Long Head of Biceps Tendon & Shoulder Injuries
Most people don’t realize that the long head of our biceps tendon (LHBT) crosses our shoulder joint in addition to our elbow joint. It contributes to the active motions of bending our elbow and flexing our shoulder forward. Although it is not a primary mover at the shoulder, its role in shoulder biomechanics is important. In fact, studies have shown that LHBT and rotator cuff injuries are closely related.
When the LHBT is injured, there are two areas of the tendon that do not have any blood supply. If there is not sufficient blood supply, then our body can’t properly repair an injury by itself. These areas are (1) in the deep undersurface of the tendon in the bicipital groove and (2) near its insertion in the shoulder. In addition, they are also the most common areas of injury for this tendon.
Due to the LHBT role in shoulder biomechanics, it’s a close relationship to rotator cuff injuries, and its difficulty to recovery post-injury, we want to ensure that we are training properly in order to keep this tendon healthy and avoid injury.