Bicipital tendinitis and tenosynovitis are common problems and the risk increases with age. The structure of the tendons of the biceps muscle is such that it is located in the front of the upper arm and it helps in lifting the arm, bending the elbow and also to reach up above the head. The biceps muscle is attached by two tendon heads to the front of the shoulder.
Tendinitis is inflammation of the tendon which is due to microscopic tears which leads to repeated inflammation of the joint. At times, there may be calcium deposit on the tendons. There is a sheath known as the synovium surrounding the joint which is protective in function. In tenosynovitis, the synovium is also inflamed. The cause may be infection, sports overuse or repetitive injury or strain. The condition is generally seen in the arms, wrists and feet. When it affects the bicipital tendon, it is known as tenosynovitis or bicipital tendinitis.
Bicipital tendinitis is the inflammation of the long head of the biceps (biceps has two proximal heads and a single common distal head). It causes shoulder pain and is one of the common causes of the same due to its structure and function.
The occurrence of new cases of biceps tendon injury is generally seen among people involved in sports but the epidemiology is unknown as much research is not available. Tendinitis and tenosynovitis occur with different types of sports activities which include repetitive injury which occurs with tennis, wheelchair athletics or even general wheelchair use, kayaking, baseball, weightlifting etc., where activity involves using the whole arm in an overhead motion. The degenerative condition of tendinitis may lead to rupture of the tendon which is seen more commonly in the geriatric or senior.