Biceps tendonitis results in pain and inflammation of the biceps tendon as it inserts into the inside of the elbow. Inner elbow pain caused by the inflamed tendon may be exacerbated by certain activities like writing. Read more on what you can do to treat this elbow injury, from rest and ice to electrotherapy and rehabilitation exercises.
Biceps tendonitis symptoms
Symptoms include a thickening and redness over the biceps tendon. Pain or discomfort may be felt when bending the arm against resistance. The patient may also experience pain or discomfort on the front and inside of the elbow when writing. Tenderness to touch the tendon which can be felt in the crease of the elbow.
Biceps tendonitis treatment
Rest until pain and discomfort have gone. Biceps tendonitis is an overuse injury so continuing to use it will either make worse or prevent healing.
Apply ice or cold therapy which will reduce pain and inflammation. Ice should not be applied directly to the skin as it may burn but use a wet tea towel of commercial cold therapy wrap. Apply every hour for 10 minutes at a time in which the injury is acutely painful. Later in the rehabilitation stage, particularly if the injury becomes chronic heat may be more beneficial or alternating hot and cold.
Use an elbow support or heat retainer. A neoprene elbow support will provide compression to the joint taking some of the strain off the tendon. Also neoprene material retains the body heat increasing blood flow and aiding the healing process.
Prescribe a full rehabilitation program including stretching exercises and later once the inflammation has gone a series of progressive strengthening exercises if required.
Sports massage may help if the biceps muscle is tight. Cross friction massage may be applied to the tendon itself if more conservative treatment is not effective or the biceps tendonitis has become chronic.