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Bicep Tendonitis Treatment

Dr. Pamela Mehta, MD
Shoulder Surgeon in San Jose

Guide to bicep tendonitis treatment in san jose

Dr. Pamela Mehta is an experienced shoulder surgeon renowned for her expertise in sports injuries and joint arthritis. She is the founder of Resilience Orthopedics.

With an impressive career and training under leading innovators, she has served as Chief of Orthopedics and National Orthopedic Director for a major orthopedic hospitalist group and advises several publicly traded companies.

Pamela Mehta

Table of Contents

What Is Bicep Tendonitis?

Bicep tendonitis is a condition of the tendon of the bicep muscle. It occurs when the tendon becomes inflamed or irritated. This increases the chance of biceps tendon tear or damage to the rotator cuff tendons. It’s sometimes known as biceps tendinitis or biceps tendinopathy.

Repetitive overhead motion and sudden heavy lifting can cause bicep tendonitis. Athletes who take part in sports with repetitive upper body movements should be aware of this condition. If ignored or not treated correctly, it can lead to being out of action for months.

Your biceps, or biceps brachii, are the muscles on the inside of your upper arm, between your shoulder and elbow. These muscles function to flex your forearm (bend at the elbow) and turn over (supinate) your hand.

with arm pain from biceps tendonitis
Biceps and Shoulder Anatomy

Your biceps start as a single muscle mass at the elbow, then split into two “heads” – the long head and the short head. Each of these “heads” ends in a tendon which attaches to your scapula (shoulder blade).

Biceps tendonitis is the inflammation of the tendons of your bicep muscle, usually the upper (long) head of the biceps. At first, this tendon becomes irritated with some pain associated with the inflammation. 

If the process continues, the tendon sheath (covering) can become thickened. If not treated, it can lead to a complete tear in one of the bicep tendons. This causes a “Popeye” deformity which looks like a bulge in your upper arm.

Symptoms of bicep tendonitis include:

  • Pain and tenderness at the front of your arm near the shoulder
  • Increased shoulder pain when lifting your arm above your head
  • The feeling of your shoulder “catching” when you move your arm
  • A “snapping” sound in the shoulder on arm movement

Distal Biceps Tendonitis

Distal biceps tendonitis is inflammation of the bicep tendon at your elbow. This is rarer than proximal biceps tendonitis (inflammation of the tendons at your shoulder). 

Distal biceps tendonitis has similar causes to proximal biceps tendonitis. However, the symptoms will be felt in the lower part of your upper arm, near your elbow.

Book a Consultation with Dr. Pamela Mehta, MD

The Best Orthopedic Surgeon in San Jose

Dr. Mehta is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who can help you recover from your joint condition.

We can help if you:

Causes of Biceps Tendonitis

Biceps tendonitis is often caused by repetitive movement. It frequently occurs in sports such as golf, tennis, swimming, and baseball. It can also occur when lifting heavy objects during weightlifting or manual labor. 

Bicep tendinitis is more likely in older people, as your tendons weaken with wear and tear.

It is important to differentiate this condition from other shoulder conditions associated with overhead motion, such as:

biceps tendonitis after sports injury


Shoulder pain has several different causes that can mimic each other. If you’re suffering from any of the symptoms above you should visit an orthopedic surgeon. Your orthopedist will examine the shoulder joint to look for:

  • Shoulder weakness
  • Reduced range of movement
  • Signs of shoulder instability
  • Movements that cause pain

When you visit us at Resilience Orthopedics, Dr. Mehta will order appropriate imaging. This might include an x-ray, ultrasound, and/or MRI to determine the cause of your pain.

X-rays look at the bones and assess for signs of shoulder arthritis and other problems. Ultrasound and MRI take a closer look at the joint such as its muscles, tendons, and cartilage.

Using this, Dr. Mehta will explain to you what is causing your shoulder pain. She will take time to answer all your questions and concerns.

Surgery for Bicep Tendonitis

Surgery is sometimes required for severe cases of biceps tendonitis. This can also be suitable for people who aren’t responding to non-surgical treatment. Non-response is often due to associated conditions in your shoulder. Complications such as rotator cuff tear or shoulder impingement can impact recovery.  

If you have suffered a partial or complete tear of your bicep tendon, you likely need surgery to repair it.

Dr. Mehta is skilled in non-invasive shoulder surgery, known as arthroscopy. Dr. Mehta will make a small incision over your shoulder and insert a camera to look at the tissues of your shoulder. Shoulder arthroscopy results in smaller scars and a quicker recovery time.

Operating room

Ready to Recover?

Take the first step in getting back to your normal self, and book an appointment with Dr. Mehta today.

We’re ready when you are!


Napoleon G.
San Jose, CA
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Dr. Mehta made a big impression on me and my family with her skills, ease of doing business and her willingness to take the time to understand my specific requirements.She is fast, thorough, and you will leave her office feeling like you had and opportunity to learn and understand what are your best options. I went in for sharp pains shooting down my arm. Albeit I am on my way to recovery, I am not in severe pain anymore.I would highly recommend anyone to seek her medical expertise.
Andrew Vo
Google Review
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I came in a few months ago with tingling and numbness on my left hand that was pretty excruciating. Gave Dr. Mehta a visit and after running some tests we agreed carpel tunnel release surgery was the best route. Fast forward six weeks later post surgery and my hand is doing great, and I’m able to start up gym activities again! She did a great job and always made you feel at ease. And the staff at her clinic are always polite, communicative and kind. All around great experience and highly recommend if you’ve got similar issues.

What Shoulder Services Do We Offer?

Shoulder Pain Assessment

Shoulder Pain is frustrating and can impact both your sleep and your mental health. Dr. Mehta is a shoulder doctor and can diagnose your pain, offering various surgical and non-surgical treatments.

Shoulder Surgery

If your shoulder condition is severe, or nothing you have tried has helped, Dr. Mehta can advise you on the options for surgery. She is a shoulder specialist and can offer expert opinion and care.

Treatment of Shoulder Conditions


Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder makes your shoulder stiff and can make movement painful.

Bicep Tendinitis

Bicep tendonitis causes pain in your upper arm and can lead to a bicep tendon tear.

Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement makes it difficult to raise your arms above your head.

Shoulder Separation

Shoulder separation is a sprain in the AC joint near your shoulder.

Shoulder Bursitis

Shoulder bursitis gives you a tender shoulder and makes it difficult to sleep.

Rotator Cuff Tear

Rotator cuff tears can occur during sports and make overhead movements difficult.

Dislocated Shoulder

Shoulder dislocation causes a disformed and painful shoulder and can be recurrent.

Bone Spurs

Bone spurs can form over time and cause pain and impingement.

And Many More!

Dr. Mehta offers diagnosis and treatment of all shoulder conditions and can offer her specialist opinion as an expert shoulder doctor.

Expert Advice For Shoulder Problems