Forearm Trigger Points

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Written By Dr. Marcus Yu Bin Pai

MD, PhD. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician from São Paulo - Brazil. Pain Fellowship in University of São Paulo.

The upper limb portion between the elbow and the wrist is known as the forearm. Since the word “arm” is frequently used to refer to the entire upper limb, the term “forearm” is used in anatomy to separate this region from it.

The ulna and radius are the two long bones that make up the forearm, together with numerous arteries, nerves, and muscles.

Muscular Anatomy of the Forearm

Numerous muscles, including the brachioradialis and extensor carpi radialis longus, make up the forearm. The pulling and grabbing motions are controlled by these two muscles. Let us see in detail the common muscles in the region with trigger point pains.

Brachioradialis Muscle

Brachioradialis muscle in the forearm

The brachioradialis is a flexor of your elbow, an extensor, and a stabilizer of your hand and wrist.

Origin: From the upper two-thirds of the humerus’s lateral supracondylar ridge and the anterior surface of the arm’s lateral intermuscular septum.

Insertion: Near the wrist, just proximal to the radius styloid process.

Innervation: Brachioradialis gets its nerve supply from the radial nerve that arises from the posterior cord of the brachial plexus.

Blood supply: The brachioradialis muscle receives blood supply from branches of the radial artery, the radial recurrent artery, and the radial collateral branch of the deep brachial artery.

Pain Patterns: This muscle can cause pain in your elbow and/or forearm if it is overly tight and/or has tender or trigger points, respectively. The back of your hand and the space between your thumb and index finger could also hurt.

Extensor carpi radialis longus

Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus

The posterior compartment of the forearm contains the muscle known as the extensor carpi radialis longus. These muscles frequently converge, and the brachioradialis partially overlaps it. It is an extensor of the wrist, as its name would imply, and it can be felt inferoposteriorly to the elbow.

Origin: lateral supracondylar ridge of the humerus’ anterior lower third, as well as the nearby intermuscular septum. On rare occasions, the common extensor tendon may be attached to the lateral epicondyle.

Insertion: Posterior surface of the base of the second metacarpal

Innervation: Radial nerve from the posterior plexus of the brachial plexus (root values C6 and C7).

Blood supply: Radial artery

Pain Patterns: You may experience pain on the lateral side of your elbow if your extensor carpi radialis longus muscle is overly tight, includes painful or trigger points, or both.

Additionally, you may feel pain running from the back of your hand down your forearm. A weak and uncomfortable grasp that even causes you to drop light objects, like a glass of water, is another common symptom.

What are Trigger Points on the Forearm?

In some parts of our body, we all have trigger points. They are tiny bundles of muscle fibers that become tangled and continue to be compressed, resulting in discomfort and other symptoms. They can be found practically anywhere in the body, but for the purposes of this article, we will concentrate on the ones that frequently result in forearm discomfort.

Forearm trigger points are locations where the forearm muscles flex or lengthen. They can be present elsewhere on your forearm, such as close to your wrist or at the base of your palm, in addition to the area around the elbow where they are most frequently found.

Pain Patterns of Forearm Trigger Points

Because they can “kick-off” other ailments in the body when they are kept consistently stiff, these tiny muscular knots are known as trigger points. Trigger points can form everywhere when the muscles are under stress—whether from overuse or an injury. When you move your forearm in a certain way, trigger points there give you the sensation that a knife is stabbing into your arm.

Trigger points almost always cause one or more of the following four symptoms: stabbing pain that spreads to other parts of the arm; tenderness to pressure; a restricted range of motion; and weakness in the affected muscle (or muscles) when attempting to lift something heavy or carry out another action that calls for strength.

What Activates Trigger Points in the Forearm?

Many people have forearm trigger points as a result of spending their entire workday hunched over their desks or resting their arms on a table in front of them, which strains these muscles. Trigger points may develop for a variety of reasons, including regular usage of the muscles in question and bad posture as well as injuries resulting from poor posture (such as having “droopy” shoulders).

Additionally, carrying heavy goods or tugging on weight-bearing equipment like dumbbells and barbells are also examples of activities that might cause trigger points in the forearm. Due to repetitive motions like swinging a bat or hitting a tennis ball, athletes who exercise frequently develop trigger points.

Conclusion: Forearm Triggers

Forearm pain is a common complaint among people who spend long hours working with their hands. You might want to see a doctor if the discomfort seems to be becoming worse.

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MD, PhD. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician from São Paulo - Brazil. Pain Fellowship in University of São Paulo.

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