2775 S. Moreland Blvd., Third Floor, Cleveland, OH 44120

Proximal Biceps Tendon Tear

Proximal Biceps Tendon Tear


Your bicep is the muscle in the front of your upper arm. It helps you bend your elbow and twist your forearm.

Three tendons attach your bicep to the bone:

  1. The long head tendon attaches your bicep to the top of your shoulder socket.
  2. The short head tendon attaches your bicep to a bump on your shoulder blade called the coracoid process.
  3. A third tendon attaches your bicep to your radius, which is one of the bones in your forearms.

When you have a torn bicep, one of these tendons is damaged or detaches from the bone.


diagram of the shoulder and bicep tendon tear showing muscles


Eastside Medical Group focuses on treating Proximal Biceps Tendon Tears at the shoulder

Proximal Biceps Tendon Tear at the shoulder

This injury occurs when one of the tendons that attaches the bicep to the shoulder tears.

The long head tendon is more likely to tear than the short head tendon. This type of tear often starts as normal tendon fraying, but can also tear if you get injured. It’s likely that only one part of the tendon will tear in this injury. This means that you can usually continue to use your arm. 


Symptoms of a Proximal Biceps Tendon Tear

You may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Sudden, sharp shoulder or upper arm pain
  • Snapping sound or pop in the shoulder or upper arm region
  • Tenderness at the shoulder
  • Biceps muscle cramping
  • The weakness with shoulder and elbow movements
  • Difficulty rotating the forearm


Diagnosing Proximal Biceps Tendon Tears

To diagnose a biceps tendon tear, our experienced care team will first take your medical history. They’ll ask about your symptoms, whether you had any recent injuries, and when the pain began.

Then they’ll do a physical exam to test your range of motion and strength. During these tests, they’ll see if you have pain or difficulty with certain movements, especially rotations. They’ll also look at your arm for swelling, bruising, or bulging.

A history and physical exam are often enough to diagnose a bicep tendon tear. However, we might also order an X-ray to help rule out any bone injuries, or an MRI to see if the tear is partial or complete.

If you are experiencing any pain or the signs of a possible biceps tear, make an appointment to see your experienced care team at Eastside Medical Group today!


If your shoulder pain is caused by a work-related injury, Eastside Medical Group is an Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation certified provider.


Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Shoulders at Eastside Medical Group


Joint Injections

When joint pain does not resolve in a reasonable amount of time with OTC medication and/or physical therapy, an injection of medication directly into the joint is a frequently performed procedure.


What is in a joint injection?

diagram of a shoulder joint injectionA joint injection typically contains a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid; other shoulder joint injections can include biologics. The local anesthetic, similar to what you might receive at the dentist, provides early pain relief, while the steroid suppresses inflammation and decreases swelling for long-term pain relief.

In addition to treating joint pain, the injections are used as a diagnostic tool. The local anesthetic has a numbing effect on the joint, and the amount of immediate pain relief experienced will help confirm or rule out the joint as a source of pain.


How are shoulder joint injections administered?

A joint injection is used to treat inflammatory joint conditions such as arthritis, gout, bursitis, tendonitis, and osteoarthritis.

The injection is performed by using ultrasound to guide exactly where the needle needs to go into the affected joint and distributing an anti-inflammatory agent. The most common of these is a corticosteroid (cortisone shots). 


What can be expected after a shoulder joint injection?

After the injection, you may experience immediate but temporary pain relief from the local anesthetic.

Because steroids need a few days to deliver noticeable benefits, there is a chance of the pain returning or even worsening. If the pain worsens, it usually subsides within a day or two.

Generally, it’s recommended that you take it easy the day of the procedure, but return to your usual activities the following day. You can ice down the injection site and take an over-the-counter NSAID, like ibuprofen, for pain relief.

Although joint injections do not change the underlying condition, they can break the cycle of pain and inflammation and allow time for exercise or physical therapy to strengthen muscles and get the joints moving again in order to decrease ongoing problems.


Eastside Medical Group also uses hyaluronic acid joint injections for shoulder pain in some instances. Please ask our knowledgeable staff as to what treatment option would be best for your specific case.


Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections/PRFM

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been used since the 1970s in medicine for multiple purposes. The last decade has seen a tremendous focus on PRP applications in musculoskeletal medicine. The potential for PRP to promote tissue healing following injury or disease is attractive to many physicians, researchers, and patients alike.

  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections administer concentrated platelets from the patient’s own blood into damaged cartilage and tendons to reduce pain and to aid in the healing process.
  • PRP rebuilds these tissues and can be used for common tendon injuries, such as tennis elbow, and to repair cartilage due to osteoarthritis or other damage.
  • PRP injections consist of extracting a blood sample, concentrating the platelets, and injecting them into injured areas of the body.
  • PRP injections are sometimes performed in a series, but many patients only require one injection to see results.


Dr. Lauchlin McKeigan, Chiropractic Physician, has seen firsthand the positive healing effects of PRP treatment in his shoulder tear. 


MRI report before PRP treatment

MRI report before PRP treatment (click to enlarge)


MRI report after PRP treatment

MRI report after PRP treatment (click to enlarge)



We combine all of our shoulder therapy treatment plans with a combination of comprehensive therapeutic exercises, chiropractic care, and medical massage to achieve maximum results with our program!

To learn more about our Comprehensive Shoulder Treatment Options, contact our team at Eastside Medical Group in Cleveland, Ohio.


Shoulder Therapy Consult
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