Bicep/Tricep Tendonitis/Bursitis: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Tendons become inflamed for a variety of reasons, and the action of using the muscle becomes irritating and painful. Tendonitis of the arm is most commonly seen among athletes and those whose work requires repetitive arm movements. In this video, Shane Arnold, DC explains how Airrosti treats tendonitis pain directly at the source, helping athletes and other active individuals recover faster and more fully.


Biceps tendonitis (or biceps tendinitis) is inflammation in the main tendon that attaches the top of the biceps muscle to the shoulder. The most common cause is overuse from certain types of work or sports activities. Biceps tendonitis may develop gradually from the effects of wear and tear, or it can happen suddenly from a direct injury. The tendon may also become inflamed in response to other problems in the shoulder, such as rotator cuff tears, impingement, or instability.

If you are suffering from biceps tendonitis, you will have pain in the front of your shoulder and some tenderness/weakness in your bicep muscle. Pain will increase as you lift your arm overhead, raise your arm in a throwing motion, or use your arm to pull something.


The triceps tendon is located at the back of the upper arm and attaches to the back of the elbow. Triceps tendonitis (or triceps tendinitis) most commonly occurs due to repetitive or prolonged activities placing strain on the triceps tendon. This typically occurs due to repetitive pushing activities or straightening the elbow against resistance (such as performing push-ups or dips). Occasionally, it may occur suddenly due to a high force going through the triceps tendon beyond what it can withstand. This most commonly occurs during heavy weight lifting in a gym environment.

The most common symptom of triceps tendonitis is pain in the elbow, which often worsens upon movement of the arm. There is usually tenderness at the tip of the elbow and just above it. In some cases, there may be mild swelling around the elbow joint, and patients may have difficulty straightening the elbow from a flexed position.


Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa. Normally, the bursa provides a slippery surface for joints with almost no friction. A problem arises when a bursa becomes inflamed. The bursa loses its gliding capabilities and becomes increasingly irritated when moved.


Many tendonitis (tendinitis) injuries are misdiagnosed and mistreated due to a poor understanding of what occurs to the tendon/bursa after it becomes injured or inflamed. This leads to expensive diagnostics and imaging. Often these costly procedures do not change the course of treatment. Many treatment outcomes are inconsistent and often take several weeks to months to show noticeable improvements.

Airrosti Providers will evaluate the root cause of your symptoms. A more detailed evaluation leads to a more accurate diagnosis, followed by highly specific manual therapy and active rehab to correct the underlying cause. In most cases, this allows for rapid recovery, complete resolution, and lasting results. If you’re suffering with tendonitis pain, schedule an appointment today.



Reviewed by Casey Crisp, Doctor of Chiropractic

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