Biceps tendinitis symptoms
When the biceps tendons become inflamed or irritated, the following symptoms of biceps tendinitis usually occur:
- Pain when the arm is bent or lifted over the head
- Tenderness in the upper arm when the biceps tendon passes against the groove in the humerus (upper arm bone)
- A feeling of snapping or a popping sound in the shoulder when moving the arm
Diagnosis of biceps tendinitis
When a diagnosis of biceps tendinitis is suspected, a physician will review the patient’s medical history and examine the shoulder joint, checking for mobility, signs of joint instability, and tenderness.
In addition to the physical exam, the doctor may recommend imaging studies to rule out conditions that might cause similar symptoms. These tests can also help determine the underlying cause of biceps tendinitis. Imaging studies sometimes include:
- X-ray: X-rays reveal changes in the bone that can sometimes cause irritation of the biceps tendons.
- Magnetic resonance imaging: This is also called MRI. It can reveal damage to the biceps tendons caused by conditions other than tendinitis. Conditions such as aging can cause tendon damage, even in the absence of inflammation.