Biceps Tendinopathy


Biceps tendinopathy is a painful condition felt mainly in the front of the shoulder affecting the tendon of the biceps brachii muscle. The biceps has two heads and this condition primarily affects the tendon of the long head of biceps as it runs through the bony groove in the humorous just before it inserts in to the shoulder.

Biceps tendinopathy rarely presents by itself and is often seen with other shoulder conditions like rotator cuff impingement, this makes it hard to differentiate between conditions.

Biceps tendinopathy can be caused by:

  • Poor shoulder biomechanics.
  • Poor exercise selection at the gym, a program predominantly featuring bench press, dips, and weighted overhead lifting.
  • Overuse of the shoulder.
  • Excessive overhead activites such as swimmers, throwers or workers constantly lifting over their heads.
  • Poor posture.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Direct injury.
  • Rotator cuff tightness.
  • Joint capsular tightness.

Rarely will just one causeĀ  present, normal presentation is multiple causes.


Common symptoms for biceps tendinopathies are:

  • Pain on the anterior point of the shoulder along the biceps tendon.
  • Pain with overhead lifting.
  • Discomfort with weight training exercises especially the dip or bench press or over head lifting.
  • Pain may be reproduced by stretching of the biceps or by resisted activation of the biceps.


Physiotherapy treatment will consist of:

  • Biomechanical assessment of the shoulder to correct any faults.
  • Mobilisation to treat joint tightness.
  • Stretching of tight shoulder muscles.
  • Assessment of function of your everyday activities or exercises.
  • Massage to remove adhesions in tendon and muscle.
  • Progressive exercise program aimed at strength and scapular stability.
  • Education for lifting technique and manual handling technique.