to be done with maximum stretch to feel the movement.
- Resisted shoulder external rotation: For starting this exercise, you need to stand near a door. The arm from which you are suffering needs to be away from the door. The other arm is nearer to the door. Then take a tubing and tie a knot on the door holding the other end of the tubing with the injured arm. The arm needs to be parallel to the ground and should be bent at the elbow at 90 degrees. To start the exercise, pull the tubing by rotating the arm from waist to outward position, and the arm still needs to be parallel to the ground. Bring the arm back to the initial position. Do this a couple of times.
- Resisted Shoulder Internal Rotation: This exercise is opposite to the external rotation that we have mentioned. All you need to do is stand near the door with an injured arm nearer to the door. Again, tie a knot with the tubing on the door and hold the other end with the injured hand. Start rotating the injured arm parallel to the ground and bent at the elbow at 90 degrees angle. Repeat the movement for a couple of times.
- Sleeper stretch: The sleeper stretch helps to stretch the muscles at the elbow. All you need to do is sleep on the side where your arm got injured. Bend your elbow to face the fingers to the ceiling in 90 degrees. Then with the other hand, gently push the injured arm to the ground. The shoulder blades need to be squeezed slightly. The stretch needs to be held for 30 seconds.
From the above details, you know how biceps tendonitis looks and various exercises that you can do to relieve the pain. As mentioned, visit the doctor if the tendon seems to have a tear.