is an injury (partial tear) that damages the internal structure of the muscle. The tearing may be so small that it can only be seen with a microscope. Or, the tearing may be severe enough to cause internal bleeding and cause some muscle fibers to become longer. If the damaged parts of the muscle actually pull away from each other, it is called a muscle rupture.
Forearm muscle strain results from physical stress to the muscles that allow you to extend and flex your arms and hands. It is common among athletes and people whose jobs require them to make small hand movements.
A forearm muscle strain is caused by tension or stress applied to the muscle that it cannot withstand. There are several ways that this can happen:
Muscle may not be ready for sudden stress
Tension may be too much for the muscle to bear (eg, lifting a weight that is too heavy for you)
Muscle is used too much on a certain day
These factors increase your chance of developing forearm muscle strain:
Having cold, weak, or tight muscles
Participating in certain sports (eg, tennis, bowling, baseball)
Exercising in cold weather
Exercising or working while fatigued
Playing musical instruments that strain the forearm (eg, the piano)
Having a job that requires repetitive movements or strain on forearm (eg, excessive typing) and having a poorly designed work environment
Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors.
If you have any of these symptoms do not assume it is due to forearm muscle strain. These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any of these:
Problems flexing your fingers or wrist, or pain while stretching the fingers or wrist
Area feels tender and sore
Symptoms can range from mild to severe.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. He will also do a physical exam. The injured area will be examined for:
Tenderness over the area of the muscle
Pain, especially when contracting the muscle
Tests may include:
—a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the body (This is uncommon for most people. The test is usually done with college or professional athletes to determine when they will return to their sport.)
Ultrasound—a test that uses sound waves to examine the body
—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to take pictures of structures inside the body
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
Rest—Do not do activities that cause pain.
Ice—Apply cold to the injured area for 15-20 minutes, four times a day for several days after the injury. Do not apply the cold directly to the skin.
Compression and elevation—This can decrease swelling.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)—These can help relieve pain. Ask your doctor if NSAIDs are right for you.
Heat—Use heat only when you are returning to activity. Then use it before stretching or getting ready to exercise.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a