Background and Purpose:
Distal biceps brachii tendinosis is a relatively uncommon clinical diagnosis seen by physical therapists. As a result, there is little evidence guiding clinical decisions regarding best practice or effective treatment options to restore individuals to their previous level of function. The purpose of this case report is to describe the use of eccentric training as the primary intervention in the rehabilitation of a patient with distal biceps tendinosis.
A 41-year-old male electrician and collegiate wrestling coach presented to a university outpatient physical therapy clinic with a two month duration of pain in the right antecubital space which occurred when the patient was performing close-grip body weight curl ups for the first time. Sharp pain was noted in the right arm during the lowering phase of the exercise. Following the examination, distal biceps tendinosis appeared to be the likely diagnosis. The patient was educated in eccentric exercise principles and was prescribed eccentric loading exercises for the distal biceps brachii tendon in two different positions of elbow flexion.
The patient was seen in physical therapy for three visits over the course of four weeks. Following eccentric training, the patient reported decreased pain, demonstrated increased right elbow flexion and forearm supination strength, was no longer tender to palpation of the distal biceps tendon and showed clinically significant improvement in QuickDASH scores.
Given the lack of available research on the rehabilitation of distal biceps tendinosis, eccentric training showing benefits with other upper quarter tendinoses and the positive outcomes in this case, it may be appropriate for physical therapists to employ eccentric training for patients with distal biceps tendinosis.
Level of Evidence:
5 (Single case report)