The biceps muscle is located in the front part of the upper arm and has two tendons attaching it to the bones of the shoulder scapula and one tendon that attaches it to the radius bone at the elbow. Even though the tendons are very strong, overuse can make them sore and painful. This pain and soreness is called tendonitis and is caused by micro tears in the affected tendon. 
Bicep tendonitis injuries include: proximal biceps tendonitis at shoulder, proximal biceps tendon tear at shoulder and distal biceps tendonitis and tear at the elbow.


Bicep tendonitis occurs due to damage of the tendon from normal everyday activities and repetitive motion. As the human body ages, the tendons weaken and the degeneration can be worsened by overuse and repetitive motion. Some sports activities like tennis, swimming, baseball and golf can put people at greater risk to develop bicep tendonitis. 
Sudden movement with a serious load to the tendon also cause bicep tendonitis. 


Sudden and severe pain in the upper arm or elbow is the most common symptom of bicep tendonitis. A person may hear or feel a popping sound when the tendon tears. 
Other symptoms of bicep tendonitis include:

  • Bruise on the upper arm and forearm 
  • Feeling of weakness in the shoulder or elbow
  • Change of the bicep contour
  • Difficulties in rotating the arm “palm up” to “palm down” position


Bicep tendonitis is diagnosed by a physical exam of the shoulder, examining the range of motion, strength and stability. X-ray and MRI may be needed to confirm the diagnosis. 
The Non Surgical treatments include:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Steroid injections
  • Physical therapy

If none of the non surgical treatments help, the doctor may suggest surgery. As well surgery is an option if the patient have other shoulder problems.