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Trusted Care for Bicep Tendon Injury & Strain


The bicep is the muscle at the front of your upper arm between the shoulder and the elbow. Tendons attach the top of the bicep to the shoulder and the bottom of the bicep to the elbow. Tendons are flexible bands of connective tissue that allow muscles to move joints. Damage or injury to either bicep tendon can cause problems when using your arm.

Dignity Health offers advanced orthopedic care for all types of bicep tendon injuries and strain in the Bay Area. Our goal is to alleviate your pain and help you get back to enjoying your normal activities. To find an orthopedic specialist that’s right for you, use our online Find a Doctor tool.

Bicep Injury Symptoms

The severity and location of your injury will influence your signs and symptoms. It’s more common to injure the upper bicep tendon at the shoulder. Symptoms can include:

  • A popping sound or sensation in the shoulder
  • Mild tenderness or pain at the front of the shoulder
  • Sharp pain in the shoulder and upper arm

Causes of Bicep Tears

As we age, tendons in the body slowly weaken and become less flexible. This makes them more susceptible to stress and injury. Overuse or repetitive motions are common causes of bicep tendon injuries, including bicep tears and tendonitis. Other common causes are falling on an outstretched arm or overloading the muscle.

Treatment of Bicep Tendon Injury & Strain

Some bicep tendon injuries may respond to self-treatment with rest, ice, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines. Physical therapy or corticosteroid shots may be necessary for more severe or recurrent injuries. Surgery can be used to repair the tendon or muscle.

At Dignity Health, we want to ease your pain, but we also want to help you avoid future problems. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to teach you proper body mechanics, stretches, and how to strengthen the area. We offer physical therapy, rehabilitation, and sports medicine at all four of our Bay Area hospitals — Saint Francis Memorial Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco, Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, and Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz.

No matter what your needs are, you can trust our orthopedic team to be there with you every step of the way. Call 888.533.8760 for a doctor referral.

Dignity Health provides specialized orthopedic care for bicep injury and strain in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.