Biceps Tendinopathy


  • Bodybuilders/ powerlifters
  • Physical jobs, tradies such as carpenters, scaffolders etc.
  • Elderly
  • Athletes involved in throwing sports
  • Swimmers


Bicep tendinopathy is a broad term used to describe injuries to the biceps tendon including,

  • Biceps tendonitis
  • Biceps tendinosis
  • Biceps tenosynovitis
  • Biceps tendon tear or rupture

The biceps muscle has two heads, a short and a long head. It is most often the tendon of the long head of biceps that gets injured. The tendon, arising from the biceps muscle, runs along the top of the arm bone and attaches onto the shoulder capsule. Thus, the long head of biceps acts to both bend the elbow and also stabilize the shoulder. Inflammation or irritation to the tendon, or the protective sheath around the tendon, usually occurs as a result of chronic overuse. In some case it can also be injured as a result of direct trauma.

When & How

Injury to the biceps tendon usually occurs in combination with other conditions such as rotator cuff tears, shoulder impingement, SLAP lesions, labral teats or shoulder instability. These conditions can occur for a number of reasons including;

  • Altered or poor body mechanics
  • Weakness or injury to the shoulder rotator cuff muscles
  • Age related changes affecting the neck and shoulder joints
  • Changes in exercise programs, such as new exercises or sudden increases in activity
  • Activities requiring repetitive overhead movements such as throwing or swimming

With these conditions the biceps tendon can be subject to compression, pinching, shearing or excessive tension. This result in micro damage occurring at the tendon, overtime this repetitive stress to the tendon begins to irritate it resulting in swelling and pain.


To manage biceps tendinopathy your local move forward physiotherapist will assess your elbow, shoulder and neck to determine any factors that may be contributing to your injury. Following this they will prescribe you with an individualized program and treatment plan to best manage your injury and to prevent any ongoing long term pain. They will use a number of techniques throughout your rehabilitation which may include;

  • Deep tissue massage
    • Dry needling
    • Joint mobilisations
    • Stretching exercises
    • Strengthening exercises can be incorporated into a Pilates program at both our Quinns Physiotherapyand Jindalee PhysiotherapyMove Forward practices.
    • Heat and/or ice therapy
    • Taping
    • Specific activity modifications, performed under physio supervision at our Hillarys Physiotherapy, located just next to Whitfords Shopping centre within Healthy Life Gym.