Tendon Injuries

Biceps Tendinitis

Biceps tendinitis is the name given to an irritation or inflammation of the long head of the biceps tendon in the shoulder. It is typically caused by day-to-day activities that cause gradual degenerative changes to the biceps tendon as we age, however repetitive strain injuries from occupational activities or sports (especially overhead sports such as swimming, tennis and baseball) can cause earlier irritation and damage to the biceps tendon, as can direct trauma injuries to the shoulder.

Biceps tendinitis typically presents as pain or tenderness in the front of the shoulder made worse by overhead activities, pain/aches that radiate down the arm bone and/or an occasional snapping sound within the shoulder.

 

Biceps-Strain

Biceps Brachii Sprain and Strain Injuries

The biceps brachii muscle is a two-headed muscle that crosses both the shoulder and elbow joints and is responsible for flexing the elbow, supinating (externally rotating) the forearm and assisting with forward movement of the shoulder joint. Biceps brachii sprain and strain injuries are injuries to the biceps brachii muscle. A sprain refers to an injury of a ligament while a strain refers to an injury of a muscle. Sprains and strains typically occur due to injury such as direct trauma, a fall or by lifting something too heavy, or due to repetitive overuse of the muscle without adequate recovery time. These cause over-stretching and possible tearing of the ligament or muscle fibres.

Biceps brachii sprain and strain injuries present as sudden, sharp pain in the upper arm, sometimes accompanied by an audible snap, tenderness over the shoulder or elbow, as well as  cramping, bruising and/or weakness of the biceps brachii muscle.

 

Biceps Tendon Tears

The biceps brachii muscle is a two-headed muscle that crosses both the shoulder and elbow joints and is responsible for flexing the elbow, supinating (externally rotating) the forearm and assisting with forward flexion of the shoulder joint. Tendons attach muscle to bones, and a tearing of a biceps tendon may be either partial (incomplete tear) or complete (splitting the tendon into two pieces).

There are two main causes of biceps tendon tears, injury and overuse. Injury typically occurs through falling onto an outstretched hand, while overuse is a gradual process whereby repetitive microtrauma causes the tendon to weaken, fray and slowly tear over time. The long head of the biceps is the most susceptible to biceps tendon tears, however because the short head of the biceps rarely tears, many people can still use their biceps muscle even after a complete tear of the long head.

Typical symptoms associated with a biceps tendon tear include sudden, sharp pain in the upper arm, an audible “pop”, cramping of the biceps muscle and weakness of the biceps.

 

Triceps Tendinitis (Posterior Tennis Elbow)

Triceps tendinitis is the name given to an irritation or inflammation of the triceps tendon located at the base of the triceps muscle at the back of the elbow. It is typically caused by sudden direct trauma such as a fall onto the elbow or from repetitive strain injuries from occupational activities or sports such as throwing sports, using a hammer or lifting heavy weights.

Triceps tendinitis typically presents as pain, tenderness or stiffness in the back of the elbow made worse by elbow use and relieved by rest.

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