Bicep Tendon Sprain Front Shoulder Pain Sioux City
Our limbs are made up of muscles, tendons, cartilage, and bones. The tendons are the tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect muscle to bone. The bicep has two tendons that start at the shoulder. The “long head” is the one most commonly injured with repetitive motions, lifting, or throwing. The long head runs over the front of the shoulder.
Tendonitis can be caused by either sudden or repetitive-use injuries. Repeated activities increase the stress and strain on the bicep tendon, The pain starts as stiffness and dull pain. Sharp pain can develop with movements and reaching. The pain fluctuates over days and weeks.
Some common causes of such injuries include:
- Overuse or repetitive use of the arm
- Falls and other sudden injuries
- Improper use of the arm
- Throwing and lifting
How Is a Bicep Tendon Strain Diagnosed?
When diagnosing a bicep tendon strain, we categorize the injury as follows:
- Grade I — mild strain with no loss of strength
- Grade II — many injured tissues with noticeable loss of strength
- Grade III — completely torn muscle or tendon; complete functional loss
In any bicep tendon strain, the patient is likely to have varying degrees of shoulder pain, usually ranging from moderate to severe. Muscle spasms, swelling, and reduced mobility are all common symptoms as well.
The process of diagnosing a bicep strain will include a physical examination as well as a close look at the patient’s history. Palpitation of the area often produces pain. Orthopedic testing will determine the muscles and tendons injured. It will differentiate between more serious shoulder injuries. The examination will determine the appropriate therapy. An MRI is not often needed to determine shoulder sprains and strains. Other common shoulder injuries include rotator cuff injuries and teres syndrome.
How Is a Bicep Tendon Strain Treated?
The treatment protocol for your strain will vary heavily based on the severity of the injury. Some of the treatments for a bicep tendon strain are:
- RICE — rest, ice, compression, elevation
- NSAIDs — non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen
- Physical Therapy — to restore your range of motion, strength, and endurance
- Surgery — rarely, a full tendon tear occurs and surgery is required.
Chiropractic and physical therapy clinics specialize in treating shoulder sprains and tendonitis by decreasing pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms. In-office therapies include electric therapy, massage therapy, cold laser, and the Graston Technique. Chronic shoulder tendonitis produces scar tissue in the muscles and tendons and can be a common source of pain. Treatment restores normal muscle movements, decreases scar tissue, and reduces inflammation. Stretching and strengthening exercises will be given during treatment.
For cases that do not respond, cortisone injections can be given by your primary caregiver to reduce pain and inflammation. Anti-inflammatory medications can help with the recovery and treatment.
Specific exercises and stretches can be found on our treatment page. The exercises start easy and then progress to more difficult activities. Many people respond to shoulder treatment within a few weeks, and most do not require extensive treatment.