Tendonitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the tendon. Tendons are those fibrous cords that attach the muscles to the bone. While it can happen in any of the body’s tendons, tendonitis usually occurs in the shoulders, wrists, elbows, knees, and heels.
The biceps have two tendons in the shoulder. These can have inflammation due to micro-tearing, usually due to its overuse or through carrying weights exceeding its allowable strength. Repetitive motions can also lead to micro-tearing.
This condition is called bicep tendonitis. Fortunately, the usage of the bicep tendonitis brace assists in healing through its compression feature.
What Are the Symptoms?
Patients with this condition experience a sharp pain in the front of the shoulder. The pain is felt downwards from the front of the arm and towards the neck. Usually, “clicking” is sensed in the shoulder’s front.
They find it increasingly difficult to carry objects or reach for items overhead.
Who Are at Risk of Bicep Tendonitis?
In a study released by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), more than 95% of their patients are males and with injuries happening during middle-age. As people get older, the collagen in tendons breaks down, resulting in loss of elasticity. This loss in collagen makes older people prone to ruptures.
Being overweight can also cause collagen breakdown, thereby increasing the risk. Likewise, smokers have a higher risk of tendonitis because of slower healing.
Sports wherein there are repetitive motions of the arms and shoulders can put athletes at risk of bicep tendonitis. Swimming, parallel-bar gymnastics, weight lifting, baseball, tennis, and golf are examples of such sports.
Here are a few specific examples:
- For professional players like BJ Raji, having torn biceps removed him from the year’s football season.
- American professional strongman Brian Shaw, who won the World’s Strongest Man competition, suffered from torn biceps when he was transitioning his weights.
- Clayton Kershaw, an American professional baseball pitcher for the LA Dodgers, was put on a disabled list for his left biceps tendinitis.
Occupations that involve frequent and repetitive use of the shoulders, such as the lifting of heavy items overhead, also put workers at high risk.
Indiana University released a useful guide of best practices for lifting safely in the workplace. They recommend lightening the load before lifting, standing on sturdy platforms, and sliding the weight closer to the body.
It would be an excellent idea to keep a bicep tendonitis brace in the emergency kit, especially if one has experienced torn biceps before.
How Can One Prevent Biceps Tendonitis?
One good tip is to warm up and stretch before strenuous activities, including exercise.
Second, rest between activities to allow time for recovery.
Third, observe if there are any repetitive motions at work that could cause problems later.
Lastly, apply practical techniques to avoid work-related Repetitive Motion Injury (RMIs).
How Does One Check If They Already Have Torn Tendons?
Visit the doctor and get a physical examination. After asking for your medical history and symptoms, he will check the shoulder for its strength and flexibility. There will be additional tests to check the biceps.
Depending on his observations, the doctor may request an X-ray, MRI, and ultrasound of the biceps tendon.
If there is confirmed tendonitis, one will be asked to rest, apply ice packs, and use bicep tendonitis brace for support.
Also, the doctor may give prescriptions for nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce the pain and swelling. More severe cases may need steroid injections.
Surgery is the last option if there is no improvement.
Pain is the first clue that something is wrong. Having oneself checked for bicep tendonitis is a wise move while there is still time to heal. Corrective measures are available to avoid further damage to the biceps.