Our forearms are used for a lot of activities throughout daily life. Whether it is working out, playing a sport, working a desk job, cooking and more, our forearms are used in all these activities.

Considering the forearms are associated with arm and hand movements, pain in this region can be a big hindrance in one’s life.

Forearm pain can be the result of various causes and it is important to get the appropriate treatment.

Causes:

The forearm is made up of various muscles that are connected by ligaments and tendons.

Pain in this region can be caused due to:

#1. Overuse:

Doing the same activity over and over again without giving yourself rest can cause pain in your forearms. This generally occurs in more strenuous activities like weightlifting or heavy physical exertion. Where there is a high level of pressure applied to the forearm for continuous periods, you may develop forearm tendonitis. Using our electronic devices such as phones and laptops may but a strain on our forearms too.

#2. Injury:

While playing a sport or even during other activities, if one suffers a fall or lands on their forearm region, they may suffer from forearm tendonitis. Even a fracture to a bone in the forearm region can damage the tissues, tendons, and ligaments causing pain.

#3. Nerve related reason:

Generally, when a nerve gets compressed in the forearm region it causes tendonitis. It is associated with numbing and a tingling feeling in the area. In the forearm region, nerve entrapment can be caused by different syndromes, carpal tunnel syndrome being the most popular.

Symptoms:

Besides the forearm, symptoms of forearm tendonitis cause seen in the wrist, hand and elbow region too. The most common symptom is swelling or inflammation in the region. Pain and redness are other common symptoms too.

Other symptoms could include:

  • Loss of grip
  • Weakness in the region
  • Burning sensation
  • Stiffness 
  • Pain in wrist, elbow and hand regions.
  • Inability to load the arm.
  • Throbbing

Prevention:

Whenever you strain yourself, or you know you have overused a particular muscle, you must always give it rest. You must reduce or completely cut all load-bearing activities and give your muscles a break.

Take these following preventive steps:

-Avoid loading the forearm, wrist, and elbow. Perform no weight-bearing/loading activities.

-While doing ordinary tasks, get someone to help you, and take breaks from doing these tasks.

-Think about regaining the strength in the forearm region or even strengthening it to avoid injuries altogether.

Treatment:

Like all other muscular/tendon based injuries, forearm tendonitis should be first treated using the RICE method.

RICE stands for Rest Icing Compression and Elevation.

RICE treatment
Source.

Rest: Rest is so crucial as you need to give time for the body to heal itself and also time for the swelling to go down. Rest is the body’s way of repairing itself.

Icing: Applying ice daily to the affected area can help in reducing the inflammation and decreases the blood flow to relieve pain.

Compression: Compressing the area with a special sleeve of a sort can help reduce the pain. It helps to keep the swelling to a minimum and prevents the fluid build up in that region.

Elevation: Elevating the forearm above the level of the heart reduces blood flow to that area. Placing a pillow under the forearm can help with elevation.

Other treatments include:

-Taking the anti-inflammatory medication on the advice of your physiotherapist.

-Doing exercises only after consulting your physiotherapist. Strengthening during pain can result in more damage. It is advisable to follow your advice given by the professional.

-Acupuncture may help in releasing the pain. Always listen to your body. If you are feeling pain in your forearm, give it rest. If it persists visit your physiotherapist for further advice.

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