Upper Arm Pain

Bicep Tendonitis

Upper Arm Pain Treatment in Dallas

Having upper arm pain can seriously limit one’s ability to perform athletic activities, let alone general, everyday activities. Whether it’s intermittent pain or constantly occurring, sharp pains or dull and achy, irritating or debilitating, or in one particular area versus in the whole arm, there are loads of ways in which someone might experience upper arm pain. Additionally, there are various reasons why upper arm muscle pain might develop in the first place. 

As you know, there are several important working parts within your arm. These include bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, nerves, tendons, and blood vessels, all of which are subject to injury, disease, infection, and a number of potential conditions. One upper arm pain condition in particular is what is known as bicep tendonitis. 

Treating bicep tendonitis requires an in-depth understanding of the tendons, muscles, and ligaments of your arm, as well as an inherent skill in medicine and physical therapy. At SPORT, we pride ourselves on possessing the necessary knowledge and specialized skill to eliminate pain and help you get back to your active lifestyle. Our Texas sports medicine doctors serve patients in the Dallas and Frisco area, treating all types of conditions such as bicep tendonitis, shin splints, runner’s knee, trigger finger, and much more. For a personalized treatment plan targeting your upper arm muscle pain, call 469-200-2832 to schedule an appointment with our qualified physicians.

There are a few potential reasons why someone might experience pain in the upper right arm between their elbow and shoulder. Upper arm muscle pain doesn’t necessarily have to have an underlying disease or condition that’s causing it. It is possible that your arm is simply sore due to strength training or general exercise. There is also a possibility that you have a sprain or strain in the ligaments of your arm or even tendonitis in the elbow, also known as tennis elbow. However, if you’re experiencing pain in upper right arm (or left arm, for that matter) between the elbow and shoulder, there is a strong possibility that you have what is referred to as bicep tendonitis.

Tendons are the strong band of tissue that attaches a muscle to a bone. The tendons in the front of the upper arm are called the biceps, which attach to the bones in your shoulder. The purpose of the bicep is to assist in movements such as raising your arm or bending your elbow.

It’s possible for tendonitis to develop in the bicep tendons. Biceps tendonitis is an injury of the long head of the bicep that causes inflammation, often resulting in pain, swelling, and redness. As the tendonitis worsens, the sheath (or outside of the tendon) tends to grow thick and darken in color. In worse cases, the biceps or rotator cuff tendons may tear.

Not only is bicep tendonitis painful, but it also inhibits the completion of everyday tasks as well. Using your arm for common activities like cooking dinner or brushing your teeth may grow increasingly hard.

Like we’ve said, there are many different causes and conditions that may cause upper arm pain when lifting the arm. If it is found to be bicep tendonitis that is causing this pain, there are a few things that may have contributed to its development in the first place. 

Aging or general use over time can cause wear and tear of the tendon, which may lead to bicep tendonitis. Someone who overuses this tendon (especially in repetitive overhead motions) is more likely to develop this condition. This may come from playing sports, exercising, or even everyday work activities. 

It is also possible that a fall or other accident resulting in an injury to the tendon may lead to the development of bicep tendonitis. Someone who has had previous problems in the shoulder area, such as a rotator cuff tear or shoulder impingement, may also be more likely to experience this condition.

There are a few common symptoms one might experience when they have bicep tendonitis. It usually begins as a dull ache that seems to radiate from the upper arm to the mid arm or elbow. The upper arm muscle pain may get worse as you participate in repeated overhead activities such as pulling or lifting. 

Swelling and weakness in the shoulder area may be noticeable when experiencing bicep tendonitis. A popping, clicking, or catching sensation around the shoulder might also occur. It is common for someone with bicep tendonitis to notice these symptoms worsening specifically at nighttime or when conducting a higher level of activity.

There are a few treatment options available to those with upper arm pain caused by bicep tendonitis. What is recommended to you by your doctor depends on the severity of your specific injury and what other measures have already been taken to relieve it.

The first and perhaps most obvious way to try relieving the pain is to rest it. For example, try limiting certain movements to the arm and shoulder, such as raising your arm or reaching above your head. You may want to consider taking a small break from sports or other types of activity that may worsen your tendonitis until it heals. Engaging in these types of arm movements can lengthen the recovery time and worsen your symptoms.

Cold therapy is another option for bicep tendonitis treatment. Ice packs can help in relieving symptoms such as pain and swelling. If resting and icing the area fails to alleviate the pain or if the pain worsens, this is when your doctor may either recommend over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications or prescribe them to you. He or she may also inject medicine directly into the injured area. 

Your physician at SPORT may also recommend physical therapy and light exercise to help improve strength and range of motion. This may sound contradictory, as we just recommended you take a break from exercise, but targeted, specific movements can be beneficial to your full recovery. 

In the most extreme cases where all other treatments fail to relieve the pain, surgery may be necessary.

Depending on the severity of your condition, it may take a few weeks to even a month or more for your bicep tendonitis to heal. If you’ve experienced upper arm pain and previously tried at-home treatment methods like resting and cold therapy but have not seen any improvement in a week or two, it is important that you schedule an appointment with your doctor to make sure you have the correct diagnosis and have access to additional treatment options. This ensures the quickest and most efficient recovery.

The best way to prevent several sports-related injuries—including bicep tendonitis—is to warm up before workouts or training by properly stretching out your muscles. It is equally important that you use the proper form and technique in whatever activity you are participating in. 

Sometimes, taking a break from your regular routine may also be beneficial in the prevention of injuries such as bicep tendonitis. You often hear trainers and athletes emphasize the importance of alternating your workout days (i.e., leg day, arm day, ab/core day). This is because constantly overworking or targeting one specific muscle group can do more damage than good, often leading to these types of injuries.

Upper Arm Pain Specialist in Dallas, TX

Depending on the severity of your condition, our orthopedic specialists at SPORT will personalize a treatment plan just for you. From exercise recommendations to physical therapy to even surgery, we’re ready to help you, whatever it takes!  To start your recovery journey, give us a call or fill out our online intake form. 

bicep tendonitis