Bottom of the Forearm Pain

Do you ever experience pain, usually a pulling sensation that becomes throbbing pain, in the bottom of your forearm and maybe into the inside of your elbow? 

Many times, the doctor will tell you that you have medial epicondylitis, which means that you have inflammation in your wrist flexor muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the inside of your elbow. 

Wrist flexion is the movement in your wrist when you flip your hand so that your palm is facing the ground, and you bring your fingers down. Or you have your hand palm facing up, and you bring your fingers up. See how that's the same motion and it's firing the muscles on the underside of your forearm, exactly where it's hurting? 

So the pain you're feeling is usually caused by repetitive, prolonged, or static wrist flexion, commonly used in certain sports (like badminton and golf) and when lifting heavy items without proper body mechanics. 

Pay attention to how many times a day you are doing the wrist flexion motion, and think about how you can modify your body or the activity you're doing so that you're flexing your wrist as often. If you're lifting heavy items, whether grocery bags or heavy files in the office, be sure to pull them with your arms across the surface it's on until it reaches your midsection within your Primary Zone of Reach*, before lifting it off the surface to carry. 



Besides preventing this type of pain by limiting repetitive wrist flexion and using proper mechanics when lifting things, you can also stretch those wrist flexor muscles multiple times a day to reduce the stiffness that eventually leads to pain. To do the wrist flexor stretch on your right forearm, put your hand out in front of you with a straight elbow, palm facing away from you, and gently pull back on the hand using your left hand. The key thing to remember about this is to do this multiple times a day before you really begin to feel pain.

Another thing you can do if the pain is chronic, lasting more than a few weeks, is to provide heat to the muscles in your forearm. You can also run warm water as well. If you are experiencing acute pain though, e.g. after lifting something heavy, you will want to ice it instead. 

Whatever you do, do NOT wait until you are having excruciating pain before you stretch, rub, massage, or ice/heat it. 

Here's the short tip video I posted on YouTube and Facebook


*Primary Zone of Reach is talked about in this video: