Physical Therapy for Biceps Tendonitis: Recover Faster

shoulder tension test

Recovery from Biceps Tendonitis: Physical Therapy and Treatment Guide


Physical therapy is a form of medical treatment that helps people heal and recover from various physical conditions. The treatment uses a range of techniques such as exercise, massage, and manipulation to assist patients in enhancing their strength, flexibility, balance, and mobility. Moreover, it can successfully alleviate musculoskeletal injuries, chronic pain, and other physical ailments. 

Physical therapists play a vital role in this treatment as they’re highly trained professionals with a significant level of expertise in this field. They use a patient-centered approach to tailor the treatment to the individual needs of the patient. Physical therapy helps people improve their quality of life, particularly those who are living with chronic conditions or disabilities. In this article, we would explore the role of physical therapy in helping people with biceps tendonitis. 

What to Expect at Physical Therapy 

When beginning physical therapy for biceps tendonitis, the therapist will first evaluate your condition to gain insight into your treatment goals. A discussion about your lifestyle habits and activities that may have attributed to the cause or exacerbation of the injury may occur. Once this assessment is complete, the physical therapist will devise an individualized plan of care tailored specifically to meet your needs. The plan may include recommendations for complementary exercises and stretches that you can perform at home in addition to treatments administered during your clinic visits. The therapist may also prescribe modalities such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation to help ease inflammation and hasten the healing process. 

Types of Exercises You Might Do 

The types of exercises that you might do while receiving physical therapy for biceps tendonitis depend on the severity of your condition and your individual needs as determined by the therapist during your evaluation. The most common exercises focus on improving the range of motion, strengthening muscles around the shoulder joint, increasing flexibility in the elbow joint, decreasing tension in tight muscles throughout the upper arm, improving coordination between different muscle groups while using light weights or bands, and performing daily stretching routines including foam rolling exercises targeting the biceps brachii muscle group. Here are some specific examples: 

  • Shoulder rotations: Begin by standing up straight with feet hip-width apart then gently rotate both shoulders backward 10 times followed by 10 forward rotations being mindful not to overstretch them too much 
  • Arm circles: Hold arms outstretched in front of you at shoulder level then rotate them slowly in small circular motions both clockwise and counterclockwise 10 times each 
  • Elbow flexion/extension stretches: Begin by standing tall with feet hip-width apart then bring one arm up so it’s parallel to the ground next slowly flex it down towards 90 degrees keeping it close to the body before slowly extending it back out again – repeat 10 times per side 
  • Resistance exercises using light weights/bands: Start by holding a lightweight (2-5lbs) in each hand bent at a 90-degree angle at elbow level next extend arms upwards above shoulder height being careful not to hold your breath when doing so – repeat 10 reps 

Foam rolling into trigger points along biceps: Locate tender spots where the foam roller feels tightest then roll back and forth over the area until soreness dissipates – repeat 1-3 minutes per spot 

How Long Recovery Takes 

Recovery from biceps tendonitis depends on age, lifestyle, fitness level, and injury history. Improvement is usually felt within 4-6 weeks depending on initial severity, tracked through follow-up appointments with a physical therapist. 


Physical therapy, in conjunction with RICE treatment, can be an effective remedy for biceps tendonitis and hasten the return to normal activities. Patients should collaborate with a physical therapist to create a bespoke treatment plan based on their distinct needs. With consistent exercise and stretching, most people recover from biceps tendonitis within four to six weeks.