Why forearm pain occurs:
There are around 20 muscles in forearm! Most of these control finger movement and hand strength, passing through the carpal tunnel. When working on a keyboard or mouse, radius and ulna are kept twisted over each other for extended periods of time, causing muscle tightness in arms. Jobs or sports with repetitive movements can cause RSI at the other end of the forearm which can be known as golfers elbow or tennis elbow (Not always caused by golf or tennis!). Most forearm pain can be managed with massage, small lifestyle changes, rest and self care.
The American College of Sports Medicine have found there to be at least 43 different pathologies of the elbow, so please see a Doctor for a proper diagnosis. The below stretches can be helpful to get you by before your next appointment.
- Hold right arm out in front of you, parallel to the ground with palm face up.
- Bend wrist, pointing fingers down towards the ground with palm facing away from you (still face up).
- Place fingers of left arm on right hand, to stretch wrist.
- Hold Right arm out parallel to the ground, with palm facing towards the right and thumb pointing toward the ground.
- Hold Left arm above right arm with left palm facing left and thumb pointing down.
- Hold hands with palms facing each other
- With Left hand, pull right hand so that thumbs go to the right.
- Reverse arms to stretch the other forearm.
Self Massage Guide
Don’t massage forearms with your hands, as this will lead to the other forearm getting tight, and then you’ll be stuck on an endless loop of tight forearms. Try these sneaky tips instead:
Forearm to Forearm – Place one forearm against the other on top of a sturdy surface, massage in a small amount of deep heat or arnica cream using only the forearms.
Knuckles to forearm – moving knuckles along the forearms flexors from the elbow to the wrist, using arnica cream or deep heat.
Ice then heat
Deep heat before bed
Recommended products are Tigerbalm (beware of staining fabrics) and Fisiocrem
If severe – a wrist brace while sleeping can be helpful. A wrist brace is about $30 from the pharmacy, and pharmacists can help recommend the type that you need.
Vertical mouse at work (can take a bit of adjusting, and some people hate them so try someone else’s before buying your own)