Biceps Tendonitis

By Ehren Allen, Certified Manual Therapist/Physical Therapist

Biceps Anatomy

Biceps tendonitis is caused by tendon that becomes irritated and inflamed is called bicep tendonitis. Bicep muscles, and tendons play a major role in the function of your shoulder.  The bicep’s muscle has two muscle bellies and two distinct attachments or tendons. The bicep muscle plays such a major role in the shoulder joint, it can become overworked and inflamed.  To learn more about the anatomy of the shoulder, go to this Shoulder Anatomy Video. 

Image of biceps anatomy. Biceps tendinitis is a somewhat common orthopedic condition.

Biceps anatomy


What Causes Bicep Tendonitis?

Image of a tennis player doing an overhead serve

Repeated overhead motion can cause tendonitis

Normal wear and tear over time can cause sudden swelling and tendonitis. Most cases of Bicep tendonitis are by caused by overuse and repetitive motions from work activities or certain sports. Sports that can increase the risk of bicep tendonitis include:

  • Tennis
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Swimming


What are Treatments for Bicep Tendonitis

JOI Physical Therapy can help with biceps tendonitis

Physical therapy at JOI can help biceps tendonitis

The first step to recovery involves taking a break from the activities that initiated the shoulder pain.

  • Ice 20 minutes at a time throughout the day.
  • Taking Anti-inflammatories helps decrease the swelling and irritation in the tendon.
  • Stretches and posture exercise to decrease the strain on the rotator cuff tendons.
  • Physical Therapy can help identify flexibility, strength, and postural deficits.

If you don’t improve with conservative treatment, injections of corticosteroids can be used to decrease inflammation. In rare cases, surgery may be needed for debridement in tendons with chronic tendonitis that have not responded to conservative treatment.


How Long Does Biceps Tendonitis Take to Heal?

image Woman stretching her arms.

Resting and stretching will help the healing process

The quick answer, it usually takes 6-8 weeks to heal. It is imperative to rest, stretch, and go to physical therapy long enough for a healthy recovery. It is recommended that you slowly return to activities and sports after you are healed. If overuse continues, it possible to develop a biceps tear. Read this ARTICLE on Torn Biceps.


Does Physical Therapy Help Biceps Tendonitis?

Yes, physical therapy can improve shoulder strength, decrease pain and increase the range of motion. The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute offers physical therapy at 12 convenient locations across Northeast Florida. Physical therapy is a conservative approach to treating disease, injury, or deformity. Our therapists utilize the latest technologies and techniques in exercise, manual therapy, and education to provide superior preventative and conservative treatment.

If you want to learn more about shoulder tendonitis, go to

JOI Fracture and Injury Care

JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP fracture and injury care. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury. To learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care.

To schedule an appointment with an Orthopaedic Shoulder Specialist, please call JOI-2000 or click below.

Book An Appointment with a JOI shoulder Physician.

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