The treatment for forearm pain is important because this area of your arm is important for the positioning of your wrist and hand to do the things you’d like to do. The forearm has 2 long bones, called the radius and ulna, which rotate in such a way to allow for the hand to move from a palm up to a palm down position which is important for typing, writing and holding objects in our hands. All of the muscles for the wrist and most of the muscles for our hand are found in the forearm. Finally, all 3 of the nerves that are found in our hand travel through muscles in our forearm on their pathway to the hand.
The main causes of forearm pain revolve around the relationship of the nerves and muscles. The three nerves found in the forearm (radial nerve, ulnar nerve and median nerve) start in our neck and travel through specific pathways to the hand. At times they travel through tunnels that are a part of soft tissue close to the skin and sometimes the tunnels are actually through muscles themselves. When the muscles grow in size, which can occur after an injury of the elbow/forearm/wrist, they put pressure down on the nerve itself.
When a nerve is in distress it typically will send signals both above and below the area when it’s injured. For instance, if you have an injury of your nerve at your wrist it will send back up the back, the front or the inside of your forearm. This is called radiating or referred pain. This can happen with pain starting at the elbow travelling down your forearm toward your wrist as well.
The treatment for forearm pain begins with an evaluation by a skilled Armworks occupational or physical therapy that specializes in treatment of the elbow, wrist and hand to identify the injury that is the source of the pain.
You therapy will involve techniques designed to relax the muscles in your forearm, to get the nerves calmed down and happy again, and to educate you on ways to prevent this from returning. We may recommend a custom orthosis or splint for your wrist since all of the muscles for the wrist are found in the forearm. The final step of treatment is to then restore strength that may have been lost to get you back doing the things you want to at work, home and play.
The successful treatment of wrist injuries requires many key elements with the two most important being the skill of an occupational or physical therapist that specializes in seeing forearm injuries and a patient willing to participate in their therapy. All of the therapists at Armworks Hand Therapy specialize in the treatment of the elbow, wrist, and hand so we see these types of injuries all day, every day.