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Advice for Bicep Tendonitis

Just got back from an orthopedist (sp?) and had some x-rays done. Although I have an MRI coming up sometime next week, he said that given my symptoms I most likely have bicep tendonitis. Now, I’m faced with a real dilemma here. I can still deadlift, squat, and bench, but any curl or fly movement just kills! Rowing isn’t so bad, but vertical pulling movements feel awful.

Does anybody have advice for how to heal quickly, or what I should avoid? I worked hard to be able to do weighted chins! I’ve been popping ibuprofen and having at least 4g of EPA+DHA a day.

I had some real serious bicep tendonitis myself, took almost a year to be able to train biceps directly. I started popping a hadnful of fish oils with every meal, would use ice after training, used Alieve only when really necessary (dont use this as a crutch), and had to really alter my training.

I couldn’t do ANY bi work for a while, and when it started getting better, I would just do static holds with light weights, eventually moving to partials, until I was able to do full ROM (took a while though). My back training was altered so as to eliminate the bicep stressing portion of the movements. Barbell rows became almost a bend over shrugging motion. I’d use a pulldown machine, but only contract my scapulae a few inches to get the back stimulus. All in all, I lost very little bicep size, and if anything, got some extra definition in my back. Every other body part was okay, although I couldn’t do heavy flyes as my bicep would want to assist.

Hope that gives some suggestions.

S

Avoid what aggravates it (curling).

Take plenty of Flameout upwards of 2 servings/day

Heat will help as well, heating pad, or hot tub/bath

My biceps seem to hate any curl done with a barbell. Dumbell curls are fine. They allow a more natural movement.

If that doesn’t work maybe stick with compound exercises like pullups, chinups and stuff.

  • Adam

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[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
I had some real serious bicep tendonitis myself, took almost a year to be able to train biceps directly. I started popping a hadnful of fish oils with every meal, would use ice after training, used Alieve only when really necessary (dont use this as a crutch), and had to really alter my training.

I couldn’t do ANY bi work for a while, and when it started getting better, I would just do static holds with light weights, eventually moving to partials, until I was able to do full ROM (took a while though). My back training was altered so as to eliminate the bicep stressing portion of the movements. Barbell rows became almost a bend over shrugging motion. I’d use a pulldown machine, but only contract my scapulae a few inches to get the back stimulus. All in all, I lost very little bicep size, and if anything, got some extra definition in my back. Every other body part was okay, although I couldn’t do heavy flyes as my bicep would want to assist.

Hope that gives some suggestions.

S
[/quote]

Thank you very much Stu. I’m about to go pick up a big bottle of Carlson’s fish oil, so I’ll be taking at least 1-1.5 tbsp a day. I just got done with a ME deadlift session, and I have to say this injury ensures that cheating WILL NOT happen. I’ll use your suggestion of a progression, and start that in a few weeks. Do you think that using seated rows could work for the scapulae contractions? Any vertical pulling motion KILLS.

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
Avoid what aggravates it (curling).

Take plenty of Flameout upwards of 2 servings/day

Heat will help as well, heating pad, or hot tub/bath[/quote]

Thanks for the advice! I’ve got a heating pad laying around somewhere…

By manual therapist, whom do you mean? Never heard of this before. And to adam, any vertical pulling feels awful, but thanks for the suggestions.

I guess just do tri’s, chest and legs for a while.

[quote]dreads989 wrote:
By manual therapist, whom do you mean? Never heard of this before. And to adam, any vertical pulling feels awful, but thanks for the suggestions.[/quote]

Stu is right on the money with his post.

I took 9 months to get back into direct bicep work, only to have it flare up again after a set of pull ups (yet chins were fine).

I’m icing it down after each session and wearing an elbow brace on days when I know I’ll be testing the arms.

And, after every set of something that stresses the area, I hold DB’s in each hand hanging down and simply rotate all the way around in both directions for a minute - feels great.

Don’t forget the ART with some tennis balls, every day.

[quote]Duke wrote:
Stu is right on the money with his post.

I took 9 months to get back into direct bicep work, only to have it flare up again after a set of pull ups (yet chins were fine).

I’m icing it down after each session and wearing an elbow brace on days when I know I’ll be testing the arms.

