Forearm Muscle Strain
A forearm muscle strain is a partial or complete tear of the small fibers of the forearm muscles. Forearm muscles allow you to extend and flex your wrist and fingers.
|Muscles of the Hand and Forearm|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
A forearm muscle strain is caused by:
- Stretching the forearm muscles beyond the amount of tension they can withstand
- Suddenly putting stress on the forearm muscles when they are not ready for stress
- Overusing the forearm muscles over time
- Receiving a direct blow to the forearm muscles
Factors that may increase the chance of a forearm muscle strain include:
- Participation in sports that overuse the forearm
- Previous strain or injury to the area
- Muscle fatigue
- Weak or tired muscles
- Repetitive movements that strain the forearm muscles
Symptoms may include:
- Problems flexing the fingers or wrist
- Pain while stretching the fingers or wrist
- Area feels tender and sore
- Muscle spasms
The doctor will ask about symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Most forearm muscle strains can be diagnosed with a physical exam.
Muscle strains are graded according to their severity:
- Grade 1—Some stretching with micro tearing of muscle fibers.
- Grade 2—Partial tearing of muscle fibers.
- Grade 3—Complete tearing of muscle fibers. This may also be called a rupture or avulsion.
Recovery time ranges depend on the grade of your injury. Treatment options may include one or more of the following:
The muscle will need time to heal. RICE is often the main part of treatment:
- Rest—Activities will need to be restricted at first. Normal activities will be reintroduced gradually.
- Ice—Ice therapy may help relieve swelling. Heat or cold may be advised throughout recovery if they provide benefits.
- Compression—Used for a limited time, compression bandages can provide gentle pressure to help move fluids out of the area.
- Elevation—Keeping the area elevated can help fluids drain out or prevent fluids from building up.
Prescription or over-the-counter medications may be advised to reduce pain.
To help reduce the chance of a forearm muscle strain:
- Use an ergonomic keyboard or workstation.
- Keep muscles strong. This will help them absorb the energy of sudden, stressful activities.
- Avoid overuse or repetitive stress.
- Learn the proper technique for sports.
- If you feel pain during exercise, stop exercising that muscle group.
- James Cornell, MD
- Reviewed: 03/2016
- Updated: 03/18/2013
Please note, not all procedures included in this resource library are available at Allegiance Health or performed by Allegiance Health physicians.
All EBSCO Publishing proprietary, consumer health and medical information found on this site is accredited by URAC. URAC's Health Web Site Accreditation Program requires compliance with 53 rigorous standards of quality and accountability, verified by independent audits. To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at HLEditorialTeam@ebscohost.com.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.