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Forearm Muscle Strain

(Muscle Strain, Forearm; Pulled Muscle, Forearm)

Definition

A forearm muscle strain is a partial or complete tear of the small fibers of the forearm muscles. Forearm muscles allow you to extend and flex your wrist and fingers.
Muscles of the Hand and Forearm
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Causes

A forearm muscle strain is caused by:

Risk Factors

Factors increase your chance of developing forearm muscle strain include:

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Most forearm muscle strains can be diagnosed with a physical exam.
Images of the area may be needed if severe damage is suspected. Images may be taken with x-ray or MRI scan .
Muscle strains are graded according to their severity:

Treatment

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Recovery time ranges depending on the grade of your injury. Treatment steps may include:

Supportive Care

Your muscle will need time to heal. RICE is often the main part of treatment:
  • Rest—Activities will need to be restricted at first. Normal activities will be reintroduced gradually.
  • Ice—Ice therapy may help relieve swelling. Heat or cold may be advised throughout recovery if they provide benefits.
  • Compression—Used for a limited time, compression bandages can provide gentle pressure to help move fluids out of the area.
  • Elevation—Keeping the area elevated can help fluids drain out or prevent fluids from building up.
Prescription or over-the-counter medications may be advised to reduce pain.

Prevention

To help reduce your chance of getting forearm muscle strain, take the following steps:

RESOURCES

American Council on Exercise http://www.acefitness.org

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.familydoctor.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Physiotherapy Association http://www.physiotherapy.ca

Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine http://casem-acmse.org

References

Dawson, WJ. Intrinsic muscle strain in the instrumentalist. Med Prol Perform Artists. 2005;20:66-69.

Johns Hopkins sports medicine patient guide to muscle strain. John Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: http://www.hopkinsortho.org/muscle%5Fstrain.html. Accessed March 10, 2015.

Sprains, strains, and tears. American College of Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/sprains-strains-and-tears.pdf. Published 2011. Accessed March 10, 2015.

10/26/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(6):CD007402.

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