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5 Exercises to Relieve Bicep Tendonitis

Bicep tendonitis frequently sidelines professional baseball players, those who play tennis, swimmers, and golf enthusiasts since they all use repetitive overhead motions. You can get bicep tendonitis in both the shoulder or the elbow. Let’s define exactly what it is, and focus on 5 exercises to relieve bicep tendonitis.

What Is Bicep Tendonitis?

man with bicep pain

Bicep tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons in the upper arm. A tendon attaches the biceps muscle in the upper arm to the scapula bones of the shoulder, while another tendon attaches the biceps muscle to the radius bone at the elbow.

Our tendons are strong, but overuse can make them become painful and inflamed, leading to possible micro tears.  As we age, tendons throughout the body will gradually weaken with continued wear and tear from daily activities, which can worsen more quickly if we do repetitive motions. 

In the early stages of bicep tendonitis the tendons usually become red and swollen as the condition begins to develop. The tendon covering then starts to thicken, making the tendon actually grow larger over time. 

In the late stages of bicep tendonitis, the affected tendons can turn a dark red color from the inflammation. This can develop into a tear and lead to the iconic “Popeye” bulge in the upper arm.

Exercises to Relieve the Pain of Biceps Tendonitis

Dumbbell Curls

Hold your dumbbells (5 to 8 pounds) like you are holding a hammer with your palms facing each other. Bend your elbows and then straighten them. Do three sets of ten. Then switch holding the dumbbells with palms facing up and repeat the same repetitions. You can also use a hammer or a can of soup for this exercise if you do not have any appropriately weighted dumbbells to use.

Dumbbells Shoulder Flexion

Begin with your arms at your side. Lift the dumbbells to shoulder height and keep arms bent at 90 degrees without shrugging your shoulders. Complete three sets of ten repetitions.

Flexion and Extension

Flex and extend your elbow on the injured side. Slowly bring the palm of your hand to your shoulder. Bend your elbow as much as possible. Finally, straighten both your arm and elbow. Complete 15 repetitions, and then rest the area. After resting, finish with an additional 15 repetitions.

Biceps Stretch

Face the wall and stand approximately 6 inches away. With palms down, raise the arm on your injured side, and touch the thumb side of your hand to the wall. Keep your arm straight and turn your body away from your raised arm until your experience a stretching sensation in your bicep. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds, rest, and then complete 2 more repetitions.

Single Shoulder Flexion

Stand with your arms at your side. Keep your injured arm straight and raise it forward and upward until it points to the ceiling. Hold for 5 seconds and return to the starting position. Complete an additional set until you finish with 8-12 total raises and hold each for 5 seconds.

Treatment for Biceps Tendonitis

The best treatment for bicep tendonitis is to rest the tendons and to avoid in the activity that caused inflammation to the area in the first place. If after two weeks of applying ice, resting the area, and doing exercises to relieve biceps tendonitis with no improvement, it is time to see Keith Clinic Estramonte Chiropractic to explore more effective treatment options.

Make an appointment with Keith Clinic Estramonte Chiropractic right away if your biceps tendonitis does not improve after 2 weeks of proper care in order to prevent permanent damage to your tendons.

If you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call one of our locations or request an appointment online today!