Welcome to Part Two of Common Injuries suffered by Massage Therapists.
Biceps tendonitis is inflammation of the long head of the biceps tendon. In its early stages, the tendon becomes red and swollen. As tendonitis develops, the tendon sheath (covering) can thicken. The cord itself often thickens or grows larger.
In these late stages, the Biceps Tendon is often dark red in color due to the inflammation. Occasionally, the damage to the tendon can result in a tendon tear, and then deformity of the arm (a “Popeye” bulge in the upper arm).
In most cases, damage to the biceps tendon is due to a lifetime of normal activities. As we age, our tendons slowly weaken with everyday wear and tear. This degeneration can be worsened by overuse — repeating the same shoulder motions again and again.
Many jobs and routine chores can cause overuse damage. Sports activities — particularly those that require repetitive overhead motion, such as swimming, tennis, and baseball — can also put people at risk for biceps tendinitis.
A repetitive overhead motion may play a part in other shoulder problems that occur with biceps tendinitis. Rotator cuff tears, osteoarthritis, and chronic shoulder instability are often caused by overuse, repetitive motion.
· Pain or tenderness in the front of the shoulder, which worsens with overhead lifting or activity
· Pain or achiness that moves down the upper arm bone
· An occasional snapping sound or sensation in the shoulder
Rotator Cuff Injury
When the rotator cuff is damaged, a variety of issues arise:
Pain and spasm limit the range of motion of the shoulder.
The muscles do not make the small adjustments within the joint to allow the humeral head to move smoothly.
Fluid accumulation within the joint due to inflammation limits movement.
Rest. The first step toward recovery is to avoid activities that cause pain. The use of a sling may be appropriate.
Ice. Apply cold packs for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day, to keep swelling down. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines. Ibuprofen and
Naproxen reduces pain and swelling.
Physical therapy. Specific stretching and strengthening exercises can help restore range of motion and strengthen your shoulder.