And, after every set of something that stresses the area, I hold DB’s in each hand hanging down and simply rotate all the way around in both directions for a minute - feels great.

Don’t forget the ART with some tennis balls, every day.[/quote]

How would I perform the ART? If you could post this that would be great! I hope that this thread can be helpful to those in the future that have this problem.

[quote]dreads989 wrote:
Duke wrote:
Stu is right on the money with his post.

I took 9 months to get back into direct bicep work, only to have it flare up again after a set of pull ups (yet chins were fine).

I’m icing it down after each session and wearing an elbow brace on days when I know I’ll be testing the arms.

And, after every set of something that stresses the area, I hold DB’s in each hand hanging down and simply rotate all the way around in both directions for a minute - feels great.

Don’t forget the ART with some tennis balls, every day.

How would I perform the ART? If you could post this that would be great! I hope that this thread can be helpful to those in the future that have this problem.[/quote]

type in foam rolling in the search bar. Cressey has some good articles about it.

gotcha. these are what I came up with, for future readers.




[quote]dreads989 wrote:
Just got back from an orthopedist (sp?) and had some x-rays done. Although I have an MRI coming up sometime next week, he said that given my symptoms I most likely have bicep tendonitis. Now, I’m faced with a real dilemma here. I can still deadlift, squat, and bench, but any curl or fly movement just kills! Rowing isn’t so bad, but vertical pulling movements feel awful.

Does anybody have advice for how to heal quickly, or what I should avoid? I worked hard to be able to do weighted chins! I’ve been popping ibuprofen and having at least 4g of EPA+DHA a day.[/quote]

I also had chronic bicep tendonitis. Based on your description, it appears your case is more severe than mine. My case came on slowly. Likewise, it also healed slowly, taking about a year. I stayed away from curls. I also used ART, or Active Release techniques from a local provider. In addition, I massaged it myself about 3-4x per week, then iced it.

A question for you is whether you had an acute injury or if it appeared slowly. Do you work on the computer? I know mine was also probably related to computer work. Evaluate other areas of your life in which you might be irritating it.

Good luck.

[quote]ghost87 wrote:
dreads989 wrote:
Just got back from an orthopedist (sp?) and had some x-rays done. Although I have an MRI coming up sometime next week, he said that given my symptoms I most likely have bicep tendonitis. Now, I’m faced with a real dilemma here. I can still deadlift, squat, and bench, but any curl or fly movement just kills! Rowing isn’t so bad, but vertical pulling movements feel awful.

Does anybody have advice for how to heal quickly, or what I should avoid? I worked hard to be able to do weighted chins! I’ve been popping ibuprofen and having at least 4g of EPA+DHA a day.

I also had chronic bicep tendonitis. Based on your description, it appears your case is more severe than mine. My case came on slowly. Likewise, it also healed slowly, taking about a year. I stayed away from curls. I also used ART, or Active Release techniques from a local provider. In addition, I massaged it myself about 3-4x per week, then iced it.

A question for you is whether you had an acute injury or if it appeared slowly. Do you work on the computer? I know mine was also probably related to computer work. Evaluate other areas of your life in which you might be irritating it.

Good luck. [/quote]

Thanks for the input! Glad you were able to get over it. Mine came directly from training (shrugs to be exact). I’ll be sure to keep your advice in mind, as at my job I basically load and unload crates and do a lot of inventory.

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I get tendentious in my biceps all the time. I just take a week off from training. If not it can get worse.

[quote]AlteredState wrote:
A manual therapist would be (in this case) any sports masseur, chiro, osteo, physio who knows what crossfriction invloves.

To the guys who suggest foam rolling: How do you propose he foam rolls his biceps?[/quote]

Tennis balls or similar in a sock or stocking. Works.

Time off, ice and massage did wonders for mine.

[quote]Duke wrote:
AlteredState wrote:
A manual therapist would be (in this case) any sports masseur, chiro, osteo, physio who knows what crossfriction invloves.

To the guys who suggest foam rolling: How do you propose he foam rolls his biceps?

Tennis balls or similar in a sock or stocking. Works.[/quote]

On the bicep or tendon?