Biceps tendonitis cause, symptoms, and treatment with 3 exercises

Biceps tendonitis is a common cause of arm and shoulder pain and dysfunction.
It affects almost every activity you’re doing in your daily life. And that’s why you want to get rid of it as fast as possible.

Luckily for you, this is possible.

Here, I’ll show you exactly how to treat your biceps tendonitis by yourself at home through self-massage and a few exercises.

It will help you recover within a few weeks.

I’ll also teach you something about the anatomy of the biceps and what is causing this problem in the first place so that it won’t happen again.

Today you will learn:

  1. Biceps anatomy
  2. Biceps tendonitis causes
  3. Biceps tendonitis symptoms
  4. Biceps tendonitis treatment with massage and three exercises
Biceps tendonitis cause, symptoms and treatment with 3 exercises

Biceps anatomy

Your biceps runs from your shoulder to the radius in your lower arm. We call it a biarticular muscle because it serves two joints.

The biceps muscle originates from 2 parts of your shoulder blade.

They are called the long head and short head. They are both tendons.  When they run down, they form the muscle which attaches to the radius bone in your lower arm.

The primary function of your biceps muscle is flexing your elbow. It also assists in lifting your arm sideways.

So now you know something about the anatomy of your biceps, it’s time to discuss the cause of Biceps Tendonitis.

Biceps tendonitis cause, symptoms and treatment with 3 exercises

Biceps tendonitis causes

There can be multiple causes for biceps tendonitis.

The most common cause is an overuse of the biceps.

If you, for example, have worked out very hard on your biceps, this can cause a small rupture in the tendon. To repair the rupture, your body starts an inflammatory reaction.

The other possible cause for biceps tendonitis is compression between your upper arm and the roof of your shoulder blade. When the space your biceps runs through is too small for the biceps, it causes compression.

The compression irritates the tendon and can eventually also cause a rupture of the tendon. This can also lead to shoulder impingement syndrome.

The symptoms of both causes differ a little bit from each other, which gives you a chance to find out what your problem is.

To make this easier for you, I’ll show you which symptoms are a sign of which cause. It will help to understand the best treatment for you to recover completely from your biceps tendonitis.

Biceps tendonitis symptoms

Overuse of your biceps is the most common cause of biceps tendonitis.

It causes pain and a little swelling in the affected tendon. You can feel this both when you use your arm, but also when you’re at rest. Within a few weeks, the reaction disappears due to the healing of the tendon.

But sometimes the repair is insufficient. This can be due to overuse of the biceps during the recovery, which results in incomplete recovery.

When this is the case, you’ll continue to feel pain when you bend your arm lifting something, but not when he’s at rest. You’ll usually don’t feel it when just raising your arm without weight. It is irritation of the short head of the biceps, conected to your coracoid proces.

When the space in your shoulder is insufficient for your biceps, the symptoms are different. Now you’ll usually won’t feel it when bending your arm, but you’ll feel it when you lift your arm sideways. It cause pain at the outer side of your shoulder because it effects the long head of the biceps.

This is because the space in your shoulder decreases when you do this. Because the space is already limited, it will cause compression of the biceps tendon which causes pain.

Because this happens every time, it prevents the recovery of the tendon. It maintains the swelling of the tendon and will keep causing pain.

But in both cases, the solution is the same.

And now I’ll discuss with you the biceps tendonitis treatment with massage and three exercises for fast recovery.

biceps tendonitis symptoms

Biceps tendonitis treatment with massage and 3 exercises

To let your biceps tendonitis recover completely, you first must avoid any pain-provoking activity or movements.

It will only irritate the tendon, which will prevent it from healing.

Secondly, what you can do is massage the painful spot on your biceps. That will reduce the swelling and increases blood flow in the tendon.

It will reduce compression of the tendon in your shoulder joint.

I would recommend this massage oil to do this with because it increases the creation of heat even more, which is suitable for your recovery. It also protects your skin. You can massage the biceps at the place where it’s painful. It can be around the origin of the tendon but also somewhere in the muscle. In the picture, I show you every spot that can be painful. Massage it vigorously for 15-20 minutes per day. You should feel a reduction in pain in the next couple of days.

Combine this massage treatment with the following exercises.

Biceps tendonitis cause, symptoms and treatment with 3 exercises

Biceps tendonitis exercise 1: Increase the mobility of your neck

This might sound a little strange, but decreased neck mobility is a common cause of shoulder pain.

This is because when the mobility of your neck is insufficient, it reduces the space in your shoulder.

This can increase the compression of your biceps tendon, which is one of the causes of your biceps tendonitis not recovering.

It’s also a great exercise against neck pain.

But with this exercise, you will increase the space in your shoulder joint, reducing shoulder pain in general and also with biceps tendonitis.

Perform the exercise like this:

  • Wrap a towel around your neck
  • Take with your left hand the right side of the towel and with your right hand the left side
  • Now lift the hand that is in front up until the towel is at the same height as your cheek
  • Now pull with your arm and the towel your head in the full rotation to the side
  • Repeat this ten times and then change to the opposite side by changing your hands
  • Finally, grasp the towel normal and lift your arms and look up at the same time

In this video you can accurately see how to perform the exercise.

Perform this exercise twice a day, both in the morning and in the evening. This exercise is also excellent against neck pain.

biceps tedonitis exercise 1 increase the mobility of your neck

Biceps tendonitis exercises 2: Increase the strength of your biceps

The second exercise is designed to increase the power of your biceps.

When using your biceps doesn’t cause much pain anymore, it’s time to start training your biceps.

This will result in complete repair of the tendon which ends your pain.

You can perform the following exercise to do this:

    • Stand up straight with your arms hanging down
    • Now bend your elbow
    • Keep your upper arm still, don’t let your elbow come forward
    • Repeat this ten times and do this three times
    • When it doesn’t cause pain or is too easy, you can add some weight to it

You can also see how to perform the exercise in this video.

Perform this exercise twice a day, every day. Try to increase the weight your lifting without causing to much pain.

biceps tendonitis exercise 2 train your biceps muscles

Biceps tendonitis exercises 3: Improve the strength of your shoulders

The purpose of this last exercise is to increase the strength of your shoulder muscles.

Strong shoulder muscles prevent stiffening of the shoulder, which can lead to your biceps tendonitis. By training your shoulder muscles you can prevent shoulder pain, neck pain, and arm pain.

You can perform the exercise like this:

  • Stand up straight and lift your arm sideways until it hurts
  • Repeat this ten times and do this three times
  • If this is too easy repeat it 15 or even 20 times
  • You might also add some weight if it doesn’t increase the pain

You can also see how you have to perform this exercise in this video.

Perform this exercise twice a day. You will notice that you can lift your arms higher and higher over time.

biceps tendonitis exercise 3 improve the strength of your shoulders


Biceps tendonitis is very easily treatable by yourself at home. And now you know how to do so.

If you have still a question left, feel free to send me an e-mail.

Good luck with your recovery.

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