Biceps Tendonitis Your biceps muscle attaches to your shoulder through two strong fibrous bands called “tendons.” The term “biceps tendinitis” means that one of these bands has become painfully irritated from strain or degeneration. Sometimes the tendon may be strained by an accident or lifting injury. Biceps tendinitis more often results from repeated pinching of the tendon beneath the bony part of your shoulder from a condition called “impingement.” Repeated overhead activity, like throwing, swimming, gymnastics, and racquet sports are known culprits. Biceps tendinitis is often accompanied by other conditions, like rotator cuff tears or injuries to the cartilage around the rim of your shoulder joint. Factors that make you more likely to develop biceps tendinitis include: improper lifting techniques, inflexibility, poor posture, or repetitive overloading. Your symptoms likely include a deep, throbbing ache over the front of your shoulder. The pain often refers toward the outside of your arm. The main job of your biceps muscle is to flex your elbow and turn your palm up, so overhead movements or activities that require flexion of your elbow may cause pain.
Patients often report increased discomfort when initiating activity. Night time symptoms are common, especially if you lie on your affected shoulder. Be sure to tell your doctor if you notice popping, catching, or locking during movements, as this may suggest an additional problem. A painful, loud “pop” followed by relief with a visible bulge in your biceps (Popeye deformity) suggests that your tendon has ruptured. Surgery is rarely required for biceps tendon problems unless you are a young athlete or worker who performs exceptionally heavy physical activity and have completely ruptured your tendon. The most effective treatment for the majority of biceps tendinitis patients is conservative care, like the type provided in our office. Initially, you may need to avoid heavy or repetitive activity, (especially overhead activity and elbow flexion) as returning to activity too soon may prolog your recovery. You should specifically avoid military presses, upright rows, and wide grip bench presses until cleared by your doctor. You may use ice over your shoulder for 10-15 minutes at a time each hour. The exercises described below will be a very important part of your recovery and should be performed consistently.
Our treatment here is a brief description of the treatments the Franklin chiropractor may use to help manage your problem. Joint Manipulation -Your Franklin chiropractor has found joints in your body that are not moving freely. This can cause tightness and discomfort and can accelerate unwanted degeneration i.e. arthritis. Your Franklin chiropractor will apply a gentle force with their hands, or with handheld instruments, in order to restore motion to any “restricted” joints. Sometimes a specialized table will be used to assist with these safe and effective “adjustments”. Joint manipulation improves flexibility, relieves pain and helps maintain healthy joints.
Therapy Modalities -The Franklin chiropractor may apply electrotherapy modalities that produce light electrical pulses transmitted through electrodes placed over your specific sites of concern. These comfortable modalities work to decrease your pain, limit inflammation and ease muscle spasm. Hot or cold packs are often used in conjunction, to enhance the effect of these modalities. Another available option is the therapeutic ultrasound. Ultrasound pushes sound vibrations into tissues. When these vibrations reach your deep tissues, heat develops and unwanted waste products are dispersed. Myofascial Release -Overworked muscles often become tight and develop knots or“trigger points”. Franklin Chiropractic. Chronic tightness produces inflammation and swelling that ultimately leads to the formation of “adhesions” between tissues. Your chiropractor will apply pressure with their hands, or with specialized tools, in order to release muscle tightness and soft-tissue adhesions. This will help to improve your circulation, relieve pain and restore flexibility. Therapeutic Exercise -Muscle tightness or weakness causes discomfort and alters normal joint function, leading to additional problems. Your Franklin chiropractor will target tight or weak muscles with specific therapeutic stretching and strengthening to help increase tissue flexibility, build strength, and ease pain.
Healthy, strong, and flexible muscles may help prevent re-injury. Some Things That You Can Do To Help Yourself RICE-The acronym RICE can help you remember what to do after a new injury: Rest – Limit stress to the injured area for at least the first 48 hours. Ice – Apply for 10-15 minutes. Break for 30 minutes. Reapply. (Alternatives to the ice pack include Ziploc bags filled with ice, or a bag of frozen vegetables.) Compression – Wrap the injured area with an elastic ACE bandage if possible. Elevation – Elevate the injured area to limit swelling. Home Ice-Application of ice will help reduce inflammation by constricting swollen blood vessels. Ice may also help reduce muscle spasm and numb irritated nerves. Apply for 10-15 minutes. Break for 30 minutes. Reapply. (Alternatives to the ice pack include Ziploc bags filled with ice or a bag of frozen vegetables.) Repeat several times a day as needed. Place a thin towel between your skin and the ice pack for comfort and safety. Use ice-massage for smaller areas. Begin by freezing a small paper cup of water.
When frozen, tear off the bottom inch of the cup to expose the ice. Massage the indicated area for 5-10 minutes in a slow figure-eight pattern. Do not hold the ice in one position. Sports Cream -Sports creams come in a variety of styles that produce either a sensation of heat or cold. These creams do not speed healing but may provide temporary relief. Their effect is to pleasantly irritate the skin by stimulating the highly sensitive surface nerves, so that your brain can temporarily “forget” about your underlying deeper pain. Sports creams have no known side-effects when applied in small amounts but do not apply more than a 2-3 of times per day unless otherwise directed.
Nutrition-Brief – The foods we eat have a dramatic impact on how we feel and our bodies will perform best with quality foods. Here are a couple of nutrition tips for better health & healing: Decrease consumption of red meat & refined carbohydrates like sugar and white flour. Choose “healthy” oils like olive or canola. Increase consumption of vegetables and fruits. Choose water over-carbonated, caffeinated or calorie-laden beverages. Consume six 8-oz glasses of water daily.