The biceps brachii muscle is located in the upper arm and is composed of a long and a short head. The long head crosses both the shoulder joint (see below) and the elbow joint, whereas the smaller short head crosses only the elbow joint. The long head originates on the supraglenoid tubercle of the scapula and the short head originates from the coracoid process of the scapula. Both heads of the biceps brachii unite in the lower part of the arms and eventually insert onto the radial tuberosity of the forearms and their fascias via the bicipital aponeuroses.
The chief function of the biceps muscle is to supinate the forearm. This latter motion describes moving the forearm so that the hand faces upwards. Other notable functions are bending the elbow and bending the shoulder.
The biceps tendon originates in the shoulder joint capsules and travels down the arm and eventually enters the bicipital groove. The tendon is surrounded by a synovial sheath and, below the bicipital groove, the tendon is held in place by the tendon of pectoralis major.
The biceps tendon is also a common site of injury whereby trauma or overuse of the muscle tendon complex can lead to a tendinopathy. This condition is characterised by pain felt along the course of the biceps muscle and the reproduction of pain with overhead activities, lifting and pulling. This condition is often difficult to differentiate with a rotator cuff tendinopathy and sometimes both conditions can occur concurrently.
(The list of conditions given above and subsequent explanations are intended as a general guide and should not be considered a replacement for a full medical examination. Furthermore, we do not purport to treat all the conditions listed. Should you wish to discuss any of these conditions with our chiropractors, please do not hesitate to phone the clinic on 020 7374 2272 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).