Forearm & Wrist self care
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
Do you suffer from Tennis elbow? Climber’s elbow? Golf elbow? Carpal Tunnel? Today I am reviewing the major muscles of the forearm that contribute to all of these issues. We have our forearm FLEXORS and EXTENSORS. On the palm (inner) side of our forearms is the flexors, named because they flex the wrist and also the elbow joint (some flex the fingers, bend the wrist side to side and rotate the forearm). The extensors are on the outer side of the forearm, they extend the wrist and extend&flex the elbow joint (also extend the fingers, move the hand side to side and rotate).
Excessive use of the forearms and wrist contribute to very tight forearm muscles. When these muscles are tight their tendon attachments create inflammation and a lot of pain over the wrist and elbow joints (causing the climbers, tennis, golfers elbow and carpal tunnel). Carpal tunnel is inflammation over the wrist and the median nerve becomes pressed causing nerve pain in the hand. It is obvious that these fast arm moving sports are a major cause in forearm tightness, however carpal tunnel is usually caused by repetitive motions such as typing, cleaning, etc.
How do we treat all of these issues? We stretch!!!! Or we ice if it’s really bad. Flexor stretch: with the elbow STRAIGHT pull your wrist into full extension (bending it so the palm is open). Hold in this position for 30 seconds. Extensor stretch: with the elbow STRAIGHT make a gentle fist and pull it towards you in flexion (palm closed), hold for 30 seconds. Do both stretches on both forearms before and after strenuous activity.
Self massage can be done with simple squeezing and pushing of the fingers on the forearm muscles. But for a deeper more effective treatment, use the tip of your elbow to apply more pressure. Find those sore spots and hold until the pain dissipates.