A forearm muscle strain is a partial or complete tearing of small fiber found in the forearm muscles. The forearm muscles function in extending and flexing the wrist and fingers. Using the wrist and fingers for various activities throughout the day such as at work or at home which makes these muscles susceptible to overuse and strain. There are 3 grades of forearm muscle strain.
- Grade 1 is mild and the muscles are mildly pulled without a tear in the forearm muscle or fibers.
- Grade 2 is a type of strain that is moderate in nature and there is tearing of the fibers in the muscles that are connected to the bone. There is mild loss of strength of the forearm muscles
- Grade 3 strains are severe and there is complete rupture of the muscle fibers and tendons. Sometimes, there is separation of the fibers. This type of strain is treated with surgical correction due to repetitive stress injuries such as repetitively lifting heavy objects.
Causes of forearm muscle strain
- Heavy objects that suddenly fall on the forearms can result to injuries or damage the forearm muscle.
- Overstretching of the forearm such as performing strenuous activities.
- Performing manual labor that involves using the forearm repetitively during strenuous activities.
- A direct trauma to the muscles of the forearm such as assault.
- Severe pain when stretching the wrist and fingers
- Tenderness of the wrist and area of the forearm
- Spasms of the forearm
- Difficulty in flexing the wirst and fingers
- Sometimes, the areas of the forearm are swollen
- Take plenty of rest especially the affected forearm. Avoid performing activities that causes pain and discomfort as well as making the condition worse.
- Apply an ice pack on the affected area for at least 15-20 minutes 2-3 times every day to lessen the swelling and inflammation. Avoid applying the ice pack directly on the skin to prevent frostbite that can worsen the condition. Wrap ice cubes in a towel before placing it on the affected area.
- Wear a compression wrap on the affected forearm muscle for fast healing of the area. It also prevents the accumulation of fluids in the area.
- Elevate the affected hand above the level of the heart.
- Take an over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen to minimize the pain and inflammation.
- Perform regular exercises to makes the muscle strong and stay in good shape.
- Use an ergonomic keyboard or workstation. An ergonomic keyboard is one that is designed to lessen muscle strain and some related problems. There are keyboards that can be used by two-handed typist which is a V-shaped keyboard that makes use of both left and right hands.
- Avoid performing repetitive strenuous activities and learn the proper techniques when playing sports.
- Spend time to rest if feeling tired